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

05/07/09


Fly Fishing the Gardner River - Fishing Tales - Part 7

We have fished the upper Gardner River above the canyon many times. It is
difficult to pass up such a beautiful stream when you are traveling along the
Grand Loop Road. The river crosses the road about six miles south of
Mammoth. In this area, the stream is small and full of small brook trout. From the
bridge you can fish downstream or upstream.

You are not going to catch any large fish in this part of the Gardner. We have
caught a few brook trout reaching maybe nine inches, but that is about it. Above
the bridge, the Gardner River twist its westward course to the northwest to its
beginning in the Gallatin Range.  It is a very small stream in its uppermost
reaches. The water from several small tributaries upstream of the bridge form
the river.

The tributary streams are Obsidian Creek, Fawn Creek, Indian and Panther
creeks. Fawn Lake, located near the confluence of Fawn Creek and the
Gardner River, is known for its large brook trout. The Fawn Creek confluence is
about six miles upstream of the bridge. The other tributary streams don't enter
the Gardner River until it is near the Indian Creek Campground located near the
bridge. The first two streams to converge with the Gardner are Panther and
Indian Creeks both of which join the river above the campground at about the
same point.

All of the streams that flow into the Gardner River near the campground are
small meadow type streams with brook trout.  They are in open terrain except for
small bushes along the streams. We have fished these two streams on two
different occasions only to discover that the brook trout fishing is just as good in
the other streams with easier access. About anywhere you want to fish any of
the streams flowing into the Gardner River in the Indian Creek Campground
area you will find the brook trout fishing easy and fast.

The Bighorn trial starts in the campground and provides easy access to the
Indian and Panther Creeks. When you enter the campground you will cross over
Obsidian Creek. It flows into the Gardner River at the bridge on the Grand Loop
Road near the campground. It is full of small brook trout. We have been able to
catch just as many there as we have fishing the other small streams in the area.
At times this may be a small brook trout on just about every cast. You can get
away from the road traffic and people by heading up any of the streams. You
can also fish Obsidian Creek from the Moose Exhibit area located on the Grand
Loop Road about three miles south of the Indian Creek Campground entrance.

Straight Creek and Winter Creek, other similar streams, flow together and join  
Obsidian Creek near the Moose Exhibit Area. All of these small streams have a
large population of brook trout. Straight Creek flows from Grizzly Lake, about a
mile long pond accessible from the Grizzly Lake Trail on the Grand Loop Road.

We found the brook trout fishing to be about the same everywhere we fished in
the area. You can use small attractor flies and catch a lot of them in a short time.

This is a good area to take youngsters to teach them how to fly-fish. It is also a
fun place to fish when you just want to catch several trout the fast and easy way.
You should beware of the moose in the area, especially where there are a lot of
scrub willows. There are plenty of open grassy areas to fish where you don't
have to be overly concerned with the moose.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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