Yellowstone Expedition Final Update

Dear parents and friends,

It has been non stop action since our last update. Fishing, backpacking, service, and more fishing!

With our bags packed for the backcountry, we left Mammoth early in order to hit the trail before the heat of the day. The hike into Slough creek wasn’t too bad, especially after we made it over the first big hill. We got to our backcountry site around lunch time. After lunch, some of the group headed down to the creek while some people hung out at camp and napped. The low water provided some great sight fishing for large cutthroat on a combination of dry flies and nymphs. After a couple hours of fishing we headed back to camp for some delicious chicken quesadillas. A thunder storm put a damper on the evening fishing but we went to bed knowing we had two more full days on slough creek. In the morning we quickly broke camp and moved to another campsite a mile further upstream. We immediately found success and caught one of the biggest fish of the backcountry trip. Once we had fished a while we headed back to camp for an early dinner. By eating an early dinner we were able to get back on the water with plenty of time for the evening hatch. We fished to rising fish until dark then we headed back to camp and warmed up by the fire. Our third day proved to be the best of the backcountry trip. We had the creek pretty much to ourselves that day and the fish were eating. For dinner we had backcountry thanksgiving to commemorate our last night in the backcountry. Then we headed out for an evening of fishing. Again we found plenty of rising fish just like the night before. The next morning we packed up camp and hiked out to a front country campsite on lower Sough creek. With our front country camp set up, we went to take showers at the nearby Roosevelt lodge. For the next two days we fished all around our camp. Including the lower meadow of Slough, the Slough creek canyon, and the Buffalo Fork. We caught a ton fish and did our part in conservation by removing any non native rainbow trout we caught. Rainbow trout in the Lamar river drainage threaten one of the best remaining Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout fisheries. Once we left front country Slough creek we returned to the Upper Yellowstone river for another chance at trophy cutthroat. By the time we arrived it had become cool and rainy. We hoped this would help the fishing. Sure enough after an hour or so we hooked into a large cutthroat on a dry fly. After a long fight we had the biggest cutthroat of the summer in the net. For dinner we cooked a hearty meal of chicken pesto pasta right on the banks of the river. After dinner we fished without much luck but watched a herd of 50+ elk feed along the river. The next day was our last day in the park. We finished our time in the park fishing the Snake river, right where we started. We found the fishing just as good as the first time. From there we headed back to Jackson, where we grabbed some pizzas for dinner. The next morning we woke up early to drive over to Driggs, Idaho for our service project. We met up with The Friends of the Teton River to help with a stream bank restoration project. Our job was to collect willows that will then be replanted along Teton creek. Everyone was excited to help and worked very hard. We were able to exceed our goal for the day by collecting over 350 willows. With our service project over we rewarded the group with delicious huckleberry milk shakes. Today we woke up early again to for the float trip. On the way out of our campground we passed by a herd of 7 moose. We then dropped the campers off with their guides to go float the South Fork of the Snake River. Everyone had a great time on the float. Plenty of fish were caught including some really nice fish. Tonight we are heading back to Jackson. First we’ll go to the rec center pool and showers before we go to our banquet dinner. Tomorrow we’ll head to the airport early in morning. This has been a great trip and it has really seemed to fly by!  Over and out.

Pat & Connor

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

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Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204