Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park is, quite simply, gorgeous.
It flows through absolutely incredible and diverse countryside - with
deep canyons, grassy meadows and thick forests all found along the river.
The Yellowstone River has also superb fly fishing and draws anglers from
all over the world to fly fish for Yellowstone cutthroat trout, rainbow
trout, brook trout and brown trout.
The Yellowstone River is known internationally as one of the premier
trout waters in the world, and in Yellowstone Park, any visiting angler
will learn why. The Yellowstone has prolific insect hatches, incredible
terrestrial populations and wild, native fish. The Yellowstone has every
sort of habitat a fish and fly fisherman could want, from pools, runs,
riffles, rapids and undercut banks. Additionally, anyone fly fishing
the Yellowstone River will not be fly fishing for hatchery born fish
in this river - as all the fish are truly native and wild to the park.
The prime draw on the Yellowstone River is the Yellowstone cutthroat
trout. These fish average around 16 inches and will be found from the
rivers origin in the remote Southeast corner of the park downstream to
the Upper Falls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Below the falls
in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Yellowstone River holds excellent
numbers of large rainbow, brook and brown trout, although an odd cutthroat
trout can occasionally be found.
The Yellowstone River begins in a very remote setting, high in the mountains
of a seldom-visited area of the Bridger-Teton Wilderness Area. It flows
into the park and makes its way through the remote Thorofare region.
Access to any part of the Yellowstone above Yellowstone
in the park or in the wilderness area, requires extensive or packing
to reach, as the river lies along way from the nearest roads.
to say, fishing pressure on the Yellowstone River above Yellowstone Lake
is low to pretty much non-existent in most places. The river has just
such difficult and time consuming access that virtually all anglers prefer
to fish downstream from Yellowstone Lake, where access is significantly
easier. That all said, for a dedicated angler who has the time to explore
this remote and wild region, a fishing trip on the Yellowstone
above Yellowstone Lake will allow for a fishing trip in solitude among
pristine and beautiful scenery. Since fishing pressure is so much lower,
the fish also tend to be somewhat easier to catch, although the migratory
nature of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout can make for some hit or miss
Downstream from Yellowstone Lake, between the lake and the Upper Falls
of the Yellowstone River, is the primary spot most people head to when
fly fishing the river in Yellowstone National Park. This stretch of the
Yellowstone River runs for thirteen miles and has very simple access
as the Lake-Canyon Road closely follows the river. Ample spots exist
for parking in the form of countless turnouts and several picnic areas.
In this thirteen-mile section of the Yellowstone River, the river flows
through an incredible mix of countryside. Just below Yellowstone Lake,
the Yellowstone River flows through a mix of forests and meadows, and
has one rapids section. Just a bit further downstream, it flows right
by Sulphur Caldron, always hard to miss due to the strong sulphur smell
that hangs in air. Below Sulphur Caldron, the Yellowstone emerges into
the stunning Hayden Valley - a massive, grassy valley that is an excellent
place to bump into a buffalo while fishing. In the
Hayden Valley, the Yellowstone twists and turns in broad arcs across
a grassy plain, making for both an incredible view and unique fishing
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