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  • Tuesday, June 02, 2009

    Brief Gibbon River Report

    Part O.K.
    part goodClick image for wallpaper view
    .. One out of three aint bad. Solfaterra Creek and the Gibbon River above Virginia Cascades are bits of roaring mud stew. They are dropping, but it will be a week, (or more,) before sensible lines will be wet.
    .. There are a few fish in the grass between the cascades and the campground bridge on the Gibbon River, but the slogging demands bravery, guts, guile, and big bison avoidance.
    .. The big meadows, (Elk & Gibbon,) are just barely fishable and the hike in a wet, spongy meadow to the less turbid stretches will take legs far younger than ours. A couple of weeks more should see the catching begin in these popular destinations.
    .. Construction delays between Madison Junction and Norris Geyser Basin have already started. Thirty minute delays are the expectation: we got lucky and sailed through, (both ways,) without a stop.
    .. There are bits of water in the canyon section and around the picnic area that are O.K. for some diversionary fishing. The "I-told-you-so," crowd tried some of these on both Saturday and Sunday. Some fish on the smallish side were suckers for a buff-colored Casual Dress, (sizes 10 and 12.) We're going to wait and brave the delays in late June.
    .. The best available fishing and catching is, (surprisingly ?) between Madison Junction and the base of Gibbon Falls.
    .. The newly expanded and re-paved pullout areas are well located, for the most part. However it's still a hike to the nice big meanders where the undercut banks are holding some good fish.
    .. Between Gibbon Falls and Tuff Cliff are some fine stonefly sections. Between Tuff Cliff and Madison Junction streamers and nymphs are working well. The Little Yellow Stoneflies in sizes 10 through 14 should be in your box. Feather Duster, Montana Duster, Yellowstone Badger, and Prince Nymphs are solid choices in the meanders and undercut banks.
    .. The broad slow sections of the river near National Park Meadows were well populated with successful fishers last weekend. Novice floggers and first timers often stop to fish this seemingly perfect water. It looks very fishy.
    .. Most of the sands & silts of the whole upper river basin are dropped from the suspended load here because of the constriction at the grand loop road bridge. This annual event contributes to a moderately sterile river bed for about 3/4 of a mile. As pretty as it is, it's not as good as it looks.
    .. Happily the deposition and siltation allows some groceries to be visible in the water column, and there are more fish now than the rest of the year, (except for the transient late fall runners.)
    .. Clarity is good, (to 4',) and some fish are looking up for eatable flotsam.
    .. If you spot the rare dimple try a raggedy emerger pattern or that favorite small caddis that has somehow survived two years in the bill of your cap. Size for flotsam fishing is relatively unimportant: 4 to 14 is not out of line.
    .. The color in the water is coming primarily from suspended silts and organics, and it looks worse than it is. The "big-white-fly" test drew a strike with visibility at over four feet. We were so surprised we soiled our shorts and failed to twitch the rod at all.