[DIY] Guide to the Best Fly Fishing in Yellowstone National Park

The United States has a large number of national parks scattered all across its landscape, but few are as well-known and visited as Yellowstone National Park. This was actually the very first national park in the country and received the designation in 1872. People tend to be very familiar with the diverse amount of wildlife, the stunning natural scenery, and geysers such as the world-famous Old Faithful. Now here’s another aspect of the park that is great for fly fishers, and that’s the fact that you can find some wonderful opportunities to enjoy the sport right within the park itself.

The park covers more than 2.2 million acres, is home to Yellowstone Lake, a vast amount of waterfalls, streams, and rivers, and has 16 different species of fish, seven of which are gamefish. The park isn't just in one state, rather a few as it stretches into Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. This is the kind of destination that isn’t just great for a day trip, but rather a full vacation as you explore all the nooks and crannies of the park.

In this guide we’ll take a look at some of the top spots for fly fishing within the park, as well as some basic advice to ensure your visit is successful and enjoyable.

Yellowstone National Park Fishing Map

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WY - North Platte River: 42.567945, -106.701965
WY - Shoshone River: 44.460250, -109.569097
WY - Snake River: 43.500683, -110.840874
WY - Yellowstone River YNP: 44.606846, -110.384445
Arnica Creek: 44.494989, -110.551572
Bacon Rind Creek (Trailhead Parking): 44.955452, -111.070686
Bacon Rind Creek (Meadow): 44.942840, -111.075470
Bechler River (Road's End): 44.144515, -110.997877
Bechler River (Picnic Rapids): 44.142867, -110.998178
Bechler River (Confluence Pockets): 44.147302, -110.993972
Fan Creek: 44.952320, -111.054350
Fan Creek (First Meadow): 44.959790, -111.023670
Fan Creek (Trailhead Parking): 44.950340, -111.059120
Firehole River (Yellowstone National Park): 44.607359, -110.846042
Firehole River (Upper): 44.437917, -110.804383
Firehole River (Black Sand Basin): 44.462390, -110.855870
Firehole River (Old Faithful): 44.460310, -110.828620
Fire Hole River (Fishing prohibited): 44.482910, -110.852680
Firehole River (Midway Run): 44.524477, -110.832889
Firehole River (Pocket Basin): 44.572970, -110.832111
Firehole River (Confluence With Nez Perce Creek): 44.580760, -110.832490
Firehole River (Firehole Falls): 44.628820, -110.863810
Firehole River (Elk Island): 44.615610, -110.854710
Firehole River (Elk Island Glide): 44.614770, -110.854990
Firehole River (Dipper Cliff): 44.611610, -110.852160
Firehole River (Biscuit Basin): 44.484050, -110.855910
Firehole River (Ouzel Falls): 44.611490, -110.851790
Taylor Fork: 45.072310, -111.203180
Upper Gallatin River: 44.951534, -111.056747
Gallatin River (Bighorn Pass Trailhead): 44.928235, -111.049175
Gallatin River (Divide Meadows): 44.947340, -111.056670
Gallatin River (Lower Bluff Riffles): 44.961400, -111.069500
Gallatin River (Upper Bluff Riffles): 44.956600, -111.057680
Gallatin River (Confluence Fan Creek): 44.953390, -111.058130
Gardner River: 44.992210, -110.690819
Gibbon River: 44.697702, -110.744134
