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Trip out west

Joined:
2008/7/31 11:22
From Southeast Pa.
Posts: 127
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Hi all,
I am trying to plan a trip out west this summer with a good friend, to do some fly fishing. He is in the beginner to maybe intermediate stage. Not that I'm an expert by any means. I want this to be one for the books, Bucket list kind of stuff ! So my question is , if you were planning a trip out to the western U.S to fly fish the month of August(looking like the last 2 weeks) do to work restraints. Where would you go, I was in Montana in 1990 and fly fished the Madison, Yellowstone and Gallitan. I am currently looking at the Snake River, but am open to all your knowedge. As well as stories from the best places you have fished out there, and times of year.
Many Thanks in Advance,
Don

Posted on: 3/14 12:25


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
12/30 9:42
From Western Maryland
Posts: 15
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If you don't mind hiking try Slough creek in Yellowstone. I could spend 2 months fishing anything in Yellowstone. I fished Slough the 2 week of august 2 years ago and it was amazing. Caught to many cutts to count (20 plus Inches)on big hoppers. The beginning of the second meadow had trout lined up head to tail for maybe 50 yards you just had to fish right up the line. I only had two days to fIsh on that trIp and I fell In love wIth slough creek.You do have to watch where you go in Yellowstone when I went the fire hole and gibbons were closed due to water temp.

Posted on: 3/14 12:55


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2011/8/16 7:41
From Tyrone
Posts: 211
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I would also recommend Yellowstone

Posted on: 3/14 13:05


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2765
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Snake as in Henrys fork? I saw a show where they floated and were smashing giants on nymphs / streamers from the boat. I'd go to the ranch and pull my hair out from constant refusals.

Posted on: 3/14 13:13
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Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7536
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Snake River is a good choice, and it's cheeper to get to, rent cars, and accommodations. Especially if you fly into Idaho Falls. I'd stay away from the western side of Yellowstone, 1 because you've been there and 2 tourists.
If you go to the Snake R. don't over look the Henry's Fork. It's got big bows and Cutts. Cutts are above Henry's Fork Lake, bows are below.
Keep in mind there are NZ Muds snails and didymo out there pretty bad both in the part and outside the park, all I can say is frequent the Fly Shops, they all have equipment cleaning tubs. Above all else have fun.

Posted on: 3/14 13:50
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Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2006/9/12 0:23
Posts: 298
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I have had a couple memorable trips out west in recent years, for the books as you say. I am also looking to book a trip for this Sept. As good as I've done on previous trips. There is so many place to fish it's hard to go back to the same places. I'm looking at places on the S. Fork of the Snake with a side trip to the Teton River. I Almost picked the Henry’s Fork and The Ranch.

Check out 4 Rivers Fishing Co. in Twin Bridges MT, these are great guys that put in the work to get you lots and big fish every day. They fish the Big Hole, Jefferson, Beaverhead, Ruby (these 4 are within a couple miles of town) plus the Madison if you want to drive a little extra (I did not see the need to do that because the fishing at the 1st 3 was too good to leave). Can't go wrong with any of those rivers, at least 1, probably all, will be fishing well. I almost decided to go here this fall.

The Big Horn River is always a great place and has numbers and size. International Angler in PGH has trip packages. They've been doing that for years.

Another great fishing spot that is a little under the radar is the North Platte River in WY. I've been going there the past 2 Aprils and will be there again in 3 weeks. One of the few places I go back to, at this point. Check out Red Butte Ranch if you want to go there.

The previously mentioned places are all great places too; as are a ton more out west. I had great trips in CO, ID panhandle, Eastern OR, Glacier Park MT

Decide on what kind of trip you want and don't try and do too much, as in, fish too many places, too far away from 1 another. I tried that 1 year and spent too much time traveling and figuring out how to fish new water instead of catching fish. I had fun, caught a lot of fish and big ones and saw some great country, but I always felt rushed and could not just sit back and take it all in.
Also decide on if you're doing a do it yourself or a guided trip; float in a boat, walk-in or pack it in by foot or horse; these are all available and great ways to fish.

I like to use guide, if you can afford it. They allow you to get more quality fishing time in, they row the boat, have the proper gear/flies and have their finger on the pulse of the fishing activity in the area. Just keep an open mind and do and fish how YOU want, this trip is for your pleasure.
Good luck and let us know how your trip turns out.

Good luck and have fun planning the trip. For me, this is half the fun.

Posted on: 3/14 14:27


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13363
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I spent a summer in Idaho Falls. The Henry's Fork was nice but it's only slow and full of persnickety fish at the Railroad Ranch/Last Chance. That's the famous area so everyone pictures it as what the Henry's Fork is all about. But it's a small portion of the stream and much of the rest of it has very different character. Often big and brawling.

My favorite area was around the mouth of Warm River, where currents were moderate (not Railroad Ranch slow, but not Box Canyon fast), and it was somewhat wadable (still couldn't really cross, but could wade and fish). Mostly bows, some of em stocked as fingerlings. But plenty of wild ones as well, and a few browns here and there.

I fished Yellowstone and it was nice. But frankly, my favorite area was central Idaho. Towns of Challis, Stanley, Sunbeam, etc. i.e. skirting the edges of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. It's the upper Salmon River drainage, and the bigger streams are it's main branches, like the Middle Fork. But there were a myriad of medium and small streams too, you had anything you wanted in the middle of a vast wilderness. We didn't go more than a few miles from dirt roads and such, so our access to the real wilderness was limited, and we mostly stuck to campgrounds and the like for lodging. But the entire area is still an adventure with some great fishing.

