Eye of the Guide


Tom Travis - Jul 15, 2013

Sysadmin Note
Part 8 can be found here

From the Fishing Journal Of Tom Travis, October 9th, 2008
Trip to the Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park with Paul Gates

1 AM, Just finished tying a few flies for the trip to the Firehole, in the morning. The temperature at present time is 29, but it promises to be colder in the morning. September and Early October has provided excellent weather and I am not yet ready for the cold and snows of winter.

6 AM, the temperature is 21 degrees and that is chilly. There go the gardens. Snow is predicted to begin today and continue on through to Sunday night with some area's expected to receive up to 48 inches. In October 2005 we had a similar storm hit the area, by not with anywhere near four feet of snow.


Driving to the Firehole River the air temperatures varied between 20 and 28 degrees. Upon arriving at the Old Iron Bridge it was 25 degrees and calm!  The water temperature on the river varied between 56 to 60 degrees bases on where you placed the thermometer. We arrived at 9:30 AM; Paul was first on the water. By 10:45 he had only one trout to a nymph and neither of us had seen many trout! 


11 AM, we move to Fountain Flats, stopping halfway between the picnic area and the parking area at the end of the road. As we got there the Baetis started to emerge. There were also a few emerging midges, a fair number of small yellow/tan crane fly adults, also a few black caddis and a reasonable number of creamy white aquatic moths. Soon both Paul and I were into the trout. Paul was using a #18 Baetis Dun and #18 Baetis Emerger.

I used several different patterns with success. #16 Black CDC Caddis, Parachute Adams, #18 Spent Adams, and a Pair of Soft hackles, a BWO SH & Tan SH. The trout (Rainbows and Brown's) were eagerly rising and snow was softly falling. Then the calm was shattered by the icy fingers of ENE wind that began to blow around 6 mph. The wind was also beginning to gust which made the fishing on Flats, less than enjoyable. During the gusts it was impossible to cast upstream to the rising trout. But still we figured that we had terrorized all the trout we could in that section and decided to move upstream.


We moved up to Midway, above the bridge where the water from the one geyser runs into the Firehole. Hell, it is right along the road and normally it would not be my first choice. However, did I mention that we had only seen three other anglers. Must be the weather that was keeping people from fishing! We began fishing the Midway section around 12:45 PM and fished until 4 PM. Here, there was Baetis and more Baetis. Paul stay with the same rig he was using and I switched to a #18 Pale Baetis Sparkle Dun. The high bank protected us from the wind, and through the steam of the geysers and the falling snow we had our way with those trout.

We caught more browns than rainbows in this section and few brown's around 13 inches and one that was 14½, along with the smaller ones. Towards the end of the hatch I got tired of trying to find the Little Sparkle Dun so I switched to a #16 Parachute Irresistible and trailed a #16 Pale Olive Soft Hackle on a 20" dropper. Still they ate it, which was great because seeing that Parachute was a lot easier than seeing that Sparkle Dun.

At 4:30 PM we decided to move down to Madison Junction and finish out the day. But all in all it was a perfect late season day on the Firehole.

Enjoy & Good Fishin'

Sysadmin Note
Part 10 can be found here


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