Gibbon River Falls: 44.654090, -110.770640
Gibbon River (Upper Nick Plunge Pool): 44.659760, -110.747210
Gibbon River (Upper Chocolate Run): 44.665669, -110.745224
Gibbon River (Artist Paint Pot Parking): 44.696300, -110.741370
Gibbon River Meadows: 44.697210, -110.751110
Gibbon River Picnic Area: 44.706140, -110.745510
Gibbon River (Elk Meadow): 44.718040, -110.727810
Gibbon River (Campground Pool): 44.738320, -110.697870
Gibbon River (Roadside Bend): 44.737913, -110.698205
Gibbon River (Museum Meadows): 44.737345, -110.697041
Solfaterra Creek: 44.736000, -110.692230
Gibbon River (One-Cast Meanders): 44.725420, -110.688030
Gibbon River (Virginia Cascade): 44.713070, -110.647840
Gibbon River (Lower Virginia Cascade Meadow): 44.713260, -110.634000
Gibbon River (Upper Virginia Cascade Meadow): 44.714260, -110.620050
Gibbon River (Little Falls): 44.722010, -110.616450
Grebe Lake: 44.751027, -110.558079
Grayling Creek (Lower Horseshoe Run Cascade): 44.804064, -111.129230
Grayling Creek (Upper Horshoe Run Cascade): 44.803900, -111.125030
Grayling Creek (Culligan Island): 44.796375, -111.129810
Grayling Creek (Bridge Access): 44.795823, -111.132331
Grayling Creek (The Wicked Willows): 44.793287, -111.159196
Grayling Creek (Bridge Access): 44.796180, -111.152222
Grayling Creek (Marsh): 44.796510, -111.155840
Grayling Creek (Bottoms): 44.796210, -111.158600
Heart River: 44.228844, -110.458092
Lamar River: 44.928104, -110.395691
Lamar River Headwaters: 44.703800, -109.830879
Lewis River: 44.204174, -110.656998
Lewis River Canyon: 44.227365, -110.652881
Lewis Lake: 44.306161, -110.631981
Lewis Falls: 44.267360, -110.636932
Lewis River Channel: 44.326118, -110.645073
Madison River, Yellowstone National Park: 44.723991, -111.121902
Madison River (Baker\'s Hole Campground): 44.705170, -111.100660
Madison River (National Park Meadows): 44.640930, -110.872690
Madison River (Confluence With Gibbon River): 44.642110, -110.866600
Madison River (Gravel Road To Barns Holes): 44.655770, -111.081050
Madison Overlook: 44.653540, -111.061050
Madison River (Talus Slope Riffles): 44.646246, -110.930607
Madison River (Riverside Drive): 44.654470, -110.993740
Madison River (Fish Trap Bend): 44.653948, -110.957204
Madison River Campground: 44.644730, -110.863340
Madison River (Barns #1): 44.666030, -111.066330
Madison River Bridge: 44.715760, -111.102810
Madison River (7-Mile Bridge): 44.663800, -110.965260
Madison River (Muskrat Pool): 44.668930, -110.981740
Madison River (Grasshopper Bank): 44.668440, -110.986830
Gneiss Creek Trailhead - Parking: 44.663710, -110.965080
Gneiss Creek Trail: 44.672040, -110.978480
Nez Perce Creek (Bridge / Ford): 44.584300, -110.779340
Nez Perce Creek (Distressed Meadows): 44.573350, -110.807850
Nez Perce Creek (Long Chute): 44.574410, -110.811630
Nez Perce Creek (Hidden Pond): 44.571859, -110.821676
Nez Perce Creek (Short Chute): 44.573700, -110.814600
Nez Perce Creek (Hidden Pond): 44.571910, -110.822140
Nez Perce Creek (Hotel Run): 44.573400, -110.827760
Pebble Creek: 44.917432, -110.113321
Slough Creek: 44.926950, -110.338230
Slough Creek Road: 44.921160, -110.317120
Slough Creek (Easy Pools): 44.932210, -110.317200
Slough Creek Campground and parking area: 44.948920, -110.307690
