I finally found a parking spot at one of the trailhead areas. While everyone else parking there headed up the mountain, I went to the creek. What I found was amazing.
I fished about a mile of the creek without ever seeing another living soul even though I could hear cars going by on the road above me. No one else was in sight, but fish were everywhere.
Gear for the trip consisted of a 5 wt TFO Pro series rod. If you can only take one rod with you, a 5 wt seemed about perfect for fishing YNP. I was also using one of TFO’s new fly lines. This summer is the first chance that I’ve had to spend time fishing one of these lines and I liked it a lot, especially for a $40 line.
I was also using a William Joseph “Coastal” backpack for the first time. I bought it on clearance because I didn’t have a pack that I could strap a rod to easily and this one was on sale for a cheap price. When I received it, I was disappointed. It has metal frame that makes it bulky to transport and it was a bit of a pain to carry on an airplane. However, this pack is by far the most COMFORTABLE pack that I have ever worn. I used to backpack and have worn a few packs before, so I don’t make this claim lightly. I usually take my pack off when I get to the water, but I kept this one on and wore it as I worked my way upstream. It is not perfect, but it is a comfortable pack.
Look Mom bear spray!
The hot flies were all dry flies, with a Card’s Cicada and a Korn’s Spent Caddis catching the most fish. Here’s a picture of what is left of the spent caddis fly. It is chewed up, but it continued to catch fish. I took this picture because this was the ONLY fly of this type that I had and I wanted to know what it was. I have never seen any species of fish attack any fly as aggressively as they were hitting this fly. It was definitely the hot fly of the day. Before being mauled, this pattern has a couple of small feathers laid flat on the back of the fly similar to a moth. It floats low in the water.
Every fish caught that day was a Yellowstone Cutthroat and all of them were caught on dry flies. It was a fun day. Here a couple of them. (Yes, I know, it was out of character for me to actually photograph a fish, but these are pretty fish.)
Here’s the sad news. Starting Monday, in an effort to eradicate the non-native Brook trout from Soda Butte, they plan to remove ALL fish from this creek. The Yellowstone Cutts will be removed using electroshock and then the entire creek will be poisoned. The Cutts will be released back into the creek at some point. The reason is to help the endangered Yellowstone Cutthroat trout in the creek. I hope it works and the creek recovers, because it was an incredible fishery this summer.
You can’t talk about Yellowstone, without at least one shot of Mammoth Hot Springs.
Saturday, we loaded the car and started the two day drive home…