Video: Yellow Sallies on the Yellowstone River (the Other One)

Written by: Grant Bench

With the extreme runoff conditions we had in 2011, naturally we breathed a big sigh of relief when the conditions in the summer of 2012 were looking ideal. It seemed like fishing was excellent all over the West, and our streams and rivers around Falcon’s Ledge were no exception.

Spencer Higa and I had a rare day off and decided to go check on the stonefly hatch on the Yellowstone River. Not the Yellowstone that flows through Yellowstone National Park, but the Yellowstone River that flows off of the south slope of the Uinta Mountains in northeastern Utah. It’s a freestone river that holds abundant populations of brook, rainbow, cutthroat, and a few brown trout, and it’s our go to stream for anglers after the Grand Slam (four species in one day).

Not nearly as large as the Yellowstone in Montana, this one is a high-country freestone stream.

photo by Spencer Higa

Spencer and I pulled up, and we were immediately greeted with a hatch of yellow sallies. We enjoyed a few laughs and rigged up. The fish on this river aren’t particularly picky because their growing season isn’t as long as that on our lower-elevation rivers. When a fly is placed in their window, they usually eat. When stoneflies are present and active, it’s like every fish in the river is standing at attention in wait for an easy meal. If Nirvana is to be defined as liberation of the soul, Spencer and I were in dry-fly Nirvana all afternoon.

Ps: The record for Grand Slam on the Yellowstone river is 12 minutes

Grant Bench is a guide at Falcon’s Ledge in Altamont, Utah.


Wild trout go crazy when these small stoneflies are hatching.

photo by Spencer Higa

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