Friday, April 1, 2011

Yellowstone Grand Slam

Here in Livingston, we finally got over with long, cold, snowy, & windy winter. Spring days are settling in. Yet we still know snow can fall on us in April........ Today, I went out fishing with Link who made friends with through my blog (I thank everyone who drops by my stupid blog all the time). Link has been suggesting me his favorite spots along Upper Yellowstone and I have been eager to get out. Our schedules and weather finally worked!! NO WIND in Livingston area!! Unbelievable!! Link knows a lot about Upper Yellowstone and that side of Yellowstone Park waters. We talked a lot about rivers, spots, seasons, flies, etc. I might as well keep them secret as I'm trying to be a fishing guide in the area. We were expecting early season baetis and midge hatches to fish with dry-flies. At one of Link's favorite spots, we saw baetis in the air and took several with our dry-flies. They were all native Yellowstone Cutthroat. As you all know the population of Yellowstone Cutty is endangered due to Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake and hybrid with rainbow all along the river. But in this upper stretch of Yellowstone, there are still lots of pure cutties to keep our hope. Regardless of its size, I love every cutty on my dry-flies. Baetis patterns worked for me are; ICU baetis,

Baetis Foam Nymph,

and Baetis Soft-Hackle. Especially the one that broke my 6X tippet with this soft-hackle seemed a fair size cutty. I often use 6X tippet during baetis time and keep in mind to slip-strike. But the excitement oftentimes makes me set the hook harder, which causes tippet-breaks.

All of above are for sale in my sales catalogue so if you are interested, just give me a jingle.

I can't emphasize the diversity of Yellowstone River, either in the Park or Montana section, as it's the longest free running river without any dams. This section just below the town of Gardiner is a very good free-stone and pocket-water run, like Madison. Link was working on a spot ahead of me.

It was cloudy and quiet in the morning without any gusts but the day turned out to be very sunny and warm in the afternoon, up to 60F. It was a very good day to go outside but we had to see it was not quite expecting for baetis and midge hatches to fish with dry-flies. We switched into nymphs and streamers. I caught a so-so rainbow on a Rubber Leg.

I saw lots of midges on water but somehow rises were very sparse, which seemed done by little ones.

After all the fishing with scuds and midge larva at Bighorn, today I expected and pushed myself into some amounts of dry-fly fishing, regardless of catches or trout sizes.

Link caught a so-so brown (we didn't take a picture or two).

And we both caught whitefish whether we liked or not (obviously no pictures).

So between two, we managed "Yellowstone Grand Slam" = catch bow, cutty, brown, & whitie.

Right now we are simply enjoying the end of harsh winter. And then we still have about a month before the famous Yellowstone's run-off will start. Right now Yellowstone is offering all kinds of fishing; dry-fly for midges & baetis, nymphs, and streamers.

By the time run-off hits the river, I will be breeding cows all through Montana. Then again, we all expect well-known Mother's Day Caddis hatch and spring streamer bites in this mixed time of the season. And our feelings and expectations will be mixed as well........

Thank you, Link, for a great day!!


  1. I really like those patterns!! Great blog! You got a new follower

  2. Thanks for the comment.
    Since you are a fly-fisher in Nevada, have you fished Pyramid Lake, Walker River, Carson River, and others? I used to live and worked in Smith Valley but didn't have much time to fish around.......
    Of course now I'm happy to live and fish in Montana, but I'd like to hear about fishing in Nevada.

  3. I had fun Shatoshi! Thanks for putting up with me for a day. Hopefully next time we go we can see some more dry-fly action and both get a grand slam! See you below the green boxes.

  4. Hi Link,
    Thanks again for showing me around. Yeah I'd expect some more dry-fly actions for baetis & midge before run-off. And we'll see Mother's Day Caddis. Keep me updated the water level and clarity.