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 - Upper Yellowstone River
The Upper Yellowstone River is the most popular section of the big Yellowstone River.
One reason is the easy access. The other sections of the Yellowstone River range
from fairly difficult to very difficult to access. The season doesn't open in this section
until July 15th. It extends for eleven miles from the Lake to the Yellowstone Falls.

The river is mostly smooth, fast flowing water with the exception of LeHardy Rapids.
The trout are all native Yellowstone cutthroat trout. They move out of Yellowstone Lake
into the river to spawn in June. The river is usually full of large cutthroat when the
season opens. The population of cutthroats is down due to the decrease in population
in Yellowstone Lake caused by the lake trout. It seems to have stabilized during the
past few years and there are still plenty of cutthroat to be caught. It isn't what it was at
one time though.

The disadvantage of fishing this section of the river during July is the crowds. It can be
extremely crowded but it is for a good reason. There are lots of large cutthroats caught
each year. The big stoneflies, Salmonflies and Golden Stoneflies are usually hatching,
and this adds to the action. In addition, there will be several species of mayflies and
caddisflies hatching.

Most of the crowds are there the first week the season is open. The end of the month
sees far fewer anglers yet the fishing always seems to be just as good. The most
popular section is the Buffalo Ford section, now called Nez Perce Ford, located at Nez
Perce Campground. This area of the river is shallower than most other areas and is a
preferred area for the cutthroat trout to spawn. The section of the river above Fishing
Bridge to the lake (and just below the bridge) is closed to fishing. Much of the area
above the falls is closed for safety reason and for the protection of wildlife.

In spite of all the pressure from anglers, the Upper Yellowstone River still produces
some nice cutthroats in July for those that fish the river effectively. For the most part,
successful anglers sight fish to specific trout. If you can find a good area where the
trout hasn't been spooked, you may do very well.

Copyright 2010 James Marsh