With falling flows and angler pressure, fishing has slowed a bit on Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar River. But it’s still one of the best locations in the world to catch nice-sized cutthroat trout on dry flies. You just need to think outside of the hopper box. Yes, grasshopper patterns will catch fish on the Lamar. But you might have more luck with smaller attractor dries and terrestrials (think ants and beetles).
Paul Weamer and I fished in the Lamar Valley on Thursday and did reasonably well with small (size 16) attractor dries. Besides the flies mentioned in the video below, you might try a Parachute Madam X, a Fat Albert, a small Stimulator, or the like. If things aren’t happening on top, you could also abandon dries altogether and tie on a smallish streamer. We’ve had good luck with size 6 Sparkle Minnows and Beldar Rubber Legs in various colors. Run your streamer through the deep pools, as well as the choppy water at the head of the pools. Yes, cutthroat trout will readily eat streamers as well as dries.
Take your bear spray, just in case. And give the Lamar Valley’s many bison a wide berth. All cutthroat must be released, barbs must be pinched, and no lead weight is allowed in Yellowstone National Park. Fish the Lamar River soon, as water levels are getting pretty low.
Stop by Sweetwater Fly Shop on your way to Yellowstone National Park. We’d be happy to give you some help with fly patterns and strategies. And if you’d like to experience the spectacular Lamar Valley with the assistance of an experienced guide, just give us a call here at the shop (406-222-9393). It’s unlike anywhere you’ve fished before, and certainly worth the drive. After all, where else in the world can you fish with a soundtrack of grunting pre-rut bison in the background?
Check out the video below for some footage and advice on fishing the Lamar River:0