.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

02/03/09

I am calling this series Yellowstone Journals and Additional Information. It is a collection of a
rambling mixture of experiences on the streams with some notes, tips and additional
information thrown in. Some of this comes from my video tape logs (record of video shot)
and  notes made on my daily note books.

Gibbon River - Part 1

One of our favorite streams in Yellowstone National Park is not one of the most
popular streams although parts of it, mostly the meadow sections at certain time
of the year, is fished regularly. The stream varies from slow to moderate moving
water in sandy bottom pools to fast pocket water, even cascades. You could
also include the Gibbon Falls, but that isn't quite fishable. The bottom line is the
Gibbons has a lot of different types of water.

One reason we like it is the fact it is almost never crowded and it is simply fun to
fish. Of course we fish the Yellowstone, Madison, Firehole, Lamar, Gallatin and
other more popular streams too and we like them very much. The Gibbons just
takes us away from the popular areas, especially when they are crowded, into a
world of our own. All in all, we don't catch that many large fish. Sometimes we do
in the meadow sections but in most other areas of the river the fish are
generally small. They probably average between 8 and 12 inches but there is
always that 16 inch fish and even larger ones to be caught. I am not considering
the fall run up fish from Hebgen Lake.

Back to the types of water, each of these different types of water and areas
contain fish of different species and sizes. I will start near the headwaters and
tell you about some of our experiences along the way and how we go about
fishing the different areas.

We have not fished the uppermost section starting at Grebe Lake. I don't really
know why. I understand the lake provides good fishing and even has a
population of grayling. I have caught my share in Alaska and for some reason
the grayling don't turn me on that much. The lower sections of the river also has
a few grayling, so I am told, but out of several hundred, maybe even more that
we have caught in the Gibbon, we have not caught the first grayling. There have
been times that we have taken as many as fifty trout fishing one at a time and
not even the complete day on the Gibbon. It can provide some very fast action
at certain times of the year.

The first area we have spent any time in is the first major meadow section called
the Virginia Meadows. There is a lot of pocket water upstream of there that we
have never fished. The fish in the Virginia Meadows are mostly brook trout. We
have caught a very few small brown trout near the lower part of the meadows.
The stream is loaded with brook trout. We have caught as many as thirty or forty
in three or four hours. Fishing for them is rather easy. We usually just walk in an
upstream direction fishing from the bank (the stream isn't that wide) and fish in
and upstream direction. You don't need to match any hatch. The little eager
brook trout will take almost any small attractor fly. We usually use one of our
size 18 "Perfect Fly" Blue-winged Olive duns or emerging duns but that is just
what we happen to use. I'll pick back up here tomorrow.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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