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

06/02/09

Fly Fishing Yellowstone - Fishing High Water
The water conditions in the park have improved in the Madison drainage the
past few days. The Firehole River, lower Gibbon River and Madison River are all
three still high and stained. It is very possible to catch trout under these
conditions.

This is the current water data:
Firehole River:
Gibbon River:
Madison River:

Just because the water is high, doesn't mean the aquatic insects don't hatch.
They will and are in fact hatching in these streams at this time. If you encounter
a hatch, such as the PMDs in the Firehole, for example, by all means fish it
using the normal methods, tactics and techniques. During the times there is no
hatch underway, you may want to consider the following points.

One mistake anglers normally make is that they go to large flies or flies that are
larger than they normally would use if the water was clear and at a normal level.
They do this thinking the trout will have a better opportunity to see them. Using
large flies isn't the smart thing to do. The water temperature is still cold at this
time. The trout do not need a lot of food under these conditions. Use flies that
are the same size of the naturals in the water.

The most available nymphs and larvae would be Pale Morning Dun nymphs,
Blue-winged Olive nymphs, and Spotted Sedge larvae in the smoother flowing
water. Little Yellow Stonefly Nymphs, Salmonfly nymphs, Golden Stonefly
nymphs should be active and abundant in the fast water sections of these
streams.   

Using imitations of these nymphs and larvae in the same sizes as the naturals
would be the logical thing to do. The best way to handle the high, off colored
water is to just ignore it. It affects the anglers mind more than the trout's feeding
habits. Changing tactics and methods trying to adjust to something that you
really don't know what you are trying to adjust to, is just adding to the problem.
Forget the water is high and stained and fish the same way you normally would
fish.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh