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


Catching Yellowstone Trout in Cold Water - Part 4

In the first two articles on fishing cold water in Yellowstone National Park, I have
pointed out where trout hold in cold water and several problems you face in
catching them. In summary they are:

1. Trout seek slow moving water and avoid swift currents when the water is very
cold. They do this to keep from expending more energy than they can get food
to replace. It is necessary that they have a low metabilism in cold water. It
requires less food.

2. The slow moving water can be one of these basic three types (a) very shallow
water around the banks, behind boulders, logs, etc.; in pockets (b) slow moving
water beneath fast moving water near and on the surface in runs and riffles and
(c) slow moving, deep water in pools.

3. Trout only feed in the slow moving shallow water when there is a lot of
available food there or hatches occurring. They do that to avoid their predators.
They are much more subject to being eaten themselves When they are in
shallow water around the banks.

4. Getting a fly to drift at the same speed a natural larvae or nymph would drift
in slow moving water beneath fast moving water on the surface is not easy to
do. The fast surface water plugs the fly at a faster speed that natural nymphs
and larvae or the fly should pass through the slow water. Also, you cannot
usually see the trout holding in this type of water, so you are fishing blind. If you
are not aware the water is moving slower beneath the surface water, you may
not be aware your are not getting a drag free drift. Remember, a drag free drift
isn't just necessary with dry flies.

5. Catching the trout in the slow moving, deep water of pools isn't easy because
the trout can see you, your line and leader. Their window of vision is much
larger if they are fairly deep and in clear water they can see objects above the
water that are father away than they can when they are located in shallow water
with a small window of vision.

8. When you fly is moving slowly, the trout have ample time to closely examine it.
This is very important because trout see insects every day in the water. If they
get a good view of your fly, it is difficult to fool them if for no other reason, just
because you fly has a hook in it. It can't possibly match the natural perfectly.

9. And, I will add this: When you are not properly prepared for fishing very cold
water you can be very uncomfortable. It can even be dangerous, if you should
fall in from the banks or wading. It is difficult to keep your concentration when
the strikes are slow and far between. The fish don't usually attack the fly as
aggressively and you are far less prone to notice it.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh