It’s the bottom of the ninth inning in the YNP fishing season, and your last chance to step up to the plate to crank a dinger. Mother Nature is calling in her closer next week with a fall storm throwing cold temps, rain, and snow over the plate, but if you can hang tough out there, and get your bat around, you just might connect with the fish of the season.
Forecasts look warm and bright through the weekend giving us all one more opportunity to head up to the Cutthroat Corner of the park, and find some dry fly fishing on Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek, or the Lamar River. Don’t be in a hurry to get on the water with morning temps dipping below freezing in the high country. This will be an afternoon, and early evening endeavor. Look for small (size #20-22) Baetis Mayflies, and sporadic Drake Mackerel Mayflies (size #12-14) to bring fish to the surface. Flying Ants are also worth a spot in your rotation.
As they have for the past week, bright skies will continue to restrict the best fishing for migratory fish in the Madison River to the early morning and late evening hours. This parlays really well with a trip up to the Cutthroat Corner. Spend the morning chasing migratory fish on the Madison on your way into the park, and give those Cutthroat time to warm up. When the sun gets high, make your way up to Slough, Lamar, or Soda Butte for some dry fly fishing during the warmest hours of the day. As the sun start to drop, head on back towards the Madison and fish a few runs on your way out of the park.
The Firehole will continue to have localized hatches of sparse Baetis mayflies on bright days, and strong hatches when the scuzzy conditions return. When fish aren’t rising, the Firehole remains one of the best rivers in the world to fish classically styled soft hackle flies on the swing. Flies like the Old Faithful Soft Hackle, and Chest Candy -Dark Hare are great patterns to swing through the Firehole’s riffles quartering down and across, waiting for that tug.
If forecasts hold true, by Monday we’ll be back in another storm cycle, and a great shot of Scuzzy weather for the last week of fishing in the Park.
As always, be Bear Aware. Carry Bear Spray, and know how to use it. Make lots of noise when you’re traveling through tight cover, and bring a buddy or two along for good measure. Specifically, there’s been a bear kicking it around Mt Haynes this week.
Enjoy these last days of the season in YNP!