Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/30/08

Fly Fishing Rock Creek - Part 2

Many anglers think that Rock Creek is purely a nymph fishing stream and that the trout
want generally feed on the surface or take dry flies. I think that is probably because
several articles have been written that more or less state that. In our several trips there
at different times of the year and during several different years we have not found that
to be the case. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that Rock Creek is a top dry fly
stream. I am just saying that they seem to feed on the surface there as well as most
places.

Another reason I suppose that stuck with some is that the creek has a lot of deep
pools. Other than the normal pools that may be less than five feet deep, for example,
there are many that are much deeper. In fact, it is difficult to get a nymph down to the
bottom in many places.

I'm not suggesting that anglers should fish a dry fly when nothing is hatching. I would
tend to always use a nymph or larva imitation under the no hatch to match situation.
That said, I haven't found that the stream necessarily has any more or fewer hatches
than any other freestone stream of its type in the western Rocky Mountains. Stoneflies
are very plentiful in Rock Creek. Most of the time you will get far better results fishing a
stonefly nymph than you would an imitation of the adult but that is no different on Rock
Creek than anywhere else. I have recently posted a hatch chart on our "Perfect Fly"
website
for Rock Creek.

There is an early Skwala Stonefly hatch that occurs in March and part of April. We
have not fished the stream during that time period. The salmonfly hatch often occurs
during the runoff. It is hit or miss, mostly miss at Rock Creek. The Golden Stoneflies
are often still around after runoff and they can provide a lot of action some years. The
main stonefly attraction at rock Creek is the Yellow Sally. They hatch over a long time
at one place or another along the fifty mile creek. We have experienced some fine dry
fly trout fishing just before dark during the Yellow Sally hatch.

There is usually a very good October Caddis hatch but it occurs from about the middle
of September until the first or second week in October. In addition, Rock Creek has a
okay hatch of Green Drakes but it is usually not a huge hatch. There is the usual PMD
hatch that occurs over a long period of time along with a few other mayflies. None of
the mayflies hatch in huge numbers but they are not exactly poor hatches by any
means. I would call them equal for most any mountain freestone stream of this type.

If you choose to fish Rock Creek and I would highly recommend it to anyone, don't fail
to be on the outlook for hatches and be prepared for some dry fly action. In spite of
what you may have read otherwise, Rock Creek does have its fair share of good dry fly
fishing.
                                                                                                                Copyright 2008 James Marsh
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