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  • Friday, May 28, 2010

    Perfect Bluster

    Fish Will Be Caught
    high: maybe 50° - damp

    .. There will be more opening day fishable water on the west side of Yellowstone National Park tomorrow than in recent memory.
    .. Mom has defied the opening day odds and kept discharge down on our west side rivers.
    [USGS FLOW DATA LINKS => Gibbon, Firehole, Madison.]
    .. There's a smattering of mayflies around and you may get lucky and bump into them. Midges are frequent but not concentrated.
    .. Caddis will probably not show. Yet, there are good opportunities for both big and little nymphs, (from stones, to yellows, to caddis.)
    .. Soft hackles will probably be the best bet for all 'round catching.
    .. Slick areas near Pocket Basin, and Goose Lake on the Firehole River may have surface action by 12:30 or 1:00 PM. The bears will be out for sure.
    .. On the trail to Lone Star Geyser there is ample opportunity to dance with enthusiastic Brook Trout. If you fish the stretch by the path be sure not to catch a cyclist with your back cast.
    .. Remember about the parking problems at Biscuit Basin and the one mile limit on Nez Perce Creek.
    .. There's a good stretch of water just above Firehole Falls near Elk Island and Dipper Cliff. The glides between the riffles in these bits of water should be full of nymphing fish and birds.
    .. Bring snacks and liquids for the wait at Gibbon Falls. The big meadows, on the Gibbon River, (Elk & Gibbon,) are wet and spongy.
    .. There are bears and poor fishing - BUT - a well drifted Woolly Bugger under the banks may bring a fish.
    .. The nymph water at the picnic area is a good bet if you can avoid the other visitors and the downfall.
    .. The little meadows near Solfaterra Creek on the Gibbon River should bring eager Brook Trout to just about any fly, (sunk or not.)
    .. The one cast water above the road to Canyon will be fine if the giant bison leave you alone.
    .. The meadows above Virginia Cascade are wet and cold and inviting. The willows haven't gotten too tall and the Brookies are hungry.
    .. The big surprise, and we're pleased about it, is the Madison River. It's not quite bank full; only slightly colored, and in places has visibility to 4'.
    .. There are bits of "park water" that are accessible from the Baker's Hole Campground. The park boundary is well marked and the deep holes in the big bends hold some nice resident fish. The riffled water in the shallows can be prospected in the afternoon for cruising fish of the submarine variety.
    .. The Barns Holes, too, are surprisingly fishable and should draw attention from serious head hunters of the giant fly variety.
    .. The usual 'summer spots' on the Madison River should provide oodles of fish for those willing to use a double fly rig with their favorite big nymphs.
    .. On the long shallow riffles next to Riverside Drive there are spots with a stray boulder and an occasional deep hole that will provide fair to good catching.
    .. Fishing, on the other hand, is always rewarding here.
    .. From Taylor Fork To Bacon Rind the Gallatin River is also in surprisingly good shape.
    .. Believe the local advice that it's too cold to fish if you choose.
    .. We don't expect this early season gift to persist. By the end of the first week in June there should be mud, frustration, and fewer places to park on the Firehole River. But for now we just might have 10 days of surprisingly good fishing in some less frequented places.
    .. All fly shops have Yellowstone fishing permits. The West Entrance Visitor Center also has the permits. Be sure to read the regulations: no lead and barbless hooks are key restrictions.
    .. AND: if you're staying at Baker's Hole Campground you might want to take advantage of the new on-line forum that the Gallatin National Forest has put on their website.
    .. Post messages, post pictures, critique camping areas, provide suggestions, and other participation opportunities exist. Check it out HERE. Are you listening NPS?