The Yellowstone Park season closes at sunset this Sunday, November 1. Better get your last licks in while you can. Warm weather has replaced the recent extreme cold and should lead to good opportunities on all of our usual fall fisheries: the Madison, Firehole, Gibbon, and Gardner. Water temps are generally too cold elsewhere. Fall-run brown trout are now present in high numbers in all of the rivers I just mentioned, but they’re on the spawn hard now. Please avoid disturbing fish spawning in shallow areas and avoid wading on/near areas of clean, shallow gravel as these are redds (nests). Plenty of browns remain in the deeper pools, while rainbows and resident browns are eager to eat the eggs of the spawners in the pocket water. I (Walter) caught about 30 fish yesterday on the lower Gardner. Only two of them were fall-run browns since I never aggressively target the browns this late in the fall, but I got a bunch of nice fat rainbows like the one above on egg patterns and small jig-style stonefly nymphs.
The warm weather looks like it’ll hold all or most of next week, so there should be plenty of “second season” fishing on the Yellowstone, Madison, and other rivers outside Yellowstone Park for a while yet.