^^^^ If you go up there, seek this man out!
Thanks, Ray, for all the recommendations! The river/creek fishing I was able to get in didn't work out too well, and the trail closures early on in the trip kept us out of Avalanche Lake (due to smoke) and Hidden Lake (due to bear activity).
Fortunately, later on, both opened up. We did an evening hike up to Avalanche Lake where I was finally able to get into some small but spirited Westslope Cutthroats that were feeding on the surface. This is a representative of the 5 or 6 that I landed before we headed back down.
Yesterday, our last day in the park, we walked down to Hidden Lake (500' up from the visitors' center, then 700' down to the lake
) I'm going to reprint an excerpt from a PM here without permission, hopefully Ray doesn't mind:
Originally Posted by Ray Zee
...if you go down to the lake you can cast from the rocks to 20 inch yellowstone cutts that cruise the shoreline. you see them coming and put any dry fly out in front of them...
I tried stuff with orange in the pattern (October caddis/stimulator types) yellow, the mosquito-colored Adams that was working at Avalanche, all to no avail. Sometimes the fish, large and small, would angle up to take a peek, then maybe even swirl around, sometimes they would ignore it entirely. It was very nerve-wracking, but also very exciting! Too bad I couldn't interest one of them in what I was selling.
On the way out, there was a family of mountain goats grazing by one of the waterfalls, perfect end to the trip.
Thanks again Ray!