|....................... ......Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Trip Planning - Yellowstone River - Lake to Falls -
This section covers the Yellowstone River from Fishing Bridge, about a mile
below the mouth of the lake, to the off limit area just above the falls. About a
mile of the river below the outlet to the lake is closed to fishing.
Below Fishing Bridge, the river is a big, wide river. You couldn't wade across it
with normal water levels. It flows over large cobble and rocks at a good flow rate.
It can be deceptive. The river is fairly smooth flowing but the current is very
Just below the Fishing Bridge it flows through a timbered section. You will find
trees growing right up to the banks in most places. The Loop Road is about a
mile away from the river, so this area isn't fished all that much. There are pull
offs along the road and man made trails that will take you to the river. Most of
the river's bottom in this area is fairly level but it does have some holes and
plenty of sand bars along the way. The bottom is mostly gravel and cobble.
About three miles below Fishing Bridge, the river comes back in sight of the
road. About a mile below that point is Le Hardy Rapids. The river narrows down
about a half mile above the rapids and the speed of the current increases
making wading trough. If it's any above normal it's dangerous to fish. You
cannot wade at the rapids. You can fish them from the bank. Fishing is great
just below the Le Hardy Rapids. You can wade just below them. We have taken
several trout on nymphs from this area in September.
The next area downstream is the Nez Perce Ford (Buffalo Ford) area. It's a
short section of the river where the water is somewhat shallower and can be
waded to some extent. You can find some cutthroat in this area in September
but you will have to spend some time looking for them. The best way is to sight
fish them. Otherwise you will be spending a lot of time blind casting.
Just below Nez Perce Ford, the river flows by Sulfur Caldron through a section
of rapids. Just below that is Hayden Valley where the river makes some huge
curves across the open grassy valley. This section is about six miles long and
closed to fishing. This area ends at Alum Creek. From Alum Creek to near
Chittenden Bridge it's possible to fish the river again but we don't recommend
this area in September. Just below the bridge, the Yellowstone River goes over
the Upper falls.
Unlike many anglers think, you can still have some good days on the
Yellowstone River during September but you will need to look for the cutthroats.
Most of the post spawners will be back in the lake.