fly fishing this thirteen-mile section of river, an angler is confronted
with a dizzying array of choices to choose from. Solid hatches of mayflies,
caddisflies, stoneflies, midges and salmonflies all occur on this short
section of the Yellowstone River. Terrestrials are also found all along
the river in this section, grasshoppers and beetles in particular. This
section of the Yellowstone is a good place to match the hatch, so plan
on bringing along plenty of varied fly patterns and selections. Study
the river closely to determine what the fish are feeding on, although
casting hopper and beetle imitations also work extremely well if frustration
with matching the hatch occurs.
The Yellowstone cutthroat trout in this section receive a fair amount
of fishing pressure due to its easy access and the rivers reputation
for producing consistently large fish. As a result, they can be difficult
to catch, particularly later in the season. Good presentations, a careful
approach and light tippets should be used to increase the chances of
success. Additionally, always aim for a drag free float, using shorter
casts if needed to eliminate drag.
When fishing on the section of the Yellowstone River, be aware of the
varied fishing regulations. Listed here are general regulations. However,
be sure to check the park website listed below for complete and up to
date information, as these regulations can change frequently and without
General Regulations governing the Yellowstone River between Upper Falls
and Yellowstone Lake:
- Season begins July 15.
- Catch and Release Fishing Only
- Closed to fishing one mile downstream of Fishing Bridge and also
upstream one quarter mile
- Yellowstone River in Hayden Valley, as well as its tributaries, are
closed to all fishing between Alum Creek and Sulphur Caldron
- Closed to all fishing one hundred yards upstream and downstream of
Le Hardy Rapids.
- The entire west channel of the Yellowstone River near the road at
- Any lake trout that somehow happen to be caught (very unlikely -
but anything is possible) must also be killed and reported to a park
- The Yellowstone River is also closed to all fishing in the Grand
Canyon of the Yellowstone
Before venturing to Yellowstone National Park to fly fish the Yellowstone,
it is highly recommended that an angler visit the parks website for the
latest in regulations. The park frequently closes rivers to fishing due
to high water temperatures (happens frequently on the Madison, Firehole
and Gibbon Rivers in the summer) and other factors. View
current Yellowstone National Park Fishing Regulations.
this thirteen-mile stretch of water, the Yellowstone River goes over
two spectacular waterfalls (Upper Falls and Lower Falls) and then heads
into a deep canyon, called the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
Awesome views of this section of the Yellowstone River can be obtained
from one of the many scenic observation points located near Canyon Village.
The first real chance to fish the Yellowstone River below the Grand
Canyon of the Yellowstone occurs at the highway bridge near Tower. Here
some good trails head down to the river and follow the river up and downstream,
allowing for decent access. The primary fish found in this stretch will
be rainbow trout, brook trout and an occasional brown trout.
Once the Yellowstone River emerges from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
River, it continues flowing through big mountains and periodic canyons
before crossing under a highway bridge and then entering another remote
and big canyon - Black Canyon. Access is extremely difficult on this
section and few people ever venture out to fish this part of the Yellowstone
River. Besides its remoteness, rattlesnakes, bears and other natural
dangers await any anglers heading into Black Canyon. The river itself
is a roiling river full of fast rapids, drops and constant whitewater.
Overall, the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone Park offers incredible
fishing opportunities for anglers who seek wild native Yellowstone cutthroat
trout - in a beautiful setting. An angler venturing to Yellowstone National
Park can either choose to fish where access is easy and the fishing good
or can head up into the beautiful and remote areas of the Yellowstone
headwaters where pressure is nil and solitude is literally guaranteed.
Regardless of where a person decides to choose to fish the Yellowstone
River, the scenery, wildlife, the uniqueness of Yellowstone Park and
quality of fishing will produce a memorable fly fishing experience.
Note, the Yellowstone leaves Yellowstone Park and flows into
Montana. I've profiled a separate section of this site...the Yellowstone
River in Montana.
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