Yellowstone National Park Fishing

  • Fishing The Yellowstone 2016

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone has beautiful rivers that have a tremendous amount of variety. Fly fishing Yellowstone park offers a wide array of choices in where and how to fish. Most of the roads often roughly parallel many of the best fishing rivers in Yellowstone. So access is relatively easy (although short hikes will often be essential).

The Park is managed to protect natural resources and outstanding scenery, and to provide for visitor use. Fishing has been a major visitor activity for well over a century. Because of this history, fishing continues to be allowed in Yellowstone. So the park’s primary purpose is to preserve natural environments and native species. There are over one thousand miles of streams and over a hundred lakes in Yellowstone National Park.  Nowhere in the world are so many public rivers and streams found in such a condensed area.

Fly fishing in Yellowstone

You will find seven varieties of game fish in Yellowstone Park. Yellowstone  cutthroat, rainbow, brown, brook, and lake trout, along with grayling and mountain whitefish. Only cutthroats, grayling, and mountain whitefish are native to the Park.

Our fishing season in Yellowstone National Park runs from the last Saturday of May through and including the first Sunday of November. From the season opener in late May through the end of June. One of the first river’s to clear from snow-melt is the Firehole. It’s often (most Years) the only tea colored / fishable river in the Park on the opener.

Firehole River

Usually offers great dry-fly fishing during afternoon with mayfly hatches and continues to do so until the end of June. So by the second week of June, the Gibbon and Madison Rivers drop and clear, the ice comes off Yellowstone Lake, and the fishing season is under way for other waters. Some of the last rivers to clear in the spring are the Yellowstone and Lamar in mid July. Usually by mid July, all waters become fishable in the Park, including the small streams. Fly fishing in Yellowstone , hatches are at their peak in July. As a result  this is a favorite time for dry-fly fishers.

The Firehole and Madison Rivers are two exceptions. Because a combination of thermal water and summer heat raises their water temperatures into the 80s. As a result fishing can be slow on these two rivers until water temperatures drop in early September. July and August are our fair-weather months, with the most consistent hatches and favorable stream conditions. As the aquatic insect emergences diminish, terrestrials play an ever more important role in the trout diet. Imitations of grasshoppers, ants, crickets, and beetles are a mainstay in the angler’s arsenal until the end of the season.

Madison River

The 19 miles of the Madison in the park, although easily accessible, is not suited for fly fishing beginners. Because this section offers technical dry fly and nymph fishing for rainbow and brown trout. Trout averaging from fourteen to eighteen inches with the occasional 20 inch + Trout. Most of the river inside the park resembles a large spring creek and has been called the world’s largest chalk stream.

During the late season.

September and October, only a few hatches remain. Big Green Drakes materialize on the Lamar River and Slough Creek, along with tiny Blue-Winged Olives and midges. The Firehole and Madison Rivers become more fishable again and produce excellent hatches of BWOs and midges. October is the best month to come if you want to catch the large migrating fish in the Madison and Lewis Rivers.

As spawning time approaches and the weather becomes more winter like, these big trout become aggressive and territorial. So attacking baitfish imitations and other large streamer flies is something they will do. This is the time of year we start to fish the upper Madison (above Hebgen Lake) in Yellowstone National Park for some of the biggest and best fishing of the year! . Because our Guides know this water like their own back yard and know where the fish are. So if you love to fly fish and you have some time, you need to come out and experience ROCKTOBER on the Madison, Gibbon and Firehole Rivers in Yellowstone Park.

Yellowstone Park Wade/Walk Trips
Full Day1 Angler2 Anglers3 Anglers
Yellowstone National Park Fishing Trips$625/ Full day$675/ Full day / $337.50 Each$775/ Full day / $258.33 Each

Road trip to Montana

My husband and I decided to go on a last minute fly fishing trip while on a quick road trip to Montana. We called the WTO on a whim at 9:30 pm after randomly talking to two separate groups of guys who had fished with them earlier that week.

Because we were only in town for one more day and thankfully the owner was able to line something up for 7:30 am the next morning! We are from Minnesota and have done our fair share of walleye and bass fishing, but never fly/trout fishing. JD set us up with Luke as a guide. So we are beginners and he was extremely patient, knowledgeable, and just an all around good guy. We began catching fish soon after our brief, but effective lesson on the proper fly fishing technique.

Definitely a unique experience and with the mountains in the background the scenery could not have been better. I couldn’t help but make fun of my husband’s ‘permagrin’ as he had a huge goofy grin on his face the whole time he was out there. Kid in a candy store, won the lottery kind of smile. It made our trip memorable and we can’t wait to do it again!

October 2018

Natalie VFun Day On The Madison

“Thank you for all the great trips you and your guides have done for me and all of my guests this spring and summer. We will definitely be back next year with the whole crew.”

Howard Schutte2012

“Another blockbuster trip with Wild Trout Outfitters! J.D. has set me, my family and friends up with one or two trips a year for the last five years and we just did a fall trip and knocked ‘em out again!

This time we got J.D. out of the shop to guide a couple of days and did a combination Missouri and Madison river three day trip. J.D., Charlie, Dave and Ray must be “trout whisperers” as we caught fish in all kinds of weather.Wind, rain,cold or snow, it didn’t matter, we all caught fish. We all caught some of the biggest rainbows ever !! J.D. you and your guides consistently put us on fish year after year and we love it and always have a great time!

Whether you are a beginner, an expert, or anywhere in between, I highly recommend Wild Trout Outfitters!”

Walter Duke2011