Just like a lazy backcountry cutthroat rising to a hopper, a mild August in caldera country has crept in on us. Speaking of backcountry, now is the time to put them ole walkin' boots to use. Last week's report is still a relevant reference in planning where to fish with a few slight changes. While many of us at BSA don't have loose lips when it comes to our favorite spots in the back country, stopping in with some prior research and a couple thoughtful questions can help get you on the right track to that sneaky spot.
Transitioning into late summer simply means focusing more on straying from the beaten path and keying in on the flies that begin their life cycle on land rather than water. Crickets, ants, beetles, grasshoppers, etc. The high elevation sunshine continues to zap up moisture while the hordes of mosquitos and biting flies also begin to dwindle. A ham sandwich, big water bottle, bear spray, and a puck full of terrestrials/attractor dries is the recipe for a day well spent. There are plenty of backcountry campsites in the park, and taking the time to plan a pack trip to a lake or rarely fished stretch of river can quickly become a highlight of the summer.
If you do plan on spending time in Yellowstone's idyllic backcountry, ensure that you and your crew are well prepared. This means carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it. Make noise while hiking. Sing a loud and obnoxious trail song to your friend up ahead. Additionally, a map, water filter, rain gear, and first aid kit are always excellent items to have in your pack. Having a plan and proper equipment allows you to focus more on the fishing.
Again, many of the more easily accessed pieces of water have seen lots of angling pressure this summer, so be willing to put the parking lot in the rear view mirror. There are plenty of fish in the park who haven't seen a fly yet this season. Beetles, hoppers, and ants are soon to take center stage. Get out there and soak up the remainder of another fleeting summer in Big Sky Country! As always, practice leave-no-trace principles while enjoying the park so others may do the same.