Note: This is the third of four posts on my trip to Wyoming. Over 4 days we fished the Lower Shoshone, Upper Shoshone, Greybull, and Clark’s Fork rivers. If you missed them, here are links to Part One and Part Two.
Our third day was probably the most adventurous. We went offroad to find native Yellowstone cutthroat in the Greybull River. This spot was recommended to me by the Wyoming DEP, and it was by far my favorite river of the entire trip.
If you are unfamiliar with the Greybull, it is a tributary of the Big Horn, approximately 90 miles long. It runs through some of the most remote backcountry in the Greater Yellowstone area. The river was reportedly named for a white buffalo that had been seen on its banks. It is somewhat famous for supporting the best genetically pure population left of Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
We started with a two-hour drive to the town of Meeteetse (pop 370), followed by a 20-mile drive down a winding dirt road, terminating at the Jack Creek trailhead inside the Shoshone National Forest.
Upon arriving we found a small campground with a handful of sites, equipment needed to feed horses and metal bear boxes to protect campers’ food. One of our first sightings was three fully loaded pack mules headed into the brush.
At the trailhead, the Greybull is a small river. Mostly pocket water, crystal clear, and as we soon found out, loaded with native cutthroats. And while there are some riverstone islands to fish from, the area where we began wading was lined with willows on either side, several feet thick. Another barrier to easy access.
Again I took the bear spray. If it was going to be used, this would be the day. Luckily that was not the case, although we did hear some rattlesnakes.
My first native Yellowstone cutthroat was probably all of 8″, but we caught fish twice that size.
This was one of my better ones, caught in one of the few long pools we encountered.
We stuck with the hopper/dropper setup from the day before, but later in the day switched to dry flies. All were effective.
While the Greybull is not easy to reach nor easy to wade, we were rewarded with hungry cutthroats and beautiful scenery.