Slough Creek (Pocket Water Riffles): 44.954960, -110.287540
Slough Creek (First Meadow): 44.953290, -110.272010
Slough Creek (Second Meadow): 44.973120, -110.221280
Pebble Creek Campground: 44.917710, -110.113860
Soda Butte Creek: 44.865936, -110.174034
Soda Butte Creek (Canyon's End): 44.919570, -110.096250
Snake River: 44.144123, -110.658714
Yellowstone River: 44.566502, -110.372772
Yellowstone River (Sulphur Caldron): 44.627230, -110.432270
Yellowstone River (Mud Volcano Parking Lot): 44.624820, -110.433520
Yellowstone River (Fishing Bridge): 44.566520, -110.381890
Yellowstone River (Le Hardy Rapids): 44.607320, -110.383690
Obsidian Creek: 44.823833, -110.728589
Shoshone Lake: 44.368533, -110.687256
Yellowstone National Park (West Entrance): 44.657350, -111.091790
Yellowstone National Park (North Entrance): 45.025313, -110.700744
Yellowstone National Park (South Entrance): 44.135754, -110.666794
Yellowstone National Park (East Entrance): 44.488533, -110.003891
Greys River: 42.960749, -110.728768
Firehole River at Old Faithful, YNP: 44.459364, -110.821736
Tantalus Creek at Norris Junction, YNP: 44.732725, -110.713253
Gibbon River at Madison Jct, YNP: 44.640800, -110.861064
Yellowstone River at Yellowstone Lk Outlet YNP: 44.567092, -110.380406
Lamar River nr Tower Ranger Station YNP: 44.928178, -110.394269
Boiling River at Mammoth,YNP: 44.984953, -110.688389
Gardner River near Mammoth YNP: 44.992344, -110.690975
WIND RIVER NEAR DUBOIS, WY: 43.578564, -109.759884
WIND RIVER ABOVE RED CREEK, NEAR DUBOIS, WY: 43.441622, -109.458758
DINWOODY CREEK ABOVE LAKES, NEAR BURRIS, WY: 43.346167, -109.408778
BULL LAKE CREEK ABOVE BULL LAKE, WY: 43.176611, -109.202556
BULL LAKE CREEK NEAR LENORE, WY: 43.242457, -109.022905
WIND RIVER NEAR CROWHEART, WY: 43.242500, -109.010556
WIND RIVER NEAR KINNEAR, WY: 43.142778, -108.708889
WIND RIVER AT RIVERTON, WY: 43.010515, -108.376770
SF L WIND RIV AB WASHAKIE RES, NR FT WASHAKIE, WY: 42.968289, -109.037628
LITTLE POPO AGIE RIVER NEAR LANDER, WY: 42.716626, -108.643446
LITTLE WIND RIVER NEAR RIVERTON, WY: 42.997500, -108.375417
FIVEMILE CREEK NEAR SHOSHONI, WY: 43.221917, -108.219694
WIND RIVER BELOW BOYSEN RESERVOIR, WY: 43.424958, -108.178986
BIGHORN RIVER AT WORLAND, WY: 44.014679, -107.969539
BIGHORN RIVER AT BASIN, WY: 44.383291, -108.036212
GREYBULL RIVER AT MEETEETSE, WY: 44.155510, -108.877075
SHELL CREEK ABOVE SHELL CREEK RESERVOIR, WY: 44.508020, -107.403689
SHELL CREEK NEAR SHELL, WY: 44.564961, -107.712867
BIGHORN RIVER AT KANE, WY: 44.758566, -108.181497
NORTH FORK SHOSHONE RIVER AT WAPITI, WY: 44.469672, -109.430440
SOUTH FORK SHOSHONE RIVER NEAR VALLEY, WY: 44.207889, -109.555250
SOUTH FORK SHOSHONE RIVER AB BUFFALO BILL RES, WY: 44.419118, -109.257929
SHOSHONE RIVER BELOW BUFFALO BILL RESERVOIR, WY: 44.516620, -109.097922
SHOSHONE RIVER NEAR LOVELL, WY: 44.838564, -108.435119
WEST PASS CREEK NEAR PARKMAN, WY: 44.987744, -107.482869
EAST PASS CREEK NEAR DAYTON, WY: 44.990523, -107.422867
TONGUE RIVER NEAR DAYTON, WY: 44.849412, -107.304525
TONGUE RIVER AT MONARCH, WY: 44.900249, -107.020905
GOOSE CREEK NEAR ACME, WY: 44.886361, -106.988959
PRAIRIE DOG CREEK NEAR ACME, WY: 44.983863, -106.839789
MIDDLE FORK POWDER RIVER NEAR BARNUM, WY: 43.577740, -107.138400
NORTH FORK POWDER RIVER NEAR HAZELTON, WY: 44.027742, -107.080896
