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

01/15/09

Fly Fishing the Teton River, Montana

There are two Teton Rivers - one in Montana and another in Idaho. The one in Central
Montana is formed in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the one in Idaho is formed in the
Teton Mountains. Today's article is on Montana's Teton River.

The Teton River is formed by the confluence of several branches. Eventually they flow
together into what is called the North Fork Teton River and the South Fork Teton River.
They flow out of the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains into the high prairie country of
central Montana. The river is almost 200 miles long. It flows into the Marias River just
before it enters the Missouri River. The best area to fish is the upper area of the river
and its branches - North, South, Middle and West. Most of the river outside of the
mountains flows through private property. This is another river in Montana that is
located in a very isolated area of the state. It is rarely fished by anyone other than local
anglers. Like many of the other rivers in the huge section of the state, its popularity is
reduced because of all of the other great trout fishing that is available in more
populated areas of the state as well as Yellowstone National Park.

LIke most headwaters, the headwaters of the Teton River does not have many large
fish. It has a lot of trout that are very willing to take a fly. Most of the fish in the
uppermost areas are brook trout and small cutthroats. Rainbows are present in the
main Forks of the river.

Most all of the headwater streams that make up the two main Forks of the river are not
accessible by road. You must hike or backpack into the mountains to fish them. The
North and South Forks are accessible in some areas by road. That is the only area of
the stream Angie and I have fished.

The main river, outside of the mountains, flows through some small canyons and across
the high prairie. For the most part, this main part of the river does not provide good
fishing although trout exist. There are areas that can be floated but the main river has
several agricultural/cattle diversion areas and some beaver dams in its upper areas.

If you ever decide to fish this river, you better be prepared to camp. If not, you will be
driving a very long way before you find a motel. I can personally vouch for that. There
are many campsites in the area and that would be the way to fish the area. Our one trip
there of two days of fishing was greatly shortened by the amount of driving we had to
do each of the two mornings we fished the river along canyon road.  Once you are
there, you should have no problem catching trout. Competition from other anglers
certainly wouldn't be a problem. We were able to catch a large number of small
rainbows and cutthroat trout for the short amount of time we had to fish. I can only
imagine what it would be like to backpack in and fish the upper branches of the river.
You would probably be by yourself.