• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, May 28, 2007

    Do Not Pass "GO" !

    It's Already Mid June

    .. On opening morning we fished not a whit. We toured the Firehole River, Nez Perce Creek, Madison River, and Gibbon River drainage's. We stopped and talked to to the fisher folk and watched the many visitors fishing. We surveyed the flies and the fish and the bugs.
    .. Every place that looked fishy had a fisher. There were lawn chairs, exotic license plates, waders galore; and the deep hazing efforts by the Montana Department of Livestock had put bison back in all the meadows.
    .. Along Fountain Flat Drive, (the Freight Road,) the bison and fishers and gawkers made for slow going but it was manageable. The Summer has started about three weeks early this year. The fish are looking up - directly into the eyes of record numbers of fly fishers.
    .. The Madison River is high and clear; just a bit of color is showing and there is excellent fishing with large nymphs, small nymphs, Caddis, and PMD's.
    .. There is good streamer and nymph action at the Barns Holes and below. Both Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout are holding in the deep holes, behind large rocks, and under the banks. Many of the rises that you see in mid-stream will be Mountain Whitefish. These natives have fared well during the last few mild winters and some are as large as 18". Caddis nymphs, (12 - 18,) floated on the surface will bring many fish to net.
    .. The long riffle and run sections along Riverside Drive are producing 12" - 19" Brown Trout on streamers and Stone Fly Nymphs. There are many small fish in the 7" - 12" range and they are rising freely to Elk Hair Caddis and and the Yellowstone Morning Glory.
    .. Below the surface is where the fast action is. Try a Montana Duster, Feather Duster, or Yellowstone Badger. Size does not seem to be critical - anything from about size 6 to size 16 seems to be working right now. Fishers at 9-mile hole, the Talus Slope, and in National Park Meadows report good catch rates on Yellowstone Sally's, and Yellowstone Winter Grub. It looks like the "Big Bug Hatch" will be early this year too.
    .. The Gibbon River is clear and still holds some large fish below the falls. These holdovers are concentrated in the last 1-1/2 miles of meadow section and are moving downstream. The heavy flow rates normal for this time of year have not materialized and they are still feeding in the clear sandy meander channels. These are wary fish and the undercut banks are the place to find them.
    .. There is already some Stone Fly action in the canyon sections. No bugs flying around but the golden and yellow nymph imitations are producing fish in the deep glides and swirling plunge pools.
    .. The upper meadows are still just a bit soggy for tromping long distances. Some fish are being taken on small midge imitations and small caddis nymphs. There were no reported hatches of any significance in these meadows yet. The thin water around the camp ground and Solfaterra Creek are full of eager Brook Trout. The One Cast Meanders have these Brookies too. We're going back to this section to start our Grayling Quest this week.
    .. The Firehole River is the current 'hot spot' for both fishers and visitors enjoying the park. The short stretch of river below Firehole Falls still holds a few large fish. They will probably be gone by the time you get here - or may stay in the deep holes and undercuts if the Stone Fly action picks up soon.
    .. From Elk Island, just above the falls, to the confluence with Nez Perce Creek, the riffles are fishing excellent with Feather Dusters, Montana Dusters, and Prince Nymphs. The Bead Head Hare's Ear and Yellowstone Badger in sizes 8 - 12 are also dredging up some good fish in the 10" - 14" range.
    .. The area around Ojo Caliente, Pocket Basin, and the confluence with Nez Perce Creek is showing some hatches of PMD's and small mid-day caddis.
    .. Baetis were reported along the parking lot stretch, and up the First 1/2 mile of Nez Perce Creek as well. The picnic area right at the confluence was a genuine jungle on opening morning. There was a good hatch of PMD's and Baetis, (despite the lack of clouds,) and both fishers and picnickers were enjoying the action.
    .. Although catching slowed just a bit during mid day, there was still plenty of action with soft hackle imitations and nymphs - sizes 12 - 16 seemed to be the consensus.
    .. The bison are all over the river in the sections around Ojo Caliente and even up to the first meadows on Nez Perce Creek. These are especially dangerous this time of year with the new born calves froliking around and their mothers watching them.
    .. Be sure to remember that bison injure more visitors than any other animal in Yellowstone each year.
    (Continued Tomorrow)