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

04/21/09


Fly Fishing the Yellowstone River - Part 1
Below Yellowstone Lake

For purposes of identifying exactly where I am writing about, this part will be
devoted to the section just below Fishing Bridge. Fishing Bridge is located just
below Yellowstone Lake. About a mile of the river below the outlet to the lake is
closed to fishing. The river below Fishing Bridge is very wide. You couldn't wade
across it with normal water levels. It flows over some fist size and larger rocks at
a good flow rate. The river is fairly smooth flowing but the current is very strong.

The first mile and a half of the river below the Fishing Bridge flows through a
timbered  section. Trees grow right up to the river in most places. The River
flows North and a little to the West in this area. The loop road gets about a mile
from the river in one area. There is a place you can park and walk to the river.
This area of the river has some holes or I guess I should just call them deeper
areas of water between gravel bars. Most of the bottom is gravel.

Almost three miles below Fishing Bridge, the river turns westward and comes
back in sight of the road. Less than a mile from that point you will encounter
Le Hardy Rapids. The river gets narrower about a half mile above the rapids
and the speed of the current increase. This water in this area, above the rapids,
is tough to wade. It can be waded if it is not above normal levels but it is almost
to the point I would call it dangerous depending on exactly where you fish. You
have to go down a steep drop to get to this point. It does provide some very
good fishing.

Wading is not allowed at the rapids. It rightly shouldn't because it would be
dangerous. There is a point that you can overlook the rapids but you cannot
fish them.

Just below the Le Hardy Rapids things change. The fishing is excellent in this
area. It is not a secret though and there are usually several anglers fishing the
area especially during a hatch. You can do some wading here, but it is rather
limited. The water gets rather deep as ways out in the river. There is about a
quarter of a mile or maybe a little more of good water below the rapids. Father
downstream the river get close to the road and is very deep along the banks.

This area is thought to be a holding area for the cutthroats when they begin
their migration back to the lake. It makes sense that they would rest in this area
before heading up the rapids. We have taken several trout on nymphs from this
area even before the fish start back upstream.  It is a good area to fish a nymph
anytime after the season opens, which by the way, is July 15 on this part of
Yellowstone River.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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