Yellowstone National Park banned felt wading boots for the 2018 fishing season, which begins in late May over the holiday weekend. The ban is a response to the continued spread of Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) such as dydimo, whirling disease, zebra mussels and New Zealand mud snails – just to name a few. While these ANS have do not have a foothold in Park waters the ban is an effort to slow or prevent the possible spread.
Anglers fishing in Montana, the Park, and their own home waters should always practice of Clean, Drain, Dry.
- Clean all plants, animals, mud, sand, and other debris from your boat, anchor, boots, and equipment. Use high-pressure, hot (120-140F) water if possible.
- Drain all water from your boat including the motor, bilge, livewell, and other compartments before you arrive. Leave drain plugs out during transport. Do not dump water or organisms from one water body into another.
- Dry all compartments and equipment in the sun for five days. Watch a video that demonstrates this process.
- For more detailed information please visit the Invasive Species Action Network.
What should you do?
First, don’t panic several states and agencies have banned felt from their waters since 2007. However, this hasn’t proven to be an effective technique to battle ANS. However, we do recommend you practice Clean, Drain, Dry with your gear.
Second, if you plan on fishing the waters of Yellowstone National Park; such as Soda Butte Creek, Slough Creek, Lamar River, Yellowstone River, Madison River, Firehole, Gibbon and the like should plan on having rubber soled wading boots. If you don’t want to spend money on extra or different wading boots you can certainly rent them from local fly shops. We have talked to several fly shop owners and managers and they plan to have more non-felt boots on hand, but with the high demand they could be hard to come by. While talking with Park officials recently, they plan on enforcing these new rules through warnings and tickets if needed. All anglers that will be fishing with Montana Fly Fishing Guides’ staff will be required to have non-felt boots on the guided trips entering Yellowstone Park.
If you have specific questions or concerns please feel free to contact us directly.