Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Gardner River - Yellowstone
You will find a early season Blue-winged Olive hatch during June. If you miss the heavy part of
the runoff, fishing this hatch can be good. There is another late season hatch that starts in late
September and early October.
Little Black Caddis, called the Mother's Day Hatch in the West, may be hatching when the
season first starts. You may want to be prepared for it if you fish during early June before the
runoff starts, if there's a short section of time to do it.
PMDs, or Pale Morning Duns are the most consistent of the mayflies on the Gardner River.
They start hatching about the middle of June and last into early September.
Spotted Sedges are fairly plentiful. They start hatching around the first week of July and last
through August. Green Sedges are very plentiful. Imitations of their larvae, called Green Rock
Worms, will catch trout all during the season. Several species of these caddisflies hatch from
about the middle of June all the way through September and into October. Little Short-Horned
Sedges hatch from about the middle of July until the middle of August. They are also very
There are a few Green Drakes that hatch from about the third or forth week of June for about
three weeks. This is not a heavy hatch. The weather and water temperature can vary this
hatch a week or two and even more some years. Flavs, or Small Western Green Drakes, also
hatch in sparse quantities. They usually start hatching about the middle of July and last almost
Salmonflies are present in the Gardner River in large quantities. They are plentiful anywhere
below Ospray Falls to the Yellowstone River. They start hatching about the first to the middle
of July and last around three weeks, moving upstream daily. Golden Stoneflies will start
hatching about the same time as the Salmonflies, or just a little past the time they start
hatching. They will be present in large quantities. Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow Stoneflies, are
also plentiful. They start hatching about the middle of July and last until the second week in
You will find Pink Ladies, or the Eperous species, hatching from about the last week of July
through August. March Browns start hatching about the same time and last through August.
Grasshoppers, ants and beetles are very plentiful in the upper section and the section below
the 45th Parallel Bridge. The high grass and shrubs along the banks of the stream are a
perfect habitat for them. Imitations of these insect will work during July, August and most of
Streamers that imitate sculpin work great in the Gardner River. You should use them early in
the season when the water is still cold, anytime it is slightly stained from heavy rain and during
low light conditions such as early and late in the day.
Our "Perfect Flies" have been tested extensively on this river and have proven to be more
effective than any of the generic or attractor flies. We have specific imitations of everything
that hatches on the Gardner River and in all stages of life that the trout eat them in. If you
haven't already tried them, we certainly hope you will. You won't be disappointed.
Gardner River, YNP
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