Planning Your Fly-fishing Trip To Yellowstone
...........................  ......................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

When to Come and What To Expect:

Fly Fishing: Yellowstone National Park - July - Lamar River

The Lamar River is normally clear and within its banks by the first of July. When that
happens, the cutthroat fishing can  be fantastic. It is a well known fact, and because of
that, there are usually plenty of anglers competing for the cutthroat.

Although there is plenty of river that runs along the Northeast Entrance Road, there
are far more that doesn't have easy access. That means most of the fishing done on
the Lamar River in July is done along the road. There are several designated parking
areas along the road and some that anglers make for themselves to get down to the
river. From the point the Soda Butte Creek converges with the Lamar River, there is
almost thirty miles of river upstream of there that receives little pressure. Just a short
hike up the river often gets you all the solitude you need.

The Lamar River begins in the high elevations of the Absaroka Mountains and the
water is usually among the last in the park to clear and warm up. At the first of July, it
can still be too cold and sometimes even muddy, for good fishing. You want to check
before making a long drive to the river from area of the park. Another thing to
remember is that when there are heavy thunderstorms, the river often muddies up.
Some years it's the middle of July or later before it gets into good condition. It usually
clears fast and becomes fishable, but it is always a good idea to check on the
conditions of the river.

The cutthroats in the lower end of the Lamar are generally larger than the ones far up
the Lamar Valley in the headwaters. Going a long way upstream doesn't always
produce more of larger trout, so you may want to put up with the crowds to some
extent. The fish usually average from 12 to 16 inches but there are plenty that are
even larger.

Several aquatic insect hatches take place in July.  Pale Morning Duns are always
consistent. There will be hatches of Green Drakes and some Flavs before the month
ends. Imitations of ants, beetles and grasshopper are also very popular flies to use on
the Lamar, especially in late July.

Something you may want to try is fishing the canyon section of the river which is near
its confluence with the Yellowstone River. It isn't fished nearly as much as the meadow
sections. Just be careful and keep an eye out for the bears and buffalo. Both are
rather plentiful in the Lamar Valley.

The Lamar River Trail will take you upstream to one of the Lamar's few tributary
streams - Cache Creek. It usually has a good population of smaller cutthroats, is a fun
stream to fish and is an alternative to the main river.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh