A good size cutbow. These are
Fly Fishing The Gallatin River:
...........................               .Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Moose are a common sight
along the Gallatin River. You
should be aware of their
presence because the big bulls
can hurt you if surprised.
This is a nice brown trout. They get
much larger than this in the Gallatin
although they are not plentiful.
This is a wider section of the
Gallatin River just below where the
stream first comes near highway
Specimen Creek is relatively
small compared to other
Yellowstone streams. Make
noise in the willows and don't
surprise a bear.
Specimen Creek crosses and is
accessible from highway 191
near the park's North boundary.
The Gallatin River is located in the Northwest corner of Yellowstone National
Park. This is small stream trout fishing at its best. The river begins at Gallatin
Lake high in the mountains and flows through a fast gradient for a few miles into
a long meadow where it slows down but not much. The fish in this section are
rainbows, cutthroat, some browns and cutbows that average from 5 to 10 inches
long with a few going up to 12 inches or better.

The upper portion of the Gallatin River can be accessed from the Bighorn Pass
Trail. The trailhead is located about 21 miles from West Yellowstone, Montana,
about a quarter of a mile off the highway on a dirt road. The trail follows the
stream fairly close upstream for a few miles.

Fan Creek to Park Boundary:
The portion of the Gallatin River below Fan Creek to the park boundary is a
meadow stream with a mixture of grass and willows along the banks. It winds
through the valley creating deeper outside bends and shallow inside bends in the
stream. Typical pool, riffles and runs make up the medium gradient flow.

The fish are cutbows, cutthroats, rainbows, and some browns. They average from
8 to 12 inches with some going up to 16 inches.

The stream is never far from highway #191 and is accessible from several
parking pullouts along the way.

Fan Creek:
Fan Creek tributary of the Gallatin River starts about a half of a mile from highway
191. It is a small stream that flows mostly through open meadows. The fish are
smaller cutthroats, cutbows and rainbows that average 7 to 10 inches in length.

You can access the lower section, which has lots of willows along the banks of
the creek, from the Fawn Pass Trail. It is located at the 21 mile marker on
highway 191. To reach the upper sections, you will need to hike in about 2 miles
on the Fawn Pass Trail and then take the Fan Creek Trail that follows along the

Bacon Rind Creek:
Bacon Rind Creek is a very small tributary of the Gallatin River. The lower two or
three miles are the only section that holds a decent population of trout. They are
small, 6 to 10 inch long cutbows with a few cutthroats mixed in.

It is accessible from Bacon Rind Creek trail at the end of a short dirt road off
highway 191 near mile marker 22.

Specimen Creek:
Specimen Creek is a small tributary stream of the Gallatin River. It starts on the
Gallatin Mountain Range from some small lakes The upper parts of the two forks
that form Specimen Creek are steep and small with few in any fish.

The lower couple of miles of the stream contains cutthroats, cutbows and a few
rainbow and brown trout near its confluence with the Gallatin River. They are
smaller fish averaging 6 to 10 inches with a few as large as 12 inches.

The stream flows into the Gallatin River 26 miles north of West Yellowstone,
Montana just off highway #191. You can fish up the stream from the Specimen
Creek Trail.

Because most of the larger part of the Gallatin River can easily be accessed from
Highway #191, the river can become busy with anglers when the word gets out
the fishing is hot. It's for a good reason, however. The stream can produce
constant action, is easy to access and a lot of fun to fish. As we said, the Gallatin
River offers small stream fishing at its best.

    Copyright James Marsh 2012
The fast water always holds fish
especially when the water warms
up to 60 degrees F. or better.
A  favorite spot on the Gallatin
Cutbows are probably the most common trout in the upper Gallatin River.
There are some huge mountain whitefish in the Gallatin River. This one  took
Angie about 15 minutes to land on a 6x tippet. Whitefish can put up a good fight.
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