Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

11/30/08

Gallatin River Outside the Park - Part One

The Gallatin River, which begins in Yellowstone National Park, is over one-hundred
miles long. Most of the river is outside of the park. It eventually joins the Missouri River
along with the Jefferson and Madison to help form the great river.

Highway 191 follows the Gallatin for most of its entire length. Much of the stream flows
through canyons and where it doesn't, it is still freestone pocket water at its best. This
is one river that you can almost always find a place to fish without seeing another
angler. If the drive up highway 191 doesn't give you a heart attack, the river may. I am
kidding, of course, but there is some truth in the statement. It is a dangerous highway
and dangerous river if you don't give it the respect it demands.

Shortly after the river leaves the park boundaries, it enters a canyon section that is
about three miles long. We have never been able to tell much difference in the size of
the fish in this section of the river from those in the park. They probably average twelve
inches with a larger one showing up every once in a while.

From the canyon it flows into Lower Basin, a valley, and reaches the town of Big Sky.
The West Fork of the Gallatin River joins it before it leaves the valley and drops into a
very long canyon that is over twenty miles long. This river flowing through the canyon is
great looking trout water, but again, we have not been able to tell much difference in
the size of the fish than what you catch in the park. Others may disagree with us,
contending the fish are larger and they may well be right, but from our own personal
experience, they seem to run about the same size. I think one reason for this is the fact
that we have taken some good size trout from the section of the stream in the park.
Although the trout probably average only ten to twelve inches, we have taken several
over fourteen and some over sixteen inches inside the park. We will continue with the
Gallatin River tomorrow.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh     
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