Six Favorite Flies For Western YNP – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Six Favorite Flies For Western YNP

This time of year is always pretty special for a lot of us around here. One of the most exciting things about this season can be fishing all the various rivers and streams around the West Entrance of Yellowstone Park.

Because of all the thermal activity in this area the rivers become fairly unproductive durring the mid summer months. Once we start getting some cooler temps and shorter days in mid September or so, this area really turns on again. A number of opportunities suddenly come into play again. Some of the better choices are things like chasing large spawning Brown Trout on the Madison, catching an epic BWO hatch on the Firehole River, landing a couple of large Rainbows below the Gibbon Falls on a big Caddis or just fishing an otherwise packed house on your favorite stretch of the Gallatin in the Park.

We wanted to give a short list of some favorite flies in that area. Not that these are the end all or be all of fly patterns that work well, just a good place to start if you don’t want to get skunked.

The first pattern is for those of you that just want the possibility of catching your largest trout ever. The Articulated Sparkle Minnow has everything you can ask for in a giant streamer. Large and articulated for plenty of action, a little weight so a sink line isn’t always needed, sparkle, materials that don’t hold a ton of water for easy casting, and we all know that brown and yellow just pisses off spawning Brown Trout. This is one of the better flies for first light on the Madison.

The next few patterns can work anywhere this time of year but work especially well on the Firehole. The Parachute Baetis and Pink CDC Emerger or “Gay Baetis”, fished in a size 18 or 20 can catch a ton of fish when the hatch gets going, even when the fish get extra picky. If nothing seems to be hatching or it’s a little windy, swinging the Brown Soft Hackle around will usually work just fine.

The last two patterns are my favorite on the Gibbon and Gallatin. Both of these rivers have a large population of “October Caddis” so a size 10 or 12 Orange Stimulator can be a great match, fun to fish, and get a bunch of attention. The JJ’s Special is another fly that’s fun on this size of water. This pattern works well when fished aggresively or dead drifted under an indicator.

These flies are no surprise to a lot you, but there might be a couple you just didn’t think of. We have all these patterns in stock right now so give them a try next time your heading to the Park.