Posted on: 3/14 15:09


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2008/7/31 11:22
From Southeast Pa.
Posts: 127
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Sorry,
I did forget to mention that it will be a guided trip. I love to wade fish, and have never did a guide or a drift boat. I figured, from what I have been reading. Is that you can pull over and do some wading during the float. And have some lunch during the full day trips,stream side would be awesome. When I went back in 90 , I didn't get a guide. And me and my girlfriend at the time caught plenty of fish. And soaked it all in , so to speak. That trip was also very low budget,and also sight seeing. This trip will be pure fishing, we have talked about it for years. We have 3 solid days to fish, and want at least 1 to drink. The drinking day will most likely be the last day as we just do a half day drift ! Then we can sit back over a cocktail and talk about all the fish we caught ! (Hopefully) I am currently looking into guides and lodges. I am open to hotels and or cabin rentals ect. The south fork of the snake is standing out ! I also like all of your suggestions also.
Thanks again,
Don

Posted on: 3/14 16:12


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2007/7/2 19:40
Posts: 15133
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30 years in Bozeman MT. --- so I will tell you like it is and you decide to ignore or not.
The fishing REALLY picks up AFTER the first two or three frosts.That will be right after labor day in the high country and mid to late Sept. down in the valleys.The visiting fireman types will tell you to ignore this and you can catch lots of feeesh during the dog days of august.You can but they will be run of the mills so if you are looking for a shot at trophies[4 pd. plus]-go in Mid Sept to mid October.
Up until late Oct.. the best fishing will be when the sun is off the water.That means dusk to dawn or hopefully overcast moody days when its spitting snow and rain.Very few on this forum have had the pleasure of catching a day like that during the hot month so they won't understand how truly awesome fishing can be in the western part of Montana.
Yellowstone park-right after labor day.
Yellowstone river in paradise valley or further down,Missouri river-from Toston down to Great falls.-last week sept.,first two weeks of Oct..
Many people who try to catch the spawning run of browns make the mistake of not starting to fish until the suns up-when that happens the big ones drop back into deep holds or under shelving rocks…back to dink fishing.
Don't buy into the stripping streamers bit-get them down where the big,wise,lazy ladies are.

Posted on: 3/14 18:24
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Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2007/7/3 21:22
Posts: 237
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I'll second the recommendation for 4 Rivers Fly Fishing out of Twin Bridges. I've been going out West for the last few summers but last year was the first time I went there. Fished the Beaverhead for a couple of days and all I can say is that it was awesome - big strong fish and lots of them mostly browns with a few rainbows thrown in.

The other place I'd recommend is North Fork Anglers out of Cody, Wyoming. It's been consistently great fishing for big cutties, browns, rainbows and cutbows.

With the snow pack they have this year (knock wood) it could be at its best.

One caution is that you may be tempted to hit it all and spend too much time driving.

Good luck.

Posted on: 3/14 18:50


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2011/9/24 16:37
From Clearfield
Posts: 183
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Montana Anglers have a link on this site. I fished with them 4 years ago now. Got me back into obsessing over fly fishing. Ask for Matt Morris if he is still around, his stories are worth it, although I am sure all of their guys are good.

There is absolutely nothing negative I could say about them.

Posted on: 3/15 8:48


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 734
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I spent a couple of weeks out that way in 2012 and did a TON of research before I left. A lot of the information I gathered came from two friends who lived out that way and worked several summers as guides.

I would recommend the South Fork of the Snake in the canyon, that section is a great float. I fished it in 2012 with World Cast Anglers. World Cast is one of the best outfitters I ever fished with. They have locations in Jackson and in Victor ID (near the South fork of the snake).

I suggest a few days in the Jackson hole area. Float the South Fork and/or the Snake River around Jackson and wade fish the tribs to the Snake (Flat Creek in the Nat. Elk Refuge, Gros Ventre River and Hoback River). Then drive north and spend a few days in the NE corner of Yellowstone fishing Slough Creek, the Lamar River, and Soda Butte Creek.

You can fish anywhere in SE Idaho and Western Wyoming from Jackson Hole. There are plenty of fisherman friendly places to stay and fly shops in Jackson and a lot of good restaurants and bars. Check out the Snake River Brewing Co. for some good food and craft beer. If you want to stay in Yellowstone NP, book soon as the summer time books up well in advance of the summer. There are a few places to get a warm meal and a drink in Yellowstone and you can rent a cabin there. The gateway towns of Yellowstone will have places to stay, fly shops, bars, restaurants and just about anything else a visitor to the park may need. If you are fishing on your own anywhere in that area get a can of bear spray (not just in YNP). If you have questions or want more specific advise PM me.

Posted on: 3/15 10:10


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5457
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Oregon, green drakes on the metolius... or Idaho for big stone fly's on the upper salmon river in Stanley

Posted on: 3/15 10:33
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Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2008/7/31 11:22
From Southeast Pa.
Posts: 127
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I really have my work cut out for me, all of your suggestions are awesome places to fish ! I have been watching YouTube videos of the places mentioned above. And now wish that I could fish them all ! The north platte looks interesting (huge rainbows) from the one video I watched. I also checked out most of the outfitters mentioned. I don't mind hiking, and I would like to fish slough creek. Not sure how my buddy will like it, he is more of a charter boat guy. And I am more of a surf caster type. But he could be up for it, will have to discuss. Unfortunately we have to do this trip in the mid to late august time frame, due to work and family constraints.
Thanks again,
Don

Posted on: 3/16 9:32


Re: Trip out west

Joined:
2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
Posts: 618
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I`ve fished the Missoula Mont area many times with a guide, highly recommend it, float the clark 10 -12 mile trip only see one or two other boats, you have the bitterroot, and rock crk close by... .. I recommend this guide service...www.classicjourneyoutfitters.com

Posted on: 3/16 9:57
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