NF POWDER RIVER BELOW PASS CREEK, NR MAYOWORTH, WY: 43.911357, -106.889500
POWDER RIVER AT SUSSEX, WY: 43.697086, -106.306194
POWDER RIVER AT ARVADA, WY: 44.649982, -106.127528
WILD HORSE CREEK NEAR ARVADA, WY: 44.632482, -106.031967
CLEAR CREEK NEAR BUFFALO, WY: 44.332751, -106.777274
ROCK CREEK NEAR BUFFALO, WY: 44.456083, -106.878945
SOUTH PINEY CREEK AT WILLOW PARK, WY: 44.466358, -107.034784
PINEY CREEK AT KEARNY, WY: 44.535528, -106.822278
CLEAR CREEK NEAR ARVADA, WY: 44.871652, -106.082802
LITTLE POWDER RIVER AB DRY CREEK, NEAR WESTON, WY: 44.926929, -105.353327
CHEYENNE RIVER NR DULL CENTER, WY: 43.429137, -105.045807
CHEYENNE RIVER NEAR SPENCER, WY: 43.420995, -104.131916
BEAVER CREEK AT MALLO CAMP, NEAR FOUR CORNERS, WY: 44.084981, -104.060489
STOCKADE BEAVER CREEK NEAR NEWCASTLE, WY: 43.858867, -104.107158
BELLE FOURCHE R BL RATTLESNAKE C, NR PINEY, WY: 43.984421, -105.388325
DONKEY CREEK NEAR GILLETTE, WY: 44.266647, -105.438606
STONEPILE CREEK AT MOUTH, NEAR GILLETTE, WY: 44.267758, -105.438606
BELLE FOURCHE RIVER BELOW MOORCROFT, WY: 44.321926, -104.940531
BELLE FOURCHE RIVER NEAR ALVA, WY: 44.789429, -104.481344
BELLE FOURCHE R AT WY-SD STATE LINE: 44.748874, -104.051602
COLD SPRINGS CREEK AT BUCKHORN, WY: 44.153871, -104.077990
SAND CREEK NEAR RANCH A, NEAR BEULAH, WY: 44.520263, -104.083824
NORTH BRUSH CREEK NEAR SARATOGA, WY: 41.370245, -106.520582
SOUTH BRUSH CREEK NEAR SARATOGA, WY: 41.343856, -106.526416
ENCAMPMENT RIVER AB HOG PARK CR, NR ENCAMPMENT, WY: 41.023579, -106.824766
ENCAMPMENT RIVER AT MOUTH, NEAR ENCAMPMENT, WY: 41.303298, -106.715313
JACK CREEK ABOVE COYOTE DRAW, NEAR SARATOGA, WY: 41.439126, -106.971715
PASS CREEK NEAR ELK MOUNTAIN, WY: 41.586075, -106.610861
N PLATTE RIV AB SEMINOE RESERVOIR, NR SINCLAIR, WY: 41.872181, -107.057547
Medicine Bow R ab E Fk Med Bow nr Elk Mountain, WY: 41.547778, -106.409722
ROCK CREEK AB KING CANYON CANAL, NR ARLINGTON, WY: 41.585245, -106.222791
L Medicine Bow R ab Sand Cr, nr Shirley Basin, WY: 42.331111, -106.155278
L MEDICINE BOW R AT BOLES SPRING, NR MEDICINE BOW: 41.961076, -106.209184
MEDICINE BOW R AB SEMINOE RESERVOIR, NR HANNA, WY: 42.009684, -106.513083
SWEETWATER RIVER NEAR SWEETWATER STATION, WY: 42.503849, -108.250651
SWEETWATER RIVER NEAR ALCOVA, WY: 42.489959, -107.133945
DEER CREEK IN CANYON, NEAR GLENROCK, WY: 42.711632, -106.029178
BOX ELDER CREEK AT BOXELDER, WY: 42.611938, -105.859671
NORTH PLATTE RIVER AT ORIN, WY: 42.652496, -105.159143
NORTH PLATTE RIVER BELOW GLENDO RESERVOIR, WY: 42.456913, -104.947748
NORTH PLATTE RIVER BELOW WHALEN DIVERSION DAM, WY: 42.241023, -104.627960
LARAMIE R BL PIONEER CANAL, NR WOODS LANDING, WY: 41.138308, -105.980284
SAND CREEK AT COLORADO-WYOMING STATE LINE: 40.993650, -105.759703
LARAMIE RIVER AT LARAMIE, WY: 41.327778, -105.607417
LITTLE LARAMIE RIVER NEAR FILMORE, WY: 41.294973, -106.034729
LARAMIE RIVER NEAR BOSLER, WY: 41.554696, -105.683326
SYBILLE CREEK AB MULE CREEK, NEAR WHEATLAND, WY: 41.844139, -105.221369
SYBILLE CREEK AB CANAL NO. 3, NEAR WHEATLAND, WY: 41.911082, -105.127199
LARAMIE RIVER NEAR FORT LARAMIE, WY: 42.200523, -104.538291
NORTH PLATTE RIVER AT WYOMING-NEBRASKA STATE LINE: 41.988576, -104.053282
CROW CREEK AT 19TH STREET, AT CHEYENNE, WY: 41.131093, -104.828580
