There’s still time! The Yellowstone National Park season ends Sunday November 3 at sunset. Here’s where you should be fishing in Yellowstone at the end of the season. Everywhere worth fishing has geyser inputs, due to the recent extremely cold and snowy weather, and most areas have fall-run brown trout. Beware active spawning trout in shallow, gravelly areas. Instead fish the deep, bouldery slots.
Be sure to dress warm. Here’s the forecast for Gardiner. The weekend looks to have the best weather.
The Firehole is where you should be fishing in Yellowstone at the end of the season if you want a decent shot at solid hatches. Temperatures are unlikely to get out of the 30s by the end of the season, but you may encounter Baetis (BWO) hatches in the afternoons. Fish Upbeat Baetis in #20 if you do see risers. Otherwise, the best bet is to fish big nymphs and streamers below the falls for fall-run browns and rainbows.
The Madison inside YNP is where most anglers are fishing in Yellowstone at the end of the season, for good reason. This is the river with the strongest run of fall browns. Fish stonefly nymphs, large attractor nymphs, egg patterns, and streamers. This will be the most crowded area for the end of the season, so be patient and follow the etiquette: start at the top of a run, work your way down one step between each cast, back out, go back to the top, and do it again.
Lower Gibbon River
The Lower Gibbon is a great place for fishing at the end of the season if you want a shot at Madison browns without the crowds. Because the stretch of the Gibbon below Gibbon Falls is rough, it’s best fished with nymphs and eggs except in the largest runs. The crowds but also fish numbers will be lower closer to the falls.
Lower Gardner River
The Gardner below Boiling River is the best choice for fishing in Yellowstone at the end of the season near Gardiner. While the flatter stretches can produce some big browns as well as scattered BWO hatches, the rough water fishes well too. Except during hatches, use stonefly nymphs, egg patterns, attractor nymphs in the #12-16 range, and in the few flat areas medium-sized Woolly Buggers. Beware of stepping on shallow gravel as fish will be spawning in almost all of these areas. One errant step might kill hundreds of eggs.