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As I'm packing up the drift boat for my annual trek to Yellowstone. I thought I've been lucky enough to fish alot fo the river here in the west. Just wondering if money wasn't an object where is the one river you'd head to and what time of year would you fish it. For me I have always loved Buffalo Ford on the Yellowstone during the grey drake hatch. It's always fun to watch 9 million people try to catch those fish and be one of the only guys to actually catch any. The Lamar river in the park is quickly becoming a close second. I have always headed up to Yellowstone in August and for some reason an orange stonefly works wonderful up there. Top 5 would be the Green of course. As I continue to head up there the Madison is becoming a top 5. And Grey's reef you really can't beat either. Should be a fun topic.....



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North Platte below Alcova!More 6-10 lb bos in a weekend than anywhere.
 
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I love all those rivers!!! Too bad the Lamar has been "discovered". What a great little river!
 

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Funny story about the Lamar. 2nd time i fished it i was feeling teh big skunk when a fish came up and inhaled my orange indicator seconds later i got on on the copper john I was fishing. So I think to myself could they really be on that orange I have never fished any other fly than a big orange stonefly the last 5 times I've fished it. I did hike about 2 miles up where the river comes out of the mountains talk about willing fish I doubt those fish see more than half a dozen anglers a year truley a must fish once in your life. For me it isnt about how big the fish are more than how incredibley cool it is to hook a 16" cutthroat with 2 buffalo's fighting on the opposite bank. Got chased off the Y stone one time by a grizzley I think he was eyeing me up for lunch.


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I like the San Juan, Big Horn, Teton, Snake and the Gunni below Almont to Blue Mesa, a lot of fun to be had in that area especially when the salmon are Spawning. Although I'd take Spinney over all of them due to size.
 
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i just fished the yellowstone from 6/26 - 6/28 and the huge salmon flys were coming off - almost 5 miles or better of the river per day. they had the trout in 12,000 cfs and very dirty water excited as they can be. we drifted several different section between gardiner (above yankee jim) and 20 miles from livingston. we did 20 miles a day with no problem and it took us 6 hours a day. we were flying. we fished the edges, willows, rocks etc. nymphing with a black kaufmann stone nymph with a prince nymph or 20 incher really worked. we used an indicator and also just a sink tip link dragging the kaufmanns and the cuts, browns and bows were on them. set the hook ard though! at time, mainly where small willows were in the water, a sofa pillow of a foam salmon fly dry were hot, but mainly nymphs. small yellow sallies were hatch, big caddis and some pmds.
we also fished the fire hole, but it was almost 70 degrees - so not so good. we fished the upper madison, the gibbom, the gardner, lava creek, lamar (muddy) and dupuy's spring creek (huge pmd hatch). all in all a good trip considering the flows were high, muddy, warm or just fast.
good luk.

oh yeah, my fav western river thus far - green river below flaming gorge dam.
 
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The North Fork of the Stillaguamish in November. Steelhead,Coho, and Chinook all in the same day. Good times. At certain times of the Summer you can fish #10 Stimis for steelhead on an 8wt rod.
Warm Springs in Montana. If you have never fished this small stretch of river off I-90, I strongly recommend next time you are headed out to the Missoula area to stop there. Its right off I-90, before Drummond and Deer Lodge. There is a dirt parking lot right off the exit. Park and tie on some tiny nymphs. Get ready for HUGE bows and even bigger Browns.
And of course the Platte below Spinney in October.
 
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Forgot Rocky Ford in Eastern Wash, great sping creek. And i guess i would have to put Silver Creek in ID, too. Gosh too many to list.
 

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Out west, I love the Skagit when the salmon are in. Target the big boys on 8 or 9wt rods and heavy tips or fish a 5wt with small streamers and egg patterns for the dollies and searun cutties. . .but be ready to point your rod downstream and pray for the safety of your equipment when that 15+ lb chum sucks in the egg pattern.

Around here, the North Platte at the right place and time is unbelievable.

Man, I love rivers.

TP
 

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Fishdawg said:
Two words: Fire Hole. Epic water, good fish mid summer and scenery that makes you belive God must fish.
Oooh, Fire Hole. I went there for the first time last year:

 
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Out west, I love the Skagit when the salmon are in.Good call TP. The Skagit is a great river. Fished it plenty of times. But i have to disagree about one thing. I have hooked into some dollys in the Wallace and the Cascade that i wouldn't test my 5wt on for a million dollars(k, well maybe a mil). There are dollys in the state of Washington that rival the steelhead. Seen some pigs that buddys caught,and i have hooked into them, but the biggest i ever caught was about 24".
 

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nogooddrtytroutbum said:
But i have to disagree about one thing. I have hooked into some dollys in the Wallace and the Cascade that i wouldn't test my 5wt on for a million dollars(k, well maybe a mil). There are dollys in the state of Washington that rival the steelhead.
True, you may get spooled once in a while.  But even a 27" dolly probably won't run that far, they'll just get down deep and refuse to budge.  It's the steelhead and chum that will ruin your light gear so fast you might just sit on the bank and cry for a bit.   :eek:

TP
 

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I guess im just a North Platte kinda guy...in both Colorado and Wyoming. I guess its because ive fished it since i was a kid and it holds a lot of memories for me.

Ive never fished the Firehole, but gauging from the pictures i think it could grow on me....
 
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True TP, but anyone who fishes water where steelhead and doggies are running, targeting cutties is an idiot, especially using patterns these fish are prone to taking.Who wants to fish for cutts when there is steelies and chummers in the water. I am not trying to insult you here, but how many dollys have you caught? I have always found them a formidable gamefish. Maybe you just aren't fishing the right waters in WA. I have gotten so bored( I sound spoiled, but trust me i don't live the high life, i am a broke college student who lives by the seat of my pants flyfishing all over the west, i have spent just as many nights sleeping in the bed of my truck as i have with a roof over my head, so don't confuse me with a rich trophy hunter) fishing for steelhead that i target dollys. Even in Montana i love the occasional Bull. I have spent every winter in Bellingham since i was 17, and i love the dolly varden, just as much as i love the steelhead. And no searun fish i target would be caught on anything but an 8wt(for god sakes i am in salmon and steelhead country, why would i target cutts, thats what CO is for). And i would pay to see you too catch a big Cascade( or sky, or skoko, or snoqualmie) dolly on a five weight with 4X tippet. I have had dollys run me into backing just as fast as steelhead. I guess just one mans opinion.
 

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nogooddrtytroutbum said:
True TP, but anyone who fishes water where steelhead and doggies are running, targeting cutties is an idiot,
Ok, man. I guess me and a lot of guys I knew growing up in Western Washington were idiots. Call me nutty, I like to do the AK style fishing with egg patterns and flesh flies behind spawning salmon.

Peace,
TP
 

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I have only Fly fished the Big Thompson and the Poudre and I love both of them. This weekend I will be Fly fishing the Arkansas River from Buena Vista down. Hope to have good luck there!
 

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I havent had the chance to fly fish many rivers yet, but I had a blast for both the Ark and the South Platte.
 
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I didn't mean personally TP. And why would you be called nutty for bouncing eggs and flesh flies. Speaking of dollys, after the coho runs are over, i use a nice spun marabou flesh fly to nab up those guys. Do you really fish for cutts when the steelhead and salmon are running? I guess one can get bored with the same old same. Again wasn't personal.
 
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