Tom Evenson and I spent Tuesday night at Hubbard’s Yellowstone Lodge, which was pretty cool for me: it was the first time I’d stayed there since I was a guide at Hubbard’s in 1994. As you can see from the photo below, the view from the lodge is nothing short of spectacular, looking northward up Paradise Valley along the meandering Yellowstone River.
In the morning, we hooked up with head guide Eben Schaefer (with whom I worked back in the day) for a trip into Yellowstone National Park. After we parked the truck, we walked down a steep ravine wall and crossed the river on a cool suspension bridge. When we got to Eben’s favorite starting spot, he handed me a Bullethead Golden Stonefly, a dry-fly pattern that I used all day.
This was classic pocketwater, and we all started picking up fish immediately, as we leapfrogged each other upstream. The fish were right where you expected them to be: in buckets behind rocks, along fastwater seams, and at the downstream ends of plunge pools. It was surprising how many rainbows we hooked in quite fast water.
Where the river braided, we each took a channel and met up at the top of the braids, where we compared notes. Tom had switched to a foam hopper and Eben a Stimulator, but they’d continued to have as good luck as I was enjoying with my golden stonefly. It was about as perfect a fly-fishing morning as one could ask for, and we topped it off with lunch atop a ridge overlooking the water we’d just fished.