Yellowstone Bound

Part Four


Late Summer
August 1 to August 31

By Bob Jacklin

The long hot summer days of August bring low-water conditions and a change in tactics for the fisherman. The upper Madison River, Firehole River, and many of our small steams are low and clear. Using Grasshoppers, Ants, Crickets and other terrestrial imitations will produce some great mid-day fishing. Through the month of August and well into September, using grasshopper imitations is challenging and rewarding. At midday, trophy-size trout will take up feeding stations near the banks of rivers and streams to inhale grasshoppers which have fallen in the water. We have our own Jacklin's Hopper with a light elk hair bullet head, sizes 8 to 10, which is easy to see and works great. Remember, late summer is prime time for all small streams. Here in Yellowstoneland, just about all rivers, streams and even rivulets have a population of wild native trout. A short walk from a roadside parking area will put you streamside and into a wild and remote setting with great scenery, wild trout, and the big sky.

Buffalo Ford

The upper and lower reaches of the Yellowstone River in the Park are still in their prime with actively feeding fish and good insect hatches. Caddis flies and Blue Wind Olives, sizes 16 and 18, work well. This time of year, I enjoy using a big Royal Wulff, size 10 or 12, just to fish the deep water. It works. Small nymphs are also very effective, I like the Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail, and the Caddis Pupa. For the first time angler, this fishery is a must!

Fishing Companions at Buffalo Ford

Starting in the high elevations of Yellowstone, and flowing north into Montana along Highway 191, the Gallatin River is a clear, cold mountain stream. Due to it's late runoff and cold temperature, the Gallatin River is most productive from mid-July through late fall. Fishing this water at midday with bright sun is most effective. Hopper imitations and large dry flies will produce even when there are no emerging insects. The Jacklin's Western Yellow Stone dry fly, size 8, and my little Olive Stone, size 10, are both every effective on the Gallatin at this time of year. The Gallatin River fulfills Webster's definition of a freestone stream, for there are lots of large rocks and boulders along the Gallatin's 40 miles of canyon water.

Sign at Hedgen Lake

An interesting fishing opportunity develops on Hebgen Lake during late July, August, and into mid-September. During this period, a prolific hatch of tiny mayflies (the Trico) occurs daily, if weather conditions are at all favorable. The sheer number of flies on the water produce an amazing rise of sizeable trout. I have caught wild browns and rainbows from 16" to 22" on small dry flies and 6X tippets during this hatch. The primary method to fish for these "Gulpers" is from a boat or float tube. Accurate casts of 30 to 60 feet are often required. A fly rod of nine feet or longer is needed. I prefer a 5- or 6-weight forward floating line and a 12- to 14-foot leader for this fishing. Float tube rentals are available at the shop. The best fly is our new "Paraspin" Trico, size 18 or 20. Usually, the morning period with calm winds is the most productive. When the hatch is on Hebgen Lake, it is readily apparent why these fish are called "Gulpers." The sound of the trout working dries on the surface is a distinctly audible "gulp." It's quite a thrill to tighten on one of these rises and have your reel sing to the power of a three-pound rainbow. These exciting fish are quaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Hebgen Lake

Stop at the shop if you'd like an experienced guide, appropriate flies, or more information on this fine still water fishing opportunity.~ 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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