Lodgepole Creek at Bushnell, Nebr.: 41.227778, -103.893056
GREEN RIVER AT WARREN BRIDGE, NEAR DANIEL, WY: 43.019417, -110.118611
PINE CREEK ABOVE FREMONT LAKE, WY: 43.027056, -109.773528
NEW FORK RIVER NEAR BIG PINEY, WY: 42.567166, -109.930151
GREEN RIVER NEAR LA BARGE, WY: 42.192722, -110.163214
FONTENELLE C NR HERSCHLER RANCH, NR FONTENELLE, WY: 42.095806, -110.416083
GREEN RIVER BELOW FONTENELLE RESERVOIR, WY: 42.020972, -110.049806
BIG SANDY RIVER NEAR FARSON, WY: 42.316895, -109.485687
PACIFIC CREEK NEAR FARSON, WY: 42.128333, -109.325444
GREEN RIVER NEAR GREEN RIVER, WY: 41.516354, -109.449023
BLACKS FORK NEAR ROBERTSON, WY: 40.959028, -110.579722
BLACKS FORK NEAR MILLBURNE, WY: 41.031614, -110.579332
EAST FORK OF SMITHS FORK NEAR ROBERTSON, WY: 41.053861, -110.398639
HAMS FORK BELOW POLE CREEK, NEAR FRONTIER, WY: 42.110889, -110.709417
BLACKS FORK NEAR LITTLE AMERICA, WY: 41.546072, -109.693475
LITTLE SNAKE RIVER NEAR DIXON, WY: 41.028528, -107.548861
Muddy Creek above Olson Draw, near Dad, WY: 41.478333, -107.602500
MUDDY CREEK BELOW YOUNG DRAW, NEAR BAGGS, WY: 41.068159, -107.631596
BEAR RIVER NEAR UTAH-WYOMING STATE LINE: 40.965225, -110.853508
BEAR RIVER AT EVANSTON, WY: 41.269861, -110.963694
BEAR RIVER BELOW PIXLEY DAM, NEAR COKEVILLE, WY: 41.938829, -110.985466
SMITHS FORK NEAR BORDER, WY: 42.293266, -110.872406
BEAR RIVER BLW SMITHS FORK, NR COKEVILLE, WY: 42.126602, -110.973243
BEAR RIVER AT BORDER, WY: 42.211043, -111.053802
SNAKE RIVER AB JACKSON LAKE AT FLAGG RANCH WY: 44.098889, -110.667500
SNAKE RIVER NR MORAN WY: 43.858333, -110.585833
PACIFIC CREEK AT MORAN WY: 43.850278, -110.517778
BUFFALO FORK AB LAVA CREEK NR MORAN WY: 43.838056, -110.440833
SNAKE RIVER AT MOOSE, WY: 43.654056, -110.715472
GROS VENTRE RIVER AT KELLY, WY: 43.620889, -110.623056
GROS VENTRE RIVER AT ZENITH WY: 43.557222, -110.762778
GRANITE C AB GRANITE C SUPPLEMENTAL, NR MOOSE, WY: 43.603167, -110.805833
FISH CREEK AT WILSON, WY: 43.500760, -110.871600
CACHE CREEK NEAR JACKSON, WY: 43.452153, -110.704091
FLAT CREEK BELOW CACHE CREEK, NEAR JACKSON, WY: 43.458361, -110.797028
SNAKE RIVER BL FLAT CREEK NR JACKSON WY: 43.372222, -110.738611
SNAKE RIVER AB RESERVOIR NR ALPINE WY: 43.196111, -110.889444
GREYS RIVER AB RESERVOIR NR ALPINE WY: 43.143056, -110.976944
CROW CREEK NEAR FAIRVIEW, WY: 42.674929, -111.007704
SALT RIVER AB RESERVOIR NR ETNA WY: 43.079722, -111.037222
Atlantic Gulch, Big: 42.491394, -108.712310
Bear Creek: 43.577181, -109.453980
Beartooth Plateau Lakes: 44.944723, -109.593038
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distance: 1652.3 miles
Flat river
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distance: 238.2 miles
Taylor Fork
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distance: 233.9 miles
BEAR RIVER NEAR UTAH-WYOMING STATE LINE
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distance: 228.5 miles
Gallatin River (Lower Bluff Riffles)
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distance: 228.3 miles
Bacon Rind Creek (Trailhead Parking)
502 markers
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Get the DIY Fly Fishing App to get turn-by-turn directions to access points shown on the map above and real-time stream flow conditions.

