Slough Creek Fly Fishing
Slough Creek flows out of the Beartooth and Absaroka wilderness of Montana and makes its way into Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park. During its approximate 25 mile journey it flows through short steep canyons and beautiful open meadows littered with bison and other wildlife, before emptying into the Lamar River. The population and size of the cutthroat trout in Slough Creek is outstanding. There is also an excellent number of rainbows and cutbows located in the lower reaches.
The creek is gentle flowing and is a prime dry fly fishery. Cutthroats of 16 plus inches are caught with good regularity on a variety of different flies and are protected with catch and release regulations. Many anglers come to Slough Creek for its beauty if not only its tremendous fishing.
Throughout much of its journey the creek flows through gentle sloping meadows and allows hikers willing to use their legs an opportunity to fish its waters. Some anglers choose to use a horse and backpack in order to access some of the more remote areas. Access to Slough Creek is somewhat limited due to the lack of roads.
Slough Creek Wagon Trail traverses the creek for its entire length in the park. The start of the trail is found by a campground located near the bottom end of the creek and follows it north for several miles.
First, Second, and Third Meadow are popular areas for anglers hike into to obtain access.
First meadow is a two mile hike, Second Meadow is a five mile hike, and Third Meadow is an eight mile hike. There is a stretch of about two miles below the campground that has easy road access. Lower Meadow is found below the campground and is where most of the rainbows are located. Many anglers who come to fish Slough Creek use one of the local outfitters for their expertise and horseback trips to the creek.
Slough creek hatches include several different types of insects. Caddis and stoneflies are very prolific along with different mayflies including Olives, Pale Morning Duns, Western Green Drakes, and Gray Drakes as well as a few others. Nymphs, scuds, and streamers also work well in some areas. Terrestrials and attractive flies like Humpy patterns and Royal Wulffs are also very effective on the less selective cutthroats.
Plan on bringing some light tippets as fouling the fish can be difficult at times when the flies are small and water levels drop. If you’re coming to the Beartooth and Absaroka range of Montana or to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, be sure to give Slough Creek a try.
The closest commercial airports are in Bozeman Montana and Cody Wyoming. Many anglers choose to fly into Bozeman because of its diverse fishing opportunities. Slough Creek is one of the finest waters located in the Yellowstone Area.