• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Saturday, June 03, 2006

    Firehole River & More

    FIREHOLE: PMD's, Baetis, Caddis;
    Gibbon Is Fishable With Big Bugs;
    Nez Perce Creek Too,

    anticipation begins!

    -- The Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park is living up to its reputation.

    <-- photo courtesy Jason Neuswanger,

    -- PMD's were finishing up when we arrived at 2:00 PM, and then the clouds rolled in with a bit of wind. A brief time was spent with some Montana Dusters and some Yellowstone Winter Grubs and then the Baetis started to hatch along with some early caddis - the birds found them too.
    -- We fished around the Nez Perce Creek confluence, and took some very nice fish to 14" with dry flies, along with many very precocious small fish. "The Bite" is still on, and both the bugs and the fish are very cooperative.
    -- A few bison were parked in the adjacent meadows, and navigation was a prime concern as we wandered the bank. Fishing was mostly relaxed and conversational as we chatted with the neighbors, and a couple of visitors.
    -- There was no anxiety about catching, and we probed both the banks and the feeding seams. As the thin Baetis hatch petered out we went back to nymphs, and discussed the possibilities of visiting the Gibbon River.
    -- We piled in the car and headed down to the confluence area at National Park Meadows, and surveyed the lower Gibbon River as we watched some eagles overhead. The river is back within it's banks, the meadows are drying out, and we decided to try the "old burned out picnic area" just below Gibbon Falls.
    -- Around the corner, up the road, and then, try to find a safe place to park. The spoil pile from the road construction is huge, and has raised the area 5 - 10 feet. The picnic area is no longer with us.
    -- There were birds fluttering around but no apparent hatches. We searched with Royal Humpy's and Montana Dusters, then switched to the Winter Grub, and had success with a couple of nice Rainbows. It finally sunk in! There were big bugs in the water.
    -- With the early warming, and the high water moving the bottom around, and the quick recession, and the long photo period --- --- Salmon Fly Nymphs were in the mix. The upper meadows will have to wait!

    -- We dragged out our experiments from the winter and tossed them in the water, (attached to a tippet - of course,) and the frenzy was on!
    -- Cast to the riffles, cast to the pools, cast to the pockets, cast to the runs, probe the banks, drift the seams, -- it did not seem to matter. There were fish everywhere.
    -- We look for the hatch to begin early Monday or Tuesday, or toward mid-week, (or later if the weather turns cold quickly.) There are groceries in the water, and the fish have started to gather them in. As soon as the bugs start to crawl toward the banks the Gibbon River will come alive with fish.

    -- We expect, (unfounded angler wish,) that the Firehole Canyon, and the stretch below the falls has the same thing going on. We'll find out this afternoon or Sunday.

    -- All the flies shown here took fish, (with mashed down barbs,) they have no names, some are two-off experiments. We hope to get back during the week to chase the fish, if not, there is still today and tomorrow.

    Probably no posting for a couple of days. Priorities, -- don'tchaknow!