.......................  ....................  ...Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

November 28, 2018
Yellowstone Fly Fishing Report:
Summary of the 2018 Fishing Season For Yellowstone
National Park

National Park Streams:
The first week of the 2018 fishing season took place similar to the past several
years. As usual, the Madison River drainage was the place to be. This is the lower
Gibbon River, Madison River and the Firehole River and tributaries. The snow pack
was a good one and the runoff was substantial. Stream levels were high well into
July in some places. The clarity of the water in the Madison is stained the first
several days of the season. The Firehole was clear for the most part. There were
good hatches taking place there and they increase as the water warmed. All the
other river inside the park were very high on into the first week or two of July.

A General Description of the 2018 Season:
Thanks to good water levels most of the season, the 2018 Yellowstone season was
as good one. There were no major closings due to fires, high water temperatures,
heavy snows or anything else. That isn't the normal situation.

Again, we set many anglers up their fly fishing gear and equipment as well as trout
flies. Many were first time visitors to the park. Some were highly experienced and
some were just getting started. That is the usual case. We had hundreds of
customers, some existing customers and some new ones. As we usually do, we
also set up many customers that were returning to the park to fish again and
continued to use our flies and advise. That makes us happy not from just a
business standpoint, but otherwise knowing we were able to be of some help.

We had many customers (over 65) that purchase our instructional DVD on fly
fishing the park. We have a huge data base of compliments on the video that
obviously helps those not familiar with the park plan their trip and catch trout.

Firehole River:
As always, the Firehole River gets the season off to a good start because it is the
first major stream to have good water temperatures and hatches of aquatic insects.
Thanks to the warm water from its many geysers, it always provides some good
early season opportunity.  It slows down during the summer, when the water gets
too warm, but picks backup near  the end of the season, when many of the streams
are getting too cold to provide good hatches and active trout.  

Gibbon River:
The Gibbon status always greatly depends on the section of the stream you are
referring to. It  is a very diverse river, with a huge change in elevations. The water
temperature varies depending on the elevation. The lower end of the river, below
Gibbon Falls, can be good in the early part of the season. The Gibbons meadows
is good during June and early July. It gets too warm in the early summer. The fast,
pocket water in the section below the meadows downstream to the falls, keeps the
fish active and has a diverse aquatic insect population. The uppermost section of
the Gibbon has mostly brook trout and smaller rainbows. During the fall, migrating
fish come all the way from Hebgen Lake to the lower Gibbons to spawn.

Madison River:
The Madison River is normally a good place to fish in the early season but not so
much this past year. How well it fishes depends greatly on the snowpack and we
had a big one. It stay cooler during wet years when there is a good snowpack and
warmer when there is a lower snow pack. It is formed by the Gibbons and the
Firehole, and receives the benefits from the warmer water from the Firehole River
in the early season but this is a disadvantage during the hot months of summer.
During the early fall, It has runs of big brown trout looking for areas to spawn from
Hebgen lake. They are followed by rainbows. The "catching" of these large trout
didn't fare as well as it normally does this past season.

Gallatin River:
The Gallatin, one of the coldest streams in the park, was as usual, a good one.
The river doesn't really get into its prime until the middle of July but when it did, it
was a great little stream. In fact, we think it may be as good as any small stream in
the country. There are a lot of cutbows, and some may consider that a downfall.
There are some great hatches that occur in the summer. It began to slow down  
this past season by about the middle of August and got better around the middle of

Gardner River
It was its usual self. As almost always, most anglers drove right by the Gardner
River even though it has some of the best fishing in the park. We think it is so close
to the main entrance, most anglers not familiar with the park, simply can't believe it
can be good. Again this year, the Gardner provided a great salmonfly hatch as well
as a excellent Golden stonefly hatch. It is as good as it gets in the park.

Yellowstone River (Canyon Section):
The Yellowstone Grand Canyon is hard to beat when it gets into shape and this
past year was no exception. As always, we had several customers who reported
some good catches for it. The lower end near the bridge is okay, but the canyon
below the falls, accessed from the seven mile hole, is great, but hell for anyone but
a healthy, younger person. It is seven miles straight down and seven miles straight
back up.

Yellowstone River (Black Canyon):
It isn't fished much, but for no good reason other than it requires effort. Again this
past season, we had several customers who fished the Black Canyon. Some of this
has to do with the fact we highly recommended it. August and September is
normally the best time and that was again the case. It does require a lot of hiking,
and an overnight stay is the best approach.

Yellowstone River Above Yellowstone Lake and below the Lake to the
Yellowstone Falls.
Again this past season, we had good and bad reports from the Yellowstone river
below the lake to the falls. That ha been the case for the last fifteen or so years. If
you want to fish it next year, remember, the season doesn't open there until July
15th. As usual, the Yellowstone River above the lake continued to have mixed
reports. You can catch trout there in the backcounty and usually plenty of them,
but it probably won't produce as well as many other far easier to get too

Lamar River:
Again this past season, the Lamar was good and bad, but mostly good from
mid-July through September. It is always affected by heavy thunderstorms from the
high elevations. it turned a dark, red muddy color a few times this past season.
Other than that, it again produced lots of big cutthroat trout.

Soda Butte Creek:
Again, from about mid July through most of August, the lower meadow section of
the creek had a good populations of large, spawning cutthroat trout. It also had a
good populations of anglers catching them. Of course, that's always a good
indication the fishing is good.

Slough Creek:
Again, Slough Creek was a very popular destination for many anglers and for good
reasons. It again was in good shape most of the time and produced a lot of trout
including some very good ones. It is not only a beautiful place to fish, it always
produces good dry fly action throughout its prime season time, and such was the
case again this past year. As usual, we had a lot of good reports from the many
customers we set up to fish Slough Creek. Matching the hatch on this stream can
be very important.

Lewis River:
The Lewis Channel again turned out to be good place to be in mid-September and
early October. The lower Lewis, or section below the falls in the canyon, produced
again, but we only had a few customers choose to fish it.

Snake River:
As usual, the late season during the first of October, the Snake River turned out
some large browns moving up river to spawn from the lake. We only had two
groups experience it. I can't help but mention that it is the beginning on one of the
best and most fished trout streams in the western United States. We have a
website page on the Snake from the park to the Idaho state line.
I'll link it here for
those interested in fishing it when they come to Yellowstone.

Bechler River:
The Bechler River of the Cascade Corner of the park is rarely fished by anyone
other than locals, mostly Idaho anglers, but we did have several different groups
that fished it this past season.. All of them reported great fishing. It is best fished on
an overnight trip because it requires a good amount of hiking to get to the meadow

Fall River:
Like the Bechler, the Fall River of the Cascade Corner of the park is one of the
most overlooked, under fished streams in the park. We received more good reports
from customers visiting the cascade corner than we have before. It is truly wild,
remote country, rarely fished by anyone.

Streams Outside Yellowstone National Park: These
still have open seasons in many sections of the rivers.

Madison River (from Hebgen Lake to Ennis):
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

Yellowstone River (Outside the Park)
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

Gallatin River (Outside the Park)
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

Shoshone River, Wyoming:
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

Snake River near Jackson, Wyoming:
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

South Fork of the Snake River, Wyoming:
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

Ruby River, Montana:
Weekly Updated Fishing Report

Henry's Fork Snake River, Idaho:
Weekly Updated Fishing Report
Options For Selecting Flies:

1. Email us at  
sales@perfectflystore.com with the
dates you will be fishing Yellowstone
Country and we will send you a list of
our fly suggestions. Please allow up to
24 hours for a response.

2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we will
help you decide which flies you need.

3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.

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Copyright 2018