Cutthroat caught near the upper
part of the Black Canyon
Fly Fishing The Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River:
..............................................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park
The beginning of the Black Canyon:
This is probably the easiest place to
access the canyon.
The Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River is about twenty miles long. The canyon gets its name from the dark color of the
canyon walls. The Yellowstone River Trail follows the river the entire distance of the Black Canyon. At several locations, the trail
is far above the river because sheer cliffs makes it impossible for the trail to follow along at the same elevation of the river.
There's a lot of water in the Black Canyon that will never be fished because of this. In many places the trail is very near the river.

Except at its upper and lower ends, the black canyon is between one and four miles from the road. It's a relatively easy hike
that takes between an hour or less to two hours to make. You can easily fish the river at the lower and upper ends of the Black
Canyon during a day trip. Some trails to the Yellowstone River Trail would require an overnight trip if you wanted to get a good
day of fishing in.

Most of the water is pocket water. It consist of fast runs, large plunges and rapids, deep pools with fast water and some
cascades. You do not need to carry your waders.  

Above Knowles Falls, about seven miles above Gardner, the fish are most cutthroats with a few cutbows, rainbow trout and
whitefish. Below the falls brown trout are also present.  

Tributary Streams:
There are three major tributary steams to the great Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

Hellroaring Creek:
Only a short section of Hellroaring Creek, a tributary of the Yellowstone River in the Black Canyon, is inside the national park.
The Hellroaring Trailhead is about four miles West of Tower Junction, down an access road just over a quarter of a mile. The
trail drops about 600 feet in less than a mile to reach the Yellowstone River Trail. The stream has a population of small
cutthroats and a few rainbow trout.

Blacktail Deer Creek:
See this under the Blacktail Deer Page.

Gardner River:
The Gardner River is a tributary of the Yellowstone River. See the Gardner River page.

The black canyon offers one of the best opportunities to fish a remote location for native cutthroat without having to camp at a
remote site or travel by horseback. It's within a reasonable distance to hike to the river and return the same day, yet far enough
of the beaten path to limit those that visit this part of the great river..

Copyright 2012 James Marsh
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