|.............................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 3
When the season first opens, the Gibbons may still be high and off color. It is
normally around the middle of June before it clear up completely. I have not
fished the Virginia meadow or the Norris meadows during that period of time. We
have fished the Gibbons and Elk Park meadows early in the season. This is one
of the best times to fish either of them as well as the pocket water sections.
Keep in mind, that the dates I am giving are based on a normal year weather
wise and a normal snow pack. Variations in either can make a huge difference in
the dates. The season begins with the Blue-winged Olives still hatching. Around
the first of June, the PMDs may start to hatch and become important. These two
mayflies, mainly the BWOs are the prime ones to focus on during the first couple
of weeks in June. By mid June the Green Drakes should begin to hatch. About
the same time the Brown Drakes start to hatch in the meadow sections. They
are not present in the fast water sections. They are not that important until very
late in the day. They start hatching near dark and continue into the darkness.
The spinners fall about the same time and continue on into the darkness.
Nymphs of the burrowing Brown Drakes will work starting late in the day. During
the bright part of the day they are in their burrowers. The main mayfly in the
meadows is the PMDs. They will be hatching along with an occasional
Blue-winged Olive hatch. The Green Drakes is important, of course, but is not
heavy in the meadows. It also occurs in other sections of the Gibbon.
During the early season, the Little Black Caddis, called the Mother's Day hatch,
or American Grannons will probably be hatching when the season starts and
last for almost a month depending on the section. They do not hatch in the
meadows. The last week of June should start the Little Sister Caddis and about
the same time, usually a week or so latter, the all important Spotted Sedges
begin to show up. Both of these two caddisflies will hatch on into the middle of
August. The first of July, the Green Sedges will start to hatch. They are usually
isolated into the faster water sections but there are several species of them and
they last the entire season depending on the species and section of the
By the end of July, the fishing in the Meadow sections begins to slow down and
during August it can be a difficult place to catch a trout. The first of July will start
the Golden stonefly hatch in the fast water sections and by the middle of the
month, the Yellow Sallys will start. Mid July will start two more mayfly hatches, the
Pink Ladies and the Flavs or Small Western Green Drakes. About the same time
you will start to see the March Browns appear in the fast water sections. By the
first of September all of the mayflies are gone but the Blue-winged Olives will
begin to appear for the second part of their hatch. They will last until the season
ends. The Long-horn Sedges and Little Brown Caddis will also become
important in mid July. The Long-horn sedges will only last about two weeks. The
Little Browns will be around for about a month. The terrestrials will become very
important in the meadow sections the first of July until almost to the end of the
season. I'll get into these tomorrow.
Copyright 2009 James Marsh