Yellowstone Bound

Part Five

September 1 to September 20th

By Bob Jacklin

The chill mornings and early sunsets of September signal the beginning of fall. Because of the cooler conditions in the high country at this time of year, much of the insect activity is focused during the middle of the day. Small mayflies and some caddis can hatch on the Firehole, Madiso, Henry's Fork and many of our smaller streams. In most cases, these hatches will be short, lasting for an hour or two. Mayfly and caddis imitations work best in small sizes. Little Black Caddis and Blue Wing Olive, sizes 16 and 18 and even 20, are the primary flies for dry fly fishing in the fall. Using large dry flies such as the Royal Wulff, Goofus Bug, and Jacklin Hopper will produce exciting action when fished over the fast, shallow riffles on most of our waters at this time of year. Trout of all sizes will hold and feed in these fast, oxygenated portions of the streams. Look for fast, shallow riffles and fish upstream with your large dry flies, covering as much water as you can.

Hebgen Lake

The "Gulper" fishing on Hebgen Lake is still productive. Hatches of small Trico Mayflies occur during the morning hours when the sun warms the water. Late morning and into mid-day can see a good hatch of Callibates mayflies on Hebgen. Our new Callibates "Para Spin", sizes 14 and 16, will bring these big rainbows and browns to the surface.

Success on the Upper Yellowstone

The Upper Yellowstone River may still yield some Black Spotted Cutthroats. Using small Blue Wing Olives, sizes 16, 18, and 20, will tempt this now cagey trout. This time of year a hatch of large may flies could occur, if so, you're in for a treat. Have some Adams and Gray Wulff patters, size 14, just in case. These trout will feed heavily and accept your offering without question.

Buffalo Ford

About the middle of September the brown trout in Hebgen Lake will have started their annual spawning run. Fishermen from all over the country long for an opportunity to fish for these migrating spawners. The average size spawner is from two to three pounds with an occasional 4 - to 5 - pound fish. I prefer to fish with a Cortland Intermediate line. I cast downstream and across, with a medium to fast retrieve. The Platte River, Light Spruce, and the Mickey Finn streamers are my favorites, sizes 4 and 6. My little South Branch Chub streamer, size 8, or the Soft Hackle flies, sizes 12 and 14, will also work well in the early fall.~ Bob Jacklin

More On Yellowstone Park

Reservation Links for Yellowstone Country!
Spring Season: Late May to June 20th
Summer Season! June 20 to August 1
Late Summer: August 1 to August 31
Early Fall: September 1 to September 20th
Late Fall: September 20th to October 31st
Slough Creek Pack Trip

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