.............................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.
Fly Fishing the Upper Madison - Part 3
There are a lot of different hatches on the Madison River. A look at our Madison River hatch charts bears this out. Many of them are short lived and some only occur in isolated locations on the river. Weather and water conditions can vary the dates I give as much as a month. However, most likely the dates will be very close if the weather is normal and the year has an average amount of rain and snow melt. However, average in the elevations and locations of Yellowstone National Park is taken from wide ranging variables.
These are some comments on the hatches we have observed there. A salmon fly hatch can occur about the middle of June in the Firehole Canyon but it is very short lived and not that reliable. You may also find them where ever there are riffles and fast pocket water. We have only been there to try it during June on two different occasions and have not done that well at all. On the other hand, I have talked to many anglers that have caught the hatch right before, so I am certainly not saying that you should ignore it.
Anywhere from mid to late June, extending through the month of July, hatches of Golden Stoneflies occur in the fast water sections of the Madison River. They too, tend to be isolated and don't last that long in any one location. We have done well fishing this hatch on several occasions.
Yellow Sally stoneflies also start hatching in July. These can be excellent. We have done will fishing this hatch many times.
Hatches of Blue-winged Olives will usually start when the season opens but you may not be able to fish them until as late as the second week of June. The water may not clear until then. This hatch is very prolific and usually very productive if you fish it correctly.
Also, about the middle to the end of June, the PMDs, or Pale Morning Duns, will start to hatch. This hatch usually occurs in the late morning but it can last on into the afternoon if the weather is heavily overcast, with light rain or snow. It too, is very prolific on the Madison River.
Gray Drakes also hatch in good quantities from about late June until the first of July. The best part of this hatch is the spinner fall which usually occurs in the mornings. It can be great if you are in the place at the right time. Just remember, the water often gets too warm for good fishing in the Madison River in the park by the first to second week of July. So timing is very important.
There are more hatches that are important, including the caddisflies, which may be the most important hatches on the Madison. I will get into those tomorrow.