The Yellowstone River continues to fish well as we move into Fall. Grasshopper patterns are still catching fish, especially later in the day as the temperatures warm. By now, the trout have seen a lot of foam, so you might want to switch it up and try a hopper pattern that floats lower in the water, like a Stalcup’s Hopper, Kingfisher’s Red-Legged Hopper, Hi-Viz Parachute Hopper, or even that old favorite, Dave’s Hopper. Tie on an ant, beetle, or Parachute Purple as a dropper and fish the tandem hard. After all, there’s likely not much hopper fishing left, with the first hard freeze around the corner.
As the hopper action cools, the streamer fishing should start to heat up. We haven’t had any reports of lights-out streamer stripping as of yet, but it’s only a matter of time. So don’t hesitate to tie on your favorite streamer and give it a try, particularly next week as the clouds and cooler weather roll in. Dead-drifting a streamer under an indicator can also be quite effective. Witness the hog brown in the photo above. Cliff Rice caught the 24″ toad yesterday on a dead-drifted Zonker with the help of guide Todd Scott. Other streamers that we like to dead drift include Sculpzilla, the Wounded Sculpin, the Mini Sculpin, and Conehead Sparkle Minnows. Color seems to be more important to the big trout than particular pattern, so if you aren’t getting any action, try something in a different shade.
No reports of fall baetis yet, but they should be starting to come off soon, both on the Yellowstone and the spring creeks. Stay tuned….
Fishing in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park has been up and down, with some great days and some tough ones thrown in. The summer crowds are thinning, so now’s the time for us locals to enjoy some relative solitude in the park. Hoppers are still the name of the game on the Lamar and Slough Creek. Green Drakes are also hatching on Slough and if you’re there at the right time, the fish will be on the big bugs. So take a few Film Critic Green Drakes with you if you’re headed up there. Attractor dries, such as the good old Royal Wulff, have also been quite effective, especially on the Lamar. And don’t forget about small streamers, if the fish aren’t looking up. On Sunday, we caught some nice cutties on the Lamar swinging and stripping Conehead Sparkle Minnows and Beldar Rubber Legs. Take your bear spray; the park’s bears are out and about, fattening up for their long winter sleep.
Here’s a bit of hopper action from Slough Creek last week, for your viewing pleasure: