Insects and other foods the trout
should be eating:
1. Slate Drakes
2. Little Yellow Stoneflies (Summer Stones)
3. Needle Stoneflies
4. Mahogany Duns
5. Little Yellow Quills
Most available - Other types of food:
6. Sculpin, Minnows (Streamers)
7. Inch Worms
Fishing Tales - Cutthroat Trout Stupidity
I guess you would call this a strange fishing tale. It's probably a complaint more than a
tale but I'm writing it because I'm upset at the Native Fish Conservation Plan
Yellowstone National Park has undertaken. I'm not by myself. Most anglers agree with
me but I'm sure they can prove otherwise with their BS data.
Angie and I have made a dozen trips to Yellowstone National Park, fishing as long as
two months on each of two of those occasions and never less than three weeks on
any one of them. During those trips, in total, we have managed to fish in the park
every single day of the season and of course, most days of the season, more than
once. We have fished all the major streams and 90 percent of all the small streams in
the park. We produced a four hour long instructional DVD on fly fishing Yellowstone
National Park that has sold over 3,000 copies. Because most of the local guides fish
more outside the park in rivers like the Madison, Henrys Fork, Shoshone, Yellowstone
River and others, there have been a few years we probably fished in the park more
than most of the local guides. That's because they make more money using their drift
boats which cannot be used inside the park.
Although we haven't fished for cutthroat trout near as much as browns and rainbows in
the park, we have caught several hundred of them. We do enjoy fishing for them. The
very first year we fished Yellowstone park, we noticed anglers were complaining about
the low catches of cutthroat in the upper Yellowstone from below the lake to the falls.
Never-the-less, we were able to catch few nice ones a day. Only on one occasion
have we been able to catch over thirty in that area in one day and that was about ten
years ago. Most of the time, it was far less. The last time we fished the upper
Yellowstone below the lake, we spend almost an entire day and caught three
cutthroat. You see, lake trout in Yellowstone Lake have destroyed the cutthroat fishery.
Nowadays, all the little tributary streams around the lake that once has spawning
cutthroat either have none, or very few. Not only is the fishing a tenth of what it once
was, it is affecting all the animals that have always relied on the spawning cutthroat for
food. This includes the bears, for example.
In short, for the last dozen or more years, fishing in the upper Yellowstone River that
was once "the" thing to do, is now just about a waste of time. Most anglers have simply
quit fishing it. Fishing is much better about anywhere else in the park.
On one trip to the Lamar River, I video taped Angie catching 36 cutthroat in less than
5 hours, most of which were about 16 inches long. That happened after I had already
caught about a dozen near the same spot before she started fishing.
We have had days on the upper part of Soda Butte Creek with even higher numbers
but the fish were smaller. We have had forty to fifty fish days in the Soda Butte
Meadows with larger trout. We have had days close to that kind of success on Slough
Creek. We have had days in the lower part of the Yellowstone River - the lower part of
Yellowstone Canyon and the Black canyon areas with numbers in that same range.
With all the success we have had with the cutthroat fishing in Yellowstone, except for
the upper section below the lake, we still would much prefer to fish for the rainbows
and browns and consequently, we have spent most of our time in the park fishing for
non-native species. Neither rainbows or browns are native there.
One of my favorite small streams is the Gallatin River. You probably wouldn't believe
the numbers of fish we have caught there, mostly cutbows. One of our favorite things
to do when fishing the Gallatin in the park was to stop and spend a few minutes to an
hour or two on the Grayling River. We were always able to catch trout, mostly cutbows,
about as fast as you can cast, land and release them. We have caught twenty trout
there in an hour more than once. That won't happen again. The park has
poisoned it. It is a very long stream that runs outside of the park into Hebgen Lake.
As far as I know, there are no barriers between the poisoned area and the lake. They
are doing this to try to re-establish West-slope Cutthroat. It is a huge undertaking that
has destroyed the fishing in Graying Creek.
There are several other parts to the stupid fish conservation plan. They plan on
poisoning the upper Gibbon River above the Falls, one of my favorite streams that we
have caught a few hundred trout from. They intend to try, and I stress try, because I
would bet good money the plan will be a total failure, to re-establish cutthroat
Well, I'll shut up with my fishing tale. It won't do any good anyway. Apparently, some of
the head dudes in charge of Yellowstone National Park are either on crack, bi-polar,
or maybe they just want to increase the size of their department and paychecks.
Meantime, their efforts for the past few years to remove the lake trout from
Yellowstone Lake have at best, only been able to keep the population of lake trout
about the same. In other words, what should be the most important fish
conservation project they have, has been a total failure.
Someone in the United States Government chain or command needs to do some butt
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
New Schedule of Daily
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Conditions Forecast - Coming Week
Tuesdays: Fly Fishing Strategies -
Which Flies To Use - Coming Week
Wednesday: Fishing Tales
Thursday: Smoky Mountains Fishing
Friday: Getting Started
Saturday: Fly Fishing School
Sunday: This Week's Featured Trout
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I didn't measure this one but I know it was over 30 inches. If you look at the large size of my
hands in person, I'm sure you would agree. I did measure the lower one. It was just over 18
inches. The top fish is from the upper Yellowstone River below the lake --11 years ago. Try
catching one like it now. The reason you probably can't, is the park's big shots in charge of
things can't handle the real crisis drastically affecting the native Yellowstone cutthroat
population in the heart of the park. They want to restore everything else to its native species.
They have plans to re-establish native trout where there has never been any native trout.
The real plan is to waste the tax payers money and to destroy some more of the
fishing opportunities the park has to offer.