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


Fly Fishing Yellowstone - Salmonfly Nymphs

It doesn’t take many of the huge Salmonfly nymphs to get the attention of trout.
It doesn't take many of them for the trout to feed exclusively on them. If you
carefully observe the water, when the hatch begins you can spot the nymphs
moving across the bottom of the stream to the banks to hatch. Like most all
stoneflies, the salmonflies crawl out on the banks and rocks to hatch into adults.
The actual hatch usually takes place in the evenings but some hatch late in the
day or early in the morning. Overcast, rainy days usually provides good nymph
fishing but that is certainly not a requirement. During the hatch, you can catch
trout throughout the day in many cases. Trout become accustomed to seeing
the big nymphs and will often take your imitation of the nymphs during the day
even though they may not be many of the naturals moving to the bank at the

The nymphs are a chocolate brown to a black color. Just before their hatching
into adults, the nymph’s stomachs turn a salmon orange color. Our "Perfect Fly
Salmonfly Nymph" looks almost identical to the real things.

Our "Perfect Fly"
Salmonfly Nymph

When the salmonflies are hatching, you can always find their shucks along the
banks. If you examine the bushes along the banks of the stream you will most
always be able to find the adults. They live a relatively long time out of the water
and are easy to spot due to their large size. In fact, if the hatch is prolific the
bushes will be loaded with the stoneflies.

The hatch moves upstream sometimes as much as three to five miles a day.  
This distance strictly depends on the changes in elevations, weather and the
associated water temperature. If the weather is stable the water temperatures
are usually warmer at lower elevations than higher elevations. As the water
warms upstream, the hatch progresses upstream. Of course a cold front can
change these conditions quickly. Very warm unseasonable weather can speed
the hatch up. Those anglers that have never fished the hatch should certainly
try to catch it one season. It is a spectacular event to behold.

Nymph Presentation:
The weight of your imitation is very important. It must be heavy enough to stay
on the bottom. Add weight and mend your line as necessary to keep the fly on
the bottom. Remember the non-toxic rule for the park.

During the hatch the trout are use to seeing the large nymphs move across the
bottom to the banks. We suggest that you walk along the banks and present the
nymph imitation very close to the bank using short cast made in an upstream
direction. This way you can cover a lot of water without spooking the fish. Make
sure you bring the nymphall the way back to the bank. There isn’t much need to
be casting far out into the stream. Time is spent more productively presenting
the nymph close to the banks where the trout are obviously used to seeing the
nymphs to crawl out of the water.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh