Bruce Staples walks us through Yellowstone fly fishing – get more familiar with the country, backcountry, and high country fishing by digging into his books on the Yellowstone where he covered most of the significant waters.

We talk about how imitating an insect in each stream would be effective in increasing your odds of catching a big fish – plus the tips and strategies on how not to spook a fish and how to use the stream current in your favor.


Click below and listen to the Yellowstone Fly Fishing Podcast with Bruce Staples:

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(Read the Full Transcript at the Bottom of this Blog Post)


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yellowstone fly fishing

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Show Notes with Bruce Staples

03:20 – Bruce wrote his first book called, Snake River Flies and Waters, published by Frank Amato in 1992

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03:39 – Frank Amato was on the podcast at WFS 113

05:06 – Bruce wrote 6 books in total – 3 was published by Frank and 3 by Stackpole

05:43 – The book Fly Fishing the Greater Yellowstone Backcountry was published in 2017 by Stackpole

08:29 – In the book, Bruce talks about some of the water bodies like Fall River Basin, Shoshone Lake, Upper Slough Creek, and Heart Lake Basin – click here to see more

9:12 – Get more familiar with the Slough Creek in the backcountry book – how to get there, what to do when you get there, who to talk to, and the best time to fish there

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14:55 – A strategy when fishing early in the season

19:43 – The Yellow Sally as Bruce describes

yellow sally

21:24 – The Wooly Bugger is one of Bruce’s favorite flies during the early season (July) or anything that imitates a dragonfly nymph

wooly bugger

23:08 – Bruce describes his experience fishing in the Beckler River

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24:11 – The Leisenring lift explained

Yellowstone fly fishing

24:50 – James Leisenring was the guy who introduced the Leisenring technique – he was a fly fisherman who wrote books about fly fishing and one of which was The Art of Tying the Wet Fly & Fishing the Flymph

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25:52 – Bruce mentioned Harley Reno who was a doctor/biologist, guide, and a fly tying instructor – unfortunately, he passed away early this year – here’s one of his fly tying videos

31:00 – Bruce talks about fishing in the Fall River Basin 

fall river basin

35:40 – Bruce tells the story of how he met Bob Jacklin – here’s one of Bob’s fly tying video

37:38 – In his new book, Fly Fishing West Yellow Stone, Bruce talked about the history of Bob Jacklin, Craig Matthews, Bob Willy, etc.

45:23 – Bruce’s favorite wet fly is the Peacock Leech

46:10 – When it comes to streamer fishing, he particularly likes Soft Hackle

46:46 – In still waters, he uses a fly that imitates a damselfly (or a dragonfly nymph if it’s the early season)

56:54 – Bruce also talked about how to behave around the wildlife in his Backcountry book


6 Tips On Yellowstone Fly Fishing

  1. Know what the aquatic insects are in each area and use a fly pattern that imitates them
  2. Presentation overwhelms fly selection – present flies in the right manner
  3. Long cast – keep away from the banks as much as possible (at least 30 feet away where the fish can’t see you)
  4. Use the current to get a natural drift
  5. Cut banks are good
  6. Consult with a shop that has integrity with respect to the information they give out



Related Podcast Episodes

WFS 227 – Montana Fly Fishing at West Yellowstone with Justin Spence from Big Sky Anglers

WFS 190 – Green Drake Hatch with Mike Lawson – Henrys Fork Fly Fishing, Gary LaFontaine


Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below


yellowstone backcountry

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Conclusion with Bruce Staples

Bruce Staples walks us through Yellowstone fly fishing with a focus on the backcountry.  Bruce has a number of great books about the Yellowstone Country. Click the link above and listen to the full Yellowstone Podcast!

Have you been to Yellowstone or planning a trip there? Leave a comment below or send a DM on Instagram.