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

03/21/09

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.

Fly Fishing Grayling Creek

We have probably fished Grayling Creek thirty times. We have probably never
spent over an hour fishing Grayling Creek. It is just one of those streams that is
hard for us to pass by without fishing. We know we are not likely to catch any
monsters in Grayling. It is rare to catch one over twelve inches long. In fact the
trout probably only average about ten inches if that much but there always
seems to be a lot of them. We have caught as many as a couple of dozen in an
hour of fishing and that is fishing one at a time, not both of us fishing.

The Grayling Creek flows out of the Gallatin Range of mountains in Yellowstone
National Park. It flows westward until it reaches near the edge of the park and
then it turns and flows southward along highway 191 until it gets near Hebgen
Lake. The last two or three miles of Grayling is not within the park boundaries. It
flows into Hebgen so it is not a tributary stream of another park stream, rather
its own watershed from the park. It declines at a good rate throughout its
course, so pocket water is common. There are a few longer stretches of riffles
and shallow pools but for the most part it consist of runs with short sections of
riffles and pools. There are a few small meadows along its way but most of the
creek is surrounded by timber.

It looks so easy to access from highway 191, I think many anglers think it is too
easy to fish for it to have any trout. There are several places along the road that
you can just pull off and start fishing. It is rare you will see any one else fishing
the little stream. Most everyone is headed in to West Yellowstone to fish other
destination in the park or the Madison River, or they are headed out of West
Yellowstone to fish the Gallatin River. I have seen the Gallatin River packed
solid with anglers when no one was fishing the little Grayling Creek.

The undercuts banks, deeper pools and deeper runs offers the best fishing.
Only the lower section near Hebgen has brown trout. We have only caught a
couple of browns because we rarely fish it outside the park boundaries. We
have been in its headwaters a couple of times. There are some cutthroats there
but most of the trout in Grayling are cutbows.

Although the little stream has several species of aquatic insects, it isn't
necessary to worry much about hatches. If we notice an insect hatching in any
decent quantities, we usually fish imitations of it but it would be rare if ever
necessary. Generic imitations and attractor flies work well. Beetles, ants and
hoppers also work great during late July and on into September.

The next time you are fishing Yellowstone, stop at a pull off along Grayling
Creek. You should be able to hook several trout in a short time. Once you do,
you will probably not want to pass it again without at least making a few cast.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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