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

04/26/09


Fly Fishing the Yellowstone River - Fishing Tales - Part  2

Continuing with my "fishless" day on the Yellowstone River on opening day
several years ago, I had decided to give wading a chance, even though I had
watched many anglers wade all over the river without catching anything.

The idea way to fish this area is to spot a trout and cast to it. Blind casting is just
about worthless at this particular place and time. I quickly discovered something
I didn't know about. The water appears smooth and steady flowing anywhere
you look out across the river. When you get in it at Buffalo Ford you quickly
discover that the current is strong enough to move the gravel right out from
under your feet. It is difficult to tell if you are slowly moving downstream or the
gravel is just coming out from under you feet. You will dig yourself a little hole if
you don't move. In some places the water was only knee deep. That is
manageable. When the water gets up to around you waste it is very difficult to
stand still. You have to turn sideways to cut down on the resistance of your
body. After about forty-five minutes of wading and sliding around within an area
of about fifty yards square, I finally spotted a trout. I stopped dead still and begin
to try to figure out how to get the nymph I was fishing to pass by the trout. I
either had to move to a different position and take a chance on spooking the
trout, or I had to make an across current presentation.

I probably should have taken the time to go upstream away from the trout and
then farther out into the river to be able to cast downstream to the trout. I
suppose I was afraid the fish would leave, so I make the best cast I could. The
fly fell short of the trout. That was fine. Thats the way you want it to be if you
miss. That is much better than casting too far and having the leader or fly line
cross over the trout. Keep in mind this trout was probably forty feet from me.
Having seen so few trout and having had only one shot at a fish all day long, I
was just to afraid to try to get closer. I was well aware these fish had been
spooked by wading anglers all day long.

My fly must have actually hit the fish. It didn't seem to try to try to take the fly, it
just looked as if it shot out of the way of the fly. It came back to the same spot
and I felt some relief. I made another similar presentation. It appeared the fly ran
the same exact course, but this time the trout shot out of its way and never
returned. I don't think the fish spotted me. I just think it had to much pressure
from anglers that morning. No telling how many times it had to leave and return
only to be spooked again. More on this exciting, fishing day tomorrow.



Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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