July 24, 2014

Yellowstone Update – Looking Back on a Great Adventure

It is hard to believe it but our 2014 Yellowstone Adventure has come to an end. The last 15 days have been full of great fishing, new friendships, and memories that will last a lifetime.

After our arrival in Jackson Hole, WY we waisted no time, heading strait into Yellowstone first thing the next morning. Our first stop was the Grant Village backcountry office where we picked up our fishing licenses and backcountry permits. From there we headed to our campsite on the banks of the Madison River. We spent the next day and a half learning/practicing everything from knot tying to casting while we caught fish on the Madison and Gibbon Rivers.

Stephan with a Gibbon River Brown Trout.

Stephan with a Gibbon River Brown Trout.

Keeping in mind what we had learned we headed into the backcountry for the first time the next morning. A short 3.5 mile hike brought us to our beautiful campsite literally just a stones throw from Straight Creek. Over the next three days we practiced dry fishing dry flies, nymphs, dry/droppers, and streamers as our group of ten anglers caught over 500 Fish before hiking back out to our van.

The eager Brook Trout of Straight Creek are perfect for practicing different fly fishing techniques

The eager Brook Trout of Straight Creek are perfect for practicing different fly fishing techniques

Max with one of the Yellowstone Cutthroat that fell for our foam Salmon Fly imitations.

Max with one of the Yellowstone Cutthroat that fell for our foam Salmon Fly imitations.

After some showers, laundry, and burgers in Gardiner, MT we set up camp at the Mammoth Hot Springs within walking distance of the Gardner River. Our timing was perfect! A salmon fly hatch made for 2 days of great fishing for large trout with big foam dry flies before we headed into the backcountry for the last time.

For our final backcountry our group split into two smaller squads. One group joined me as we hiked up into Slough Creek while the other group followed Tim down the Hellroaring Trail to the confluence of Hellroaring Creek and the Yellowstone River. The fishing for both groups was some of the best of the trip! If you have not yet take a second to read the full blog about that section of the trip here.

This beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat was one of the first we caught on Slough Creek. Many more followed!

This beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat was one of the first we caught on Slough Creek. Many more followed!

After exiting the backcountry for the last time we made our way back to Jackson Hole for an action packed last few days of the trip, but not before a stop at Old Faithful and some showers/laundry. Our first day back in Jackson we met up with guides from Barker Ewing for a whitewater float through the Snake River Canyon.

After our adrenaline settled back down we met with Grand Teton National Park staff for a day of giving back. Under direction of the park staff our group helped to restore a building on the “4 Lazy F” ranch within the park. The ranch sits right in the shadow of the Grand Teton on one side and on the banks of the Snake River on the other. With our help the park will use the building to house future volunteers who come to work in the park. Helping to give back to the areas we have enjoyed so much was a rewarding experience that will not soon be forgotten. Hopefully it sparks a lifelong passion for conservation in our ten young fly fishermen.

Alex painting some windows for future volunteers to enjoy.

Alex painting some windows for future volunteers to enjoy.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. Luckily for us the end of our trip includes a float fishing trip on the Snake and a banquet dinner at a local restaurant. We met our guides from World Cast Anglers at the Orvis store in Jackson Hole before putting on for a full day of floating and fishing interrupted only by a delicious stream side lunch. Everybody in the group caught beautiful fish in one of the most beautiful stretches of river imaginable. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip!

Peter and Mac with one of the many fish landed during our float with Word Cast Anglers.

Peter and Mac with one of the many fish landed during our float with Word Cast Anglers.

After we got back from the float we enjoyed one finale dinner together at Sidewinders restaurant. Over our huge meals we talked about all the great fishing and fun times we had together. It truly was the trip of a lifetime! When you get a chance take a look at all the pictures from the trip on our flickr page (500 of the 1,300 are up now. We will add the rest as soon as possible).

Thanks to everybody who helped make our first trip into Yellowstone such a great success. We are already looking forward to next year! In the mean time follow our Rocky Mountain Explorer trip as we fish the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park!

Tight Lines,

Will

 

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What is Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions?

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions specializes in teen fly fishing summer camps. Our teen fly fishing summer camps are not an ordinary lodge based kids fly fishing camps. At Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions we combine a teen adventure camp, youth fly fishing school, service learning, and community service to create our unique Teen Fly Fishing Adventure Academies. Our kids and teen fly fishing camps travel to the premier wilderness fly fishing and backcountry fly fishing locations throughout North America. Join us on an adventure of a lifetime. Become an experienced fly fisherman or woman while hiking, camping and fishing at our North Carolina Teen Fly Fishing Academy in the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains. Or explore Rocky Mountain fly fishing opportunities on one of our Colorado or Wyoming fly fishing expeditions. If you are looking for an ordinary teen summer tour, teen summer camp, or teen adventure you have come to the wrong place. If you are looking to learn new skills while on the adventure of a lifetime, try one of our youth/teen fly fishing summer camps or allow us to design a  custom adventure for your family, group, or school.