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


Fly Fishing the Gardner River - Fishing Tales - Part  2

Almost all of the lower few miles of the Gardner River from near the North
Entrance Gate up to the 45th Parallel at the Bridge crossing the road is pocket
water. It is fast and difficult to maneuver in some places. There are a lot of large
boulders in the river making huge pockets in some places. There are several
larger pool, some long runs and only a few shallow riffles located in one
particular area where the terrain flattens out some.

About all of the lower part of this section of river is fast pocket water. In some
areas it is very difficult to wade upstream. You have to get in and out of the
water to keep progressing upstream. I guess I should stop and mention that
fishing in an up stream direction is about the only way we fish this type of water.
Sometimes the trees and large boulders along the banks force you to have to
get into the water. We only wade when we have to. Even though this is a river, it
is small. You can cast across it anywhere you want to.

Several years ago, when we first started fishing the Gardner River, we used
mostly attractor flies. Parachute Adams dry flies was the usually dry fly. The fish
responded rather well. Later, when we begin to develop our own Perfect Flies,
we used our own specific imitations exclusively. The most exciting hatch that
occurs here is the Salmonflies. There is also a huge Golden Stonefly hatch that
takes place about the same time as the Salmonfly hatch. It is stonefly heaven
because the fast, highly oxygenated water provides a perfect habitat for them.
There are plenty of Little Yellow Stoneflies too. We call them Yellow Sallys.

Of course there are several different species of mayflies and caddisflies that
make the river their home but they don't exist in huge quantities. Probably the
most available mayfly is the Pale Morning Duns or maybe, the Blue-winged
Olives. They hatch is spotty locations, not solid up and down the stream.

When the season first opens, the Gardner River is usually still high and stained
from the runoff. It is usually near the end of the month of June before the river
clears up. As soon as it does, the fishing is terrific. The Salmonfly hatch starts
about the early part of July. The Golden Stoneflies will show up well before the
Salmonflies have deposited their eggs. Most years we have found both
stoneflies there at the same time. The trout have plenty to eat when this
happens. We try to catch the early part of the hatch before they become full of
the large nymphs. There can be a lull time between the start of the hatch and
the egg laying.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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