Soda Butte Creek

Soda Butte Creek is the third largest tributary to the Lamar River and a popular destination of fisherman. It gets its name from a large, mound like extinct geyser that still belches hydrogen sulfide gas. The Northeast entrance highway follows along the creek for most of its way to the Lamar River. There are two types of water. One is small stream pocket water and the other is the slow to moderate meadow stream type of water. We had planned to fish the Lamar River but rain the night before made the Lamar River unfishable. As one guide put it, “It’s so muddy you can walk across it.” We thought we would continue up to the first meadow of the Soda Butte. A lot of other fishermen had the same idea. Not to be deterred, we drove up to the Trout Lake parking spot and crossed the road. After a short hike, we were standing beside the pocket water of the Soda Butte.

soda butte pocket

Soda Butte Creek Pocket Water


Maybe because of the previous nights rain, water was flowing very fast from pool to pool around boulders. Michael Ames was able catches a few fish while picking pockets. We found a fairly large pool with a very fast current down the middle. The water on either side of the middle was actually flowing up stream. Early in the day no fish were feeding on the surface. I caught several fish with a soft hackle fishing across and down stream. Later fish started feeding on the surface. However, it was almost impossible to get a very long natural drift. As soon as the fly line hit the water, the current would tear the line down stream.

pool soda butte

Michael Ames Fishing the Soda Butte

This spring I bought a Tenkara rod from Chris Stewart also known as the Tenkara Bum. With this rod I was able to cast over the current and lift the line off the water to get long drag free drifts. I was using a Parachute Adams and caught over 30 Yellowstone Cutthroats. Here is a picture of me with my first trout caught on my Tenkara rod.

First Fish Tenkara

First Trout Caught On Tenkara Rod

Most of the trout were in the 8 to 10 inch range with a few larger. Theye all put up a good fight on the light Tenkara rod.

Larger Cutthroat Caught on Tenkara Rod

Larger Cutthroat Caught on Tenkara Rod


Lava Creek

Each day as we traveled to Tower Junction and back, we crossed a small creek at a picnic area about 4 miles east of Mammoth Hot Springs. This is Lava Creek. The creek in this section is cluttered with deadfalls. It is a fairly small creek with a rapid current many pockets and small pools. We would stop here each afternoon on our way back to Livingston, Montana. We caught Brook Trout in the 6 to 10 inch size. Although the fish were small, they fought hard and were absolutely beautiful. Follow the creek downstream and it becomes Undine Falls. There is a pull out at Undine Falls. You should stop and look at this magnificent water fall.

lava creek

Lava Creek

brook trout

Michaael Ames With Brook Trout

While we were fishing Lava Creek, several people stopped and watched us fish. One asian couple got out of their car and walked about a 100 feet through the brush to video us fishing. I guess that makes us celebrities!