|....................... .................... ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
Where To Stay In Yellowstone Country
A series of articles to help those planning a fly fishing trip to Yellowstone
West Yellowstone, Montana
On opening day and for the first month of the Yellowstone National Park fishing season,
there is no question in my mind about the best place to stay. Excluding the interior
places to stay in the park, (campgrounds and other facilities that we will be covering
later) it would be West Yellowstone, Montana. The basic reason is simple. It is the
closest point outside the park to the areas of the park where fishing will be the best.
That is always the Firehole River, followed by the lower Gibbons and the Madison River.
The water in those streams are the first ones to begin to warm up enough for the trout
to be active. The Firehole River has some help from a different source other than the
sun. It has a lot of geysers that add warm water to the stream. So does parts of the
lower Gibbons and the Madison. Since the Madison gets over half of its water from the
Firehole River, it is always a little warmer than most other streams in the park during the
early part of the season.
During July, this will change. The water in the Firehole, lower Gibbons and Madison
River inside the park, will begin to get too warm. Other sections of the park will be
coming into their prime and this opens up other options as to where you can stay, yet
still be in close proximity to the best fishing. Don't get that wrong, West Yellowstone is
hard to beat for a place to stay anytime of the season.
West Yellowstone has several fly shops, plenty of places to eat and dozens of motels,
hotels, and numerous cabins to choose from. There are also plenty of campgrounds in
the near vicinity of West Yellowstone. In fact, it is the largest town in close proximity to
the park. As a matter of fact, it is real close, with the West Entrance gate sitting within a
block or two of downtown West Yellowstone.
West Yellowstone has about anything you could possible need on a fly fishing trip or
for that matter, a family vacation. There are grocery stores, a drug store, and most
anything else most small town has to offer.
I also might add that during late September and early October, near the end of the
fishing season, I again would choose West Yellowstone, Montana, over most any other
location outside the park. As mentioned above, It is very near the Madison River which
has large, migrating trout that move out of Hebgen Lake upstream at that time of the
year. Also, when the weather turns cold which takes place near the end of the fishing
season, the Firehole River once again becomes a top choice stream to fish.