.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Planning Your Fly Fishing Trip to Yellowstone - Part 11
Where To Stay During Your Fishing Trip
Where you stay during your fly fishing trip to Yellowstone is important because it greatly affects where you can conveniently fish. Yellowstone Park is a large place and the traffic doesn't move fast. It moves slow and sometimes, even stops. For example, lets say that you are on your way from West Yellowstone Montana to the Northeast corner of the park. You want to fish the Lamar River but when you get just past Canyon you are stopped dead in the road by traffic waiting on a herd of buffalo to cross the road. Meantime, the cutthroat trout are eating green drakes like popcorn. If you fish late in the day and try to return to West Yellowstone after dark, you may never make it. You may crash into one of the bison standing on the edge of the road. They are difficult to see in the dark, especially if your headlights are not shinning directly on them. So are the huge Elk. In fact, in my opinion, it is not very safe to travel through the park at night.
Another big problem to watch for this year is road construction. The time the weather is suitable for road construction is also short in Yellowstone. Crews have to work when they can and that is during prime tourist season. This part of the national park website will inform you about the road construction and closings. Be sure to keep on top of the construction activity because this can greatly affect the time it takes you to get anywhere construction is involved.
Back to my scenario about going to the Lamar River from West Yellowstone. The point I am trying to make is that staying in West Yellowstone and fishing the Lamar River is not a desirable situation. You would be much better off staying in Cooke City. It is only about thirty to forty miles from the Lamar River. If you are staying in Gardiner, then you wouldn't have quite as far to drive although it is still a long way. By the way, my point is not to try to tell you that you shouldn't stay in West Yellowstone. In fact, thats our favorite place to stay. It is also the largest town that is near the park. I could of just as easily used an opposite scenario and said that if you were staying in Cooke City and wanted to fish the Madison River, you would have a long way to go.
I am not including the places you can stay in the park. There are several campgrounds and hotels inside the park. I will get to those later. Here I am discussing only the nearby towns and communities.
On the South side of the park lies Teton National Park. You must travel through much of it in order to get to Yellowstone's South Entrance. The closest, large town is Jackson Hole but it is quite a drive from there to go fishing in Yellowstone Park. You can do that, of course, but it will not be very convenient, even if you plan on fishing the Lewis or Snake Rivers. West Yellowstone is the closest town on the Western side of the park; Gardiner is closest to the North Entrance; Cooke City to the Northeast entrance; and Cody, Wyoming is the closest to the East Entrance, although its not very close.