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


Fly Fishing the Gardner River - Fishing Tales - Part  1

The Gardner River is one of our favorite stream simply because we like fast
pocket water. To be perfectly honest, it is also one of our favorites because it is
so easily accessed, especially if you are staying in the little town of Gardiner.
We often do when we are fishing the Northeast Corner of Yellowstone Park.
That sounds strange,  but sometimes Angie had rather stay there than Cooke
City. I like Cooke City perfectly fine but it doesn't have the stores and other
facilities that the little town of Gardiner has. Anyway, we often find ourselves
stopping to fish the Gardner River anytime we are staying in Gardiner simply
because we just can't pass the few miles of it without stopping. Even though the
North Entrance road runs right along side it and even though traffic is heavy
(the park headquarters is located at Mammoth), there are usually only a few
anglers fishing the river. My theory is that most anglers think it is just too
convenient and easy to fish for it to have any fish, so most of them go right past
it without ever stopping. Almost from the time you enter the Northeast Entrance
Gate, you are along side the river.

Most of the water along the road is fast, pocket water. There is one section
where there are some long riffles and even some fairly smooth water. That is
where is flows through a meadow-like area. There are several places that you
can pull off the side of the road to fish. Most of them are small areas but that is
also just fine with me. I just need enough space for my vehicle.

I don't think there is much of the stream along the road that we haven't fished.
We have fished most areas many times over the last several years. The
amazing thing about the stream is that
I don't ever remember stopping to
fish it without catching trout
. It always produces some trout and usually a lot
of them. Granted, most of them are relatively small. They probably average only
about 9 to 12 inches. We have caught some that run slightly larger. We have
caught a few brown trout that are much larger but only during the fall when they
make their spawning run upstream from the Yellowstone River.

Most of the trout are rainbows and cutbows with some cuthroat and browns.
There are some brook trout upstream starting near the confluence of Lava
Creek. There are a lot of brook trout in the headwater sections but I will discuss
that later.

Tomorrow I will get into how we like to fish the lower section along the road near
the town of Gardiner.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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