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


Fly Fishing the Yellowstone River - Fishing Tales - Part  4

One of our best days on the Yellowstone River, during the early part of the
season (season starts July, 15), occurred above Nez Perce Ford in some of the
faster water during the salmonfly hatch. I should say during the Salmonfly egg
laying activity. The hatch occurs about the time the season opens and runs to
about the forth week in July, depending on many factors. The particular year I
am writing about was about nine years ago, give or take a year..

Both Golden stoneflies and Salmonflies were hatching. If you watched the water,
you would occasionally see a cutthroat smash an egg laying Salmonfly or
Golden (It is difficult to determine which one). There was probably twenty
anglers in sight up and down the river at any one time and I believe every one of
them had on an imitation of an adult Salmonfly.

At times you would see fish hitting the surface out in the middle of the river.
Wading is possible but not easy. It depends on the exact spot you are fishing.
This particular day was about a week after the season had opened. According
to our video tape logs, we saw about thirty fish caught that day and we managed
to take eight. Of course there were a lot more caught than we were able to see
because anglers were up and down the river fishing every possible place there
were to fish.

This was strictly blind casting. There was no way to determine any particular
place that the fishing would be best. They were hitting the adult Salmonflies and
Golden stoneflies from near the banks to out in the middle of the river. Often
you would see fish hit the surface that you could not reach.

The other thing I was unsure about is how much the cutthroats were moving
around. My guess is they were coming upstream and moving back into the lake.
It took a lot of casting to catch what we caught but it was well worth it. Not a fish
was under fourteen inches and one was rather large, reaching almost twenty
inches. Most of them were about sixteen inches.

I am writing about this because so far, I have not mentioned anything about
catching trout from this part of the Yellowstone. In fact, we failed to catch a
single cutthroat on the opening day of the year before that. We did catch trout
that day, but not on the Yellowstone River. We fished it for about six hours
without catching the first trout. The river was crowded, elbow to elbow.  

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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