Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide for the Gibbon River (YNP) Wyoming
The Gibbon is a very diverse river. It has some large pools of slow water, shallow riffles,
deep runs, canyons, meadows and about any type of water you can think of. Each type
usually deserves and sometimes even demands, a different fishing method. Its fish are also
varied from the rare Grayling to the large brown trout that move into the river below the
Gibbon Falls each fall to spawn.
The Upper meadows are great for taking the youngsters and catching the small brook
trout. They are plentiful and easy to catch. The large Gibbon and Elk Meadows are a
completely different thing. The Gibbon River meanders through the open grass meadows
with deep undercut banks on one side, and shallow water flats on the other. There are
some very large brown trout there but they are not pushovers. They are fairly difficult to
catch. The smaller rainbows and browns are fairly easy to catch it its short riffles between
the long, large pools. It is best in the month of June and maybe a few days in early July.
Another problem with it is the tourists and other anglers. It can easy get pressured with its
easy access from the Grand Loop Road.
The fast, pocket water sections are fun to fish and usually very productive. We fish them in
an upstream direction making a lot of rather short cast. Although attractor and generic flies
will work often, the best procedure is to match the hatch or the insects that are about to
hatch. They Gibbon River has several and you can see from the hatch chart or our
hatches section. Most often you can catch plenty of trout on dry flies, but in the event you
can't, it seems that nymphs always produce. We have some great success using tandem
rigs and even strike indicators and a double nymph rig. That isn't necessary and
sometimes isn't the best approach. Singe nymphs that match what is about to hatch works
much better if you get it right.
There are about seven miles of fast water below the meadows and a few section above
and between the meadows. The section in the canyon below Gibbon Falls is a favorite of
ours, especially in the fall when the spawning browns move into the river. We don't fish for
them when they are on the redds but we do with streamers during the migration. The water
below the canyon finally settles down into more meadows that we refer to as the Lower
Meadows. Not far below there where the Gibbon River runs under the Grand Loop Road
again, it joins the Firehole River and the two stream form the Madison River.
The Meadows are also fun to fish in the late season with imitations of grass hoppers and
beetles. We have seen a couple of flying ant falls take place on the Lower Meadows so you
may want to be prepared in the event you do.
The Gibbon River doesn't rank at the top of the list of streams in Yellowstone National
Park, but it certainly is one of the most accessible and fun to fish streams in the park. Many
anglers overlook it and although that is usually just fine with us, we don't recommend you
do. You are missing out on fishing a fine trout stream.
Gibbon River (YNP)
Free Shipping Continental U. S.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Thumbnail Images: Click on picture to