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 - Yellowstone River
Headwaters
The Upper Yellowstone River headwaters in the Southeast corner of Yellowstone
National Park is one of the most remote areas of the park. The river actually starts in
the Absaroka Mountain Range outside of the park. There are several smaller
tributaries that make up the river prior to it reaching Yellowstone Lake.

The area become fishable sometimes in July. It is usually over the runoff by the middle
of July but it depends on the snow pack. The fishing is as good as it will get within a
short time after it clears and warms up some.

The uppermost part of the river and its tributaries in the headwaters contain small
cutthroat trout. They are plentiful and usually easy to catch. The stream decline is
steep for the first ten miles and moderately slopped for the last twenty miles to the lake.
It flows through a valley with large meadows. There are lots of willow trees and brush
along the stream. The cutthroat are larger in the section nearer the lake.

Getting to the upper river requires either a very long hike or horseback trip. The trails
that lead there are under the bear management plan and should be checked prior to
hiking into that section of the park. You can reach the lower part of the river by
crossing the lake in a boat. The best way to fish the upper river is to take a
horseback/camping trip with an outfitter. This is very rugged and remote country with
plenty of bears.

It is a great trip for those that want to get away from it all and see that section of the
park, but from purely a fishing standpoint, I couldn't recommend it over many other
streams in the park. Another problem is, all but the steep areas of the headwaters flow
through meadows with a huge number of biting insects.

There are several tributary streams that can also be fished, and a few lakes that
produce well in late July. Thoroughfare Creek and Atlantic Creek are two of the larger
ones. They are basically meadow streams like most of the Yellowstone River itself
above the lake.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh