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


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  2

The Norris meadow is not very different from the Virginia meadow section in
terms of fish except that you may find a few browns there. It is still brook trout
water. Downstream of Norris, the river makes a half circle around the Norris
Geyser Basin. This is another area of the river we have not fished.

Below Norris Geyser Basin is Elk Park, the next large meadow area. It is easy to
access from the Grand Loop Road. The fish in this section changes to mostly
brown trout. You will find that you must fish this section completely different from
the upper two meadows. You can't simply toss an attractor fly out and catch
trout. The brown trout in this meadow, as well as the ones in the Gibbons
Meadow farther downstream, are not easy to catch.

These two meandering meadow sections, and the one at the end of the Gibbon
River near its confluence with the Firehole River, are much wider. They probably
average from twenty to forty feet in width. One side of the stream will be shallow,
using consisting of sand bars, and the other side deep right up against the
undercut banks. The area against the undercut banks can be two or three feet
deeper than the water that is just five or six feet out from the bank. In other
words, the deepest water areas is not very wide. It will slope from the shallow
side to the deep side at a fairly even slope. The banks are grassy and no trees
are present along the stream.

My "
Small Stream Brown Trout" DVD has a scene in it where I hook a large
brown and it goes under the bank. I follow it into the deep water wading and try
to reach under the undercut bank to get it out. I found out the area under the
bank went back much farther than I thought. I couldn't reach the brown trout. It
ended up breaking my tippet. That is not easy to take after you have fought the
fish and watched it swim back and forth across the river in the clear water for a
few minutes. You know you have a big fish and you try to do everything you can
to keep it from doing just what it did - go under the bank. That brown was at
least 18 inches, probably larger than that.

There is only three ways I have found to fish these three large meadows. One is
to fish from the undercut bank side, from the bank, and make fairly long cast
against the undercut banks. The second way is to fish the short riffles between
the long sections of pools which usually results in small fish. The third way is to
fish a hatch. Fishing a hatch offers the best opportunity to catch trout in these

The aquatic insects in the meadow sections vary in terms of species from those
in the fast water sections and include some burrowing mayflies. I will discuss
some of the hatches we have successfully fished in the meadows tomorrow.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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