By Nick Toller - February 2020
I’m a little bit late with this article, but Martin Luther King weekend was a great time to be in West Yellowstone! The good weather, good snow conditions, and pretty good fishing were the making of an awesome couple days outside.
Saturday morning my Dad, my brother and I fired up the snowmobiles and took a ride up to Two Top Mountain just outside West Yellowstone. The sun was out, it wasn’t too cold, and we had a good time pulling over to mess around in the meadows on the way up the trail. Once we got near the top we started to get socked in, and before you know it was tough to see anything up there. We’re talking not being able to see more than 50 yards in front of the sleds. Luckily, we found the trail and were back into town in no time.
The next day was a little different story. My dad and brother got up and went riding again, I decided to sleep in/bum around and watch some football before heading out to fish the Upper Madison River for a few hours in the afternoon. I got to Raynolds Bridge and was on the water around 2:30 pm. The weather down in the valley could not have been nicer. The truck thermometer read 36, it was sunny with hardly any wind at all! I was hoping to find some fish rising to midges, and while there were a few bugs out, no heads were poking up in a couple of pools I checked out.
Started fishing with a dry-dropper set up with a #16 purple cripple up top with a #18 olive hares ear underneath. I searched around with that combo for a bit, working some of the slower moving spots closer to the bank, and picked up a couple of fish on the nymph dropper. Then switched over to a double nymph indicator rig and focused on faster water out towards the middle of the river. #16 olive biot Czech followed by a #18 black zebra midge seemed to do the trick. I fished around for a little longer and headed home to catch the less than exciting NFC champ game.
If you ever visit West Yellowstone during the winter months, make sure to check the weather down in the valley. It may be worth it to pack your fishing gear and sneak down to the Madison River for a few hours of winter fly fishing!
Nick is from Ogden, Utah but has been coming to West Yellowstone each year from the time he was 2 years old. Nick has enjoyed spending countless days in both summer and winter exploring beautiful YNP and the surrounding areas. After taking a guided trip with MRO when he was young, he was "hooked." After graduating college in 2016 Nick decided to apply for a job at MRO and the rest is history. Nick enjoys meeting new people and sharing his knowledge of the outdoors and fly fishing.
Nick guided me up along the Madison near Three Dollar Bridge. I was impressed by his knowledge and his patience with me, as I am a more novice fly fisherman.
I have had the opportunity to fish with Nick T at MRO a few times. This guy really knows what he’s doing and is eager to share his knowledge of all the local rivers of the Yellowstone area. I will definitely be a return customer to MRO with Nick T as my guide!
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