Planning Your Fly-fishing Trip To Yellowstone
...........................  ......................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

When to Come and What To Expect:

Fly Fishing: Yellowstone National Park - August - Madison River

The Madison River is usually too warm for good fishing the first two or three weeks of
August, but this greatly depends on the previous year's snow pack and the weather for
the first two months of the season. It is okay some years when the water situation has
been very good. If it hasn't, forget fishing the Madison in the park during the first part
of August.

Usually by the end of the first couple of weeks in August, there will be some cold fronts
move through the high elevations and bring some cold weather to the Madison Valley.
The Firehole and Gibbon Rivers, which form the Madison River, usually start to cool
down towards the end of the month. Now keep in mind, these situations vary from year
to year and what I say is normal is not really normal because
nothing is really ever
normal about the weather in Yellowstone National Park.

The big trout leave the Madison and head down to Hebgen Lake during the hot
summer. Now that I have said that, that isn't always the case either. Some always do
but not all of them. Let me put it this way. The ones that don't are probably going to be
non-responsive to your fly. There are always plenty of youngsters that remain in the
river though out the summer but as a general rule, the large ones move into the lake.
When they start moving back into the river, you want to be there fishing. The problem
is that it is always a big guess as to when that happens. There are several factors
involved to do with water temperature and levels.

Fishing the last week or two of the Madison River in August can be good. If it is, you
would want to get in on the action. Most of the time, it isn't. Three years ago, Angie and
I caught some very nice rainbows the last two weeks of August. The next year, we
didn't. We were not the only ones catching some nice trout that year. Everyone seem
to do well the last of the month. I would say it was more the exception than the rule
though.

What I do recommend is that you keep in close touch with the local West Yellowstone
Fly Shops. They will know what is going on there. It should always be considered if you
want to fish in the park. It has a lot to do with the weather. It may be cold for a week
with snow on the ground or it may be still hot more like July than late August. Sorry, but
that is about the best forecast (I should say lack of forecast) I can give. If anyone else
knows more well in advance of August, you better check them out.