THE FLY FISHING CHRONICLES OF YELLOWSTONE (part 7)
|Part 6 can be found here|
Slough Creek is one of the most popular stream found in the Northeast section of Yellowstone National Park many anglers travel to Slough Creek to hike upstream to the first, second or third meadows of this famous fishery. The Creek is about twenty five miles in length and was named in 1867 by a group of prospectors who upon enter the lower end of the valley described the river as a slough; the name stuck and began to appear on early maps in 1872. Slough Creek is a very rich and mildly alkali river with excellent hatches.
Slough Creek wanders through some of the most scenic country in the world and offers the visiting angler some of the finest fishing found in the northern end of Yellowstone National park. The headwaters of Slough Creek are high in the rugged Beartooth Mountain Range in Montana. The creek flows in a generally southern direction until it joins with the Lamar River. Besides the excellent fishing offered by the creek, visitors will also have the chance of viewing many forms of wildlife. Approximately 16 miles of Slough Creek runs through the Park and it is this section which we will be covering. For the purpose of better understanding Slough Creek I will break it down into three sections.
CAMPGROUND TO THE LAMAR RIVER
This section of the creek is my favorite and offers the widest variety of insect life for the trout and the greatest challenge for the angler. The trout population in this section of the creek is a mix of rainbow, cutthroat and hybrids (rainbow‑cutthroat cross). During late June and on through July and August there are several hatches. As the water levels drop, lower Slough Creek becomes tougher and tougher as the trout become very selective and wary.
This section of the creek holds the largest trout, some exceeding 20 inches. Fishing lower Slough Creek will give you a different insight as to how selective and finicky cutthroat trout can be.
To reach the First Meadow take the trail head located by the campground. It's approximately a 45 minute walk. The first part of the trail is somewhat steep, but after that it levels out and it's not too bad of a hike. This section of the creek rates second behind the Yellowstone River at Buffalo Ford in angler success. The trout in the First Meadow will average 12 to 15 inches. Besides the hatches, this section of the creek has some excellent terrestrial fishing during August and September. You don't really need anything more than a pair of lightweight hip boots to fish this section of the creek. This section fishes well throughout the summer, however I must warn you that this is the most popular section of the creek and seldom will you find yourself alone.
SECOND MEADOW & BEYOND
From the trail head to the Second Meadow is approximately a three hour hike. Here the stream is smaller and you see fewer people. Lately this section has become a favorite with those who want to hike in, fish, spend the night then hike out the next day. The trout in the Second Meadow can, at times, be difficult. Approach and presentation are the keys to angler success. A stay at the Second Meadow is most rewarding as it is truly one of the prettiest areas in the Park.
Now, they tell me that there is more of Slough Creek beyond the Second Meadows, and there may well be, however, I am into fishing not hiking and anything beyond three hours (one way) starts to look like work and fails to excite or interest me. Actually, the Third Meadows are best reached by horseback. The fishing is good and the scenery is breathtaking.
However I must warn you that this is Grizzly Bear Country and therefore you should never go fishing without a whistle and Bear Pepper Spray and if you are hiking in to camp be sure to check with the Back Country Office and obey all of the rules. It is also advisable not to hike in bear country alone. A Grizzly Bear is nothing to mess around with so enjoy your fishing and be safe!
Enjoy & Good Fishin
HATCH CHART HI-LITES
Golden Stones Sizes - 6‑10 June 20 to July 10
Yellow Sally Sizes 14‑16 July 10 to August 20
Little Green Stone Sizes 16-18 July 20 to August 20
Little Brown Stone Sizes 16-18 July 20 to August 20
Little Black Quill Sizes 12‑14 June 15 to July 10
Gray Drake Sizes 12‑14 June 15 to July 15
Green Drake Sizes 10‑12 June 20 to July 10
Fall Drakes Sizes 12-14 Sept. 1 to October 15
Callibaetis Sizes 14‑16 June 10 to July 20
Pale Morning Duns Sizes 14‑18 June 25 to July 25
Sulfurs Sizes 18‑22 June 23 to July 25
Mahogany Duns Sizes 14‑16 August 1 to August 30
Blue Wing Olive Sizes 18‑22 Sept. 1 to October 5
Tan Caddis Sizes 12-16 June 10 to July 30
Spotted Sedge Sizes 14‑18 July 1 to August 15
Black Caddis Sizes 16‑20 July 15 to August 20
Midges Sizes 16‑26 June 20 to October 31
Blue Damsels Size 14 June 15 to August 1
Hoppers Sizes 6‑12 July 10 to October 15
Black Ants Sizes 20‑22 June 15 to October 15
Red & Black Ants Sizes 14‑18 July 25 to October 15
Black Beetles Sizes 14‑18 June 20 to September 20
Crickets Sizes 10-14 July 10 to October 20
There are also many scuds, aquatic worms, leeches and other assorted nymphs which are available to the trout on Slough Creek.
|Part 8 can be found here|