Of Wolves & Fishermen

September 26, 2017

There may be no issue in the western United States that inflames passions like that of wolves. Interestingly, trout streams and anglers have benefited from the return of the wolf to Yellowstone National Park.


Elk, aspen, willows, wolves, beavers, trout-- from uplands to coldwater streams, the role of one influences the many in ecosystems in which wolves roam (or have been exterminated).  One of the ecological arguments for returning wolves to Yellowstone National Park, which finally took place in the mid-1990's, was based on returning balance to the ecosystem as ballooning elk herds decimated aspen and willows in the park.  When we follow the ecological connections from willows to stream (as all anglers must), it's likely that trout and their habitat suffered in the absence of wolves from the ecosystem.


When we talk about trout conservation it feels almost counter-intuitive to include the role of predators in that discussion.  This is exactly why I spent an entire chapter in Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters specifically painting the ecological picture of how predators like wolves and grizzly bears both impact trout streams and are impacted by replacing native trout with wild, non-native trout.  Both of these circumstances have direct and indirect impacts on anglers and their quarry.



The Yellowstone River from Fishing Bridge

in Yellowstone National Park

Interested in how the wolves and grizzly bears of Yellowstone impact trout and fly fishing? Then grab a copy of Wyoming Mountains & Home-waters: Family, Fly Fishing, and Conservation, available in print and on Kindle.



I hope you enjoy the book and this blog!

Until next time,

Cheers & tight lines,




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