Fishing the Yellowstone River

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing can be intimidating…

Unless you get a little guidance.  This is a classic western river and should be on every anglers “life list”. Our Yellowstone River fly fishing trips include over 120 miles of blue ribbon trout water starting at Yellowstone National Park. The Yellowstone River is our home water and one of the great fly fishing trout streams of the world. It is the longest undammed river in the lower 48 states, and there is excellent trout water from its tributaries high inside Yellowstone Park, downstream through Gardiner, the Paradise Valley, Livingston, and on to well below Big Timber – a stretch of nearly 150 river miles. We float many different stretches of the prime water between Gardiner and Big Timber, depending on the Yellowstone River fly fishing conditions and water levels.

The Yellowstone River is a big river varying in width from 75 to 300 feet. Only in low water can one wade across the river, so the best access is by drift boat. The most scenic portion of the Yellowstone River is through “Paradise Valley” and this is also some of the very best fly fishing. The water closer to Livingston holds the most trout, where you will find a pleasant mix of browns, rainbows and our native cutthroats. Rocky Mountain whitefish are abundant, and provide plenty of action and fun on days when trout are tougher to catch. Although we use drift boats to float the river, we often stop to wade fish the better runs.

The Yellowstone River has some of the most prolific hatches in the western United States.  Anglers can expect extremely localized insect emergences even during the course of a day or several mile stretch of water. Also, as seasonal and weather conditions effect insect emergence the represented timeframes may vary slightly.  Check out our Yellowstone River hatch chart to learn more about some of the important insect hatches on this great river.

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Location

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Latitude: 45.011912 Longitude: -110.734377 Elevation: 6420 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Eric Adams

Rules and Regulations for Fishing Area

For complete and up to date regulations see the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website

Hints and Tips for Fishing this Area

The following Yellowstone River hatch chart represents a sampling of the major hatches that occur on the Yellowstone River and many of the smaller tributaries in the upper Yellowstone River drainage.  Montana has a wide variety of rivers, streams and lakes. The Yellowstone River has some of the most prolific hatches in the western United States. As the longest free flowing (non-damed) river in the continental U.S. it has a wide variety of water. Anglers can expect extremely localized insect emergences even during the course of a day or several mile stretch of water. Also, as seasonal and weather conditions effect insect emergence the represented timeframes may vary slightly.

See Our Yellowstone River Hatch Chart

While this Yellowstone River hatch chart represent the majority of major insect emergences on the Yellowstone River anglers should be prepared with a variety of sizes and patterns for the insects above. Also, a wide variety of attractor patterns are always a good option to have in your arsenal.

For the latest information on current hatches visit our Montana Fly Fishing Guides website or visit our Facebook Page and make sure to “Like Us” or “Share” our Yellowstone River hatch chart with your fishing buddies.

Best Access and Parking Areas

For complete listing of public access sites see the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website.

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