.............................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 4

If you read yesterdays article, you know there are a lot of hatches that takes
place in the Gibbon River. It is mainly due to the different types of water in the
river. There is suitable habitat for a very wide variety of insects. When these
bugs hatch, catching fish is not that big of a problem. In fact, it is usually easy
and rarely requires matching the hatch, so to speak. It does require having a fly
that closely resembles the bulk of the food the trout are feeding on. What I am
saying is that I have only found a few times where the trout were being selective
on one insect in the Gibbon. Most of the time, especially in the fast water
sections, the trout feed opportunistically. That don't mean they will eat whatever
you throw at them.

You are much more prone to catch trout on imitations of insects that are most
prevalent in the stream at any one time, even though they may not be feeding
on that insect at the exclusion of all others. When Insects hatch, they become
easy prey for the trout. Naturally, if something is hatching, the trout will focus on
them more so than any and everything else. Often, anglers try to lump
everything in one of two categories - selective feeding or not. If they don't think
the trout are being selective they just use any and every attractor or generic
imitation they happen to think is their lucky fly. Looking at a hatch chart to get
an idea what should be happening then carefully observing what is happening
on the stream will result in better choices of flies. If nothing is hatching, you
should pay attention to what is about to hatch and fish imitations of the nymphal
or larval stages of that insect.

About mid summer, the Gibbon becomes more difficult to fish, especially in the
meadow sections. August can be tough. There is a lag in the activity until the
trout begin to feed on terrestrial insects. The high winds that start occurring in
the afternoons during the summer puts a lot of insects in the water. That brings
on some excellent fishing in the Gibbon as well as many other streams in the
park. It turns the meadows back on and helps improve the fast water sections in
the canyon sections.

Imitations of grass hoppers, beetles, crickets, ants and other terrestrial insects
work great starting around the first of September and continues even after the
first frost of the year. The peak of this activity is near the end of September. Of
course, as I said yesterday, these dates I am giving is for the average weather
and water level conditions. I may note too, that the actual conditions are rarely

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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