Slough Creek Pack Trip - August 2015

Where: Slough Creek - Yellowstone National Park
When: August 14-17, 2015
Who: Tim Beardsley, Outfitter - Adventures Outfitting along with 8 guests: 4 Dads and their 11 yr old children
Best Gear: 3, 4, & 5wt rods, Patagonia Sweet Pack Vest, Simms Wading Sandals, YETI Hopper (for the beer), Scott Radian 9’ 4wt rod. SA
Best Fly Patterns: #12 Morrish Hopper, #14 Cinnamon Para-Ant, #16 Black Yaeger’s 409, #14 Grey Drake Spinner, #16 Quigley’s Crippled PMD Emerger

Trout Stalkers recently teamed up with our good friend Tim Beardsley, Owner of Adventures Outfitting, to host a 4 day horse-pack fishing trip into the upper reaches of Slough Creek in Yellowstone National Park. Slough Creek embodies the very best of the Yellowstone Park, and it’s remote backcountry.

Everything was great. The weather, the camp, the cooking, the company thefood and of course, the FISHING~! Tim and his crew did an excellent job at running the trip from start to finish. Everything was solid: well planned, and well executed. 

We started out by meeting at the trailhead around 9am on Day 1. Tim took a quick inventory of our gear and his head Wrangler Jeff started packing the Mule team. Meanwhile the second wrangler, Tom fitted everyone on their saddle horses. And in no time at all we were on our way up the trail on the 8 mile ride into our designated campsite in the 3rd meadow.

The ride up to the 3rd meadow is pretty easy. There is a little elevation change right at the start and a couple of times during the trip in. But it is a relatively easy ride. No big mountain passes to cross or anything like that. We arrived at camp after about a 3 hour trip. Excited to cast a line, we all changed out of our riding shoes and into our wading shoes and struck out for the river. All of the Slough Creek designated campsites are located on higher ground away from the river, so it was about a 10 minute walk down to the creek from our camp.

Slough Creek is inhabited by Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, and the average size is an impressive 15-17”. These are some absolutely beautiful fish, and they are notoriously gullible and susceptible to being caught on well-presented dry flies. Naturally, being mid-August we went straight to the Terrestrial box, and stayed with it for most of the trip. Hoppers, Ants and Beetles certainly produced most of our fish over the 4 days of fishing. However, some success also came from a variety of small dropper nymphs and mayfly dries: most notably, the #18 Yellow Psycho Prince and the Grey Drake Spinner. 

Day 2 brought a stiff south wind of about 15-20 mph for most of the day. Although this is a less than ideal condition for fly fishing it seemed to really enhance the interest in our terrestrial patterns. When you were able to get the fly to the fish, they were coming up for them. Collectively, we did miss a whole lot of fish on this trip though. A combination of nudges, refusals, early and late hook sets were to blame. But that may just be the nature of late summer Cutthroat fishing on Slough Creek.


Day 3 brought cooler and calmer conditions and the Trout were not as enthusiastic or easy as the previous 2 days. Nevertheless, a good time was had by all and many fish ultimately came to hand as the afternoon warmed up. 

We rose early on our last day to make sure we got a few hours of fishing in before the 3 hour ride out. We all savored the morning and many managed to catch one last fish before the return to civilization.

All in all, this was a wonderful backcountry fishing trip that I would recommend to anyone who likes adventure and dry fly fishing for bigCuttys. Call or E-mail us for more information. 406-682-5150