Featured Destinations

Northwest

  • ​Bechler River
  • Gallatin River
  • ​Gardner Rver
  • Gibbon River
  • Grayling Creek
  • Madison River
  • Solfatara Creek

Southwest

  • ​DeLacy Creek
  • Firehole River
  • Nez Perce Creek
  • Shoshone Lake

Northeast

  • Lamar Creek
  • Pebble Creek
  • Soda Butte Creek
  • Slough Creek

Southeast

  • ​Yellowstone Lake
  • Yellowstone River

Finding Your Way in Yellowstone National Park

Because Yellowstone National Park is so large and so diverse it is divided into four main sections, which anglers will want to familiarize themselves with. These sections are the southwest, southeast, northwest, and northeast. You can make you way through them by the roads that connect them all. These are called the Loop Roads in the park. Each section also has its own entrance.

Yellowstone Region Map

Source: Yellowstone National Park Fishing Regulations

As mentioned the park is home to seven different species of game fish which are: lake, brook, rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout, as well as mountain whitefish and grayling. Of these species only three are native, the others were introduced through stocking. Let’s take a look at some of the top rivers for fishing in the park.

Firehole River

If you want to get a head start on the fishing season, the Firehole River is typically the first one to be open for fly fishing. Because it is located in the southwest region of the park, the snow is melted here before any of the other major rivers.

This is an interesting area to fish as the water is made up of a spring creek and a freestone stream. The reason the snow is able to melt much faster here is that the geysers empty into this river, which of course warms it up. This stream is at its peak in the early spring months and then isn't as great as you move into summer. At this point the water gets too warm for the trout.

As for the surrounding scenery, much of this river flows through quite serene meadows. Be prepared for many riffle areas and weeds. Some areas flow quite slowly while others are fast. It makes the river interesting and it forces you to use various skill levels and techniques. The typical fish you'll find here are brown and rainbow trout.

Lamar River Valley

If you plan to visit the northeast of Yellowstone then the Lamar River can make for an excellent option. The river itself sits in a valley and feels like a beautiful and quiet oasis. This is quite a long river that actually begins in the Absaroka Mountains. The river has different sections and each has their pros and cons. If you're looking for an area with lots of trout, stick to Soda Butte Creek. It is a tributary stream of the Lamar River and tends to be the busiest of all the sections. Typically you'll be fishing for cutthroats but you can also find cutbows and rainbows.

Other areas of the river include the Upper Lamar River, where the fish are small and not plentiful, Cache Creek where you can find moderately sized cutthroat, the Canyon Section where the water can run fast making the fishing a bit more difficult, and Slough Creek which can yield some wonderful fishing opportunities.

