YNP Report - June 27, 2024

YNP Report - June 27, 2024

With June coming to a close we are about to see some of the best fishing of the season in Yellowstone Park. Runoff has finished, or is wrapping up, across the high country in Yellowstone, and many of our favorite waters are coming into shape.

We’ve enjoyed a great June on the West side of the Park fishing the Firehole, Madison, and Gibbon Rivers. Temps are beginning to get too warm to safely target trout in the lower reaches of the Firehole River, especially in the afternoon and evening hours. If you’re looking to fish the Firehole this week, stick to the upper stretch near Biscuit Basin, and plan your fishing during the cooler morning hours. Expect to see some rusty spinners in a size #16-18, as well as white miller caddis in a size #14.

Dry fly action on The Madison River in YNP will start to slow down as temps rise this week as well. Just like the Firehole, the Madison will have a good window of dry fly fishing in the morning with mayfly spinners. You might catch one or two of the last Grey Drake Spinners of the season on the flat water sections of the Madison. If you do happen to see these large (size #12) mayfly spinners in the air be sure to slow down and look for a good target before casting. Any of the large migratory fish from Hebgen that remain in the Madison will be spooky targets that require your A-game in stealth and presentation.

The Gibbon will remain a good option this week, both in the pocket water sections above and below gibbon Falls, and in the flat water sections in the upper meadows. Keep an eye out for last of the elusive Grey Drake mayflies here as well.

With runoff wrapping up, and water temps on the rise, we expect to see some good fishing firing up on the Gallatin River in YNP. Water conditions look great, and we’ve seen the beginning of the PMD and Hydropsyche caddis hatches. Stoneflies and Green Drakes will be right on their heels. So, get ready for some fun dry fly fishing ahead on the Gallatin.

The Gallatin River’s twin sister on the other side of the divide, the Gardner River has also come into shape recently, and is starting to fish really well. Salmonflies and caddis are the keys to catching fish on dry flies in the Gardner these days. If you go, take a chance to explore some of the water along the “old” abandoned road that now requires a little walk to access.

Yellowstone’s Cutthroat Corner Triumvirate (the Lamar River, Soda Butte Creek, and Slough Creek) is inching closer to fishing well, but will still need a little time to reach its stride. Water conditions are improving on all three fisheries with Slough Creek currently having the best likelyhood of seeing the first hatches of PMD’s, caddis, Grey Drakes, and Salmonflies of the season. Stay tuned to this report in the coming weeks as these iconic YNP waters will be hitting their prime soon.

July 1 is opening day on the upper-Yellowstone River in YNP (downstream of Yellowstone Lake to Chittenden Bridge). This is epic, world-renowned fishery is one of our favorite places in all of Big Sky Country to sight fish for large Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. Water conditions for the opener are similar to what we saw last year. Flows are right around 4300 cfs and falling slowly. Crossing the river will not be advised for some time. So, anglers will be limited to fishing the river left bank. In these first days of the season, salmon flies, PMD’s and caddis will be the first bugs to bring fish to the surface. Expect to see hatches picking up steam in the coming weeks.

As always, be prepared with some bear spray when fishing and exploring off the beaten path in Yellowstone.

The start of July also marks the beginning of peak tourist season in Yellowstone. Millions of visitors flock to the world’s first National Park every summer, and crowded roadways are to be expected. If you’re planning to head in for a day of fishing, we have a few tips to make your visit as enjoyable as possible.

Start Early.

We recommend passing through the West Gate by 7:00am.

Give yourself plenty of time, and be patient.

Traveling through Yellowstone during peak tourist season can be a slow affair. Be sure to give yourself some extra time to reach your destination so you’re not sitting in a Bison jam while the hatch of the century is rolling off your favorite fishery.

Stay Late.

Whenever possible, plan to spend the whole day in the park. Pack a bunch of food, some chairs, and your favorite beverages. There are tons of great picnic areas and vistas to enjoy a picnic dinner while you wait for the evening rush of traffic to leave the park. Evening fishing is also pretty good on most of our favorite fisheries.

Be a tourist.

Even if you have been in the park a million times, and you’re just on a mission to fish your favorite hatch on your preferred water, take some time to look around. Check out the visitors centers. Grab an ice cream cone. Go gawk at the Upper Falls. There’s a good reason millions of people come back to Yellowstone year after year.

Yellowstone National Park Fishing Permits available online.

Purchasing your online fishing license is now easier than ever. 

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Yellowstone

An angler could spend a lifetime of summers exploring and mastering the roadside waters of Yellowstone Park alone. Rivers like the Madison, Gallatin, Gibbon, Firehole, Lamar, and Yellowstone all have relatively easy access. And that is just a small fraction of the over 200 fishable streams and 45 fishable lakes in the Park.

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