Gibbon River

While the Gibbon River isn't huge you can find areas that yield a variety of rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Occasionally you can find grayling here as well. Depending on which section you head to the river may be running quite fast as there are many pockets where the water is rough. With that said anglers love how challenging the Gibbon can be and find the conditions thrilling and enjoyable.

The various sections of the river are the Lower Gibbon Meadows, the Upper Gibbon River, Gibbon Falls to Lower Meadows, Gibbon Meadows, Gibbon Meadows to Gibbon Falls, Norris Meadows, and Elk Park.

Planning Your Fishing Trip to Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park has a set season for fishing which begins Memorial Day weekend (the Saturday) and lasts until the first Sunday in the month of November. The public is able to fish during the season from sunrise to sunset each day. With that said there may be areas that are closed from time to time, this is due to water levels and even the fish population. Should a certain area be low on fish, it may close to the public temporarily so the fish have a chance to rebound.

Most people find that spring and fall are the best times for fishing in the park, but that’s not to say the summer isn’t great as well. In fact, some would argue that August is the best month as all the rivers are open by this point.

If you plan to visit at the start of the season in May, typically the only river without snow is the Firehole, so it's a great place to start. It's not until mid-June that the Madison and Gibbon Rivers will lose their snow and then become another option. You'll have to wait until the start of July for all the rivers to be totally free of the snow.

Yellowstone Hatches

There are a number of hatches that happen in the park on a seasonal basis. They can be divided into spring, summer, or fall hatches. They also tend to differ from river to river. All the main types of hatches occur, which are mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies, and midges along with others. Terrestrials including grass hopper, ants and beetles are also abundant in the summer. With that said, July tends to be the absolute peak month for all the various hatches.

Yellowstone Fishing Regulations

If you plan on bringing a boat into the park for fishing, you'll need to first ensure your boat is permissible. If it is, you'll then need a boat permit. Shore fishing is available in a number of locations, so you don’t have to have a boat in order to enjoy the park. This means one less permit to have to worry about.

Yellowstone Fishing Restrictions

There are also some pretty strict restrictions on your hook, lure, and tackle when fishing in Yellowstone National Park. There is only one rod permitted per angler and you are required to use lead-free artificial lures only. You won't be able to use weight jigs, split-shot sinkers, or ribbon that is soft-lead weighted. Your lure may only have one hook and there are no barbs allowed. Be warned that there are also restrictions and rules on limits, catch and release areas, and areas you are not allowed to release fish that are caught. You’ll want to go over all the specifics before you start your fishing.

Recommending Fly Fishing Equipment

When packing your equipment it is recommended you choose a rod that is between eight and nine feet, with a four to six weight line. If you plan to be fishing in the fall, bring large sized nymphs and/or streamers. Full sinking lines are another item that can prove to be quite helpful. There are a number of areas where wading is prime so you'll want to be sure you have your chest waders with you.

Yellowstone Fishing Permit

If you plan on doing fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park you will need to purchase a fishing permit. This permit is required for anyone 16 years of age and older. They are available as a season permit for US$40, a seven-day permit for $25, or a three-day permit for $18. You can pick up your permit when you arrive at one of the visitor centers, a ranger station, or at the Yellowstone Park General Stores, which are located throughout. There are some businesses in the Yellowstone area that may also sell the permit. Keep in mind you won't need a state license, rather just the permit.

Yellowstone National Park is not only a place of beauty and natural wonder, but it is a challenging and enjoyable location for fly fishing enthusiasts of all skill levels. Just being in the park and soaking in its history can be a thing of beauty all on its own. If you’re looking for a challenge head to the first national park in the country and explore its many angling opportunities.

Additional Information and Resources

Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park: An Insider's Guide to the 50 Best Places by Nate Schweber

The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide by Craig Mathews

Fishing Yellowstone National Park: An Angler's Complete Guide To More Than 100 Streams, Rivers, And Lakes by Richard Parks

Flyfisher's Guide to Wyoming: Including Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks by Ken Retallic