Flyfishing opportunities abound on the Yellowstone River which offers well over one hundred miles of great trout water outside Yellowstone National Park. It is the longest free-flowing (un-dammed) river in the U.S. and has a multitude of moods from the stormy Yankee Jim Canyon above, to eastern Montana cottonwood bottoms below.
There is enough water here that a two week vacation wouldn’t let you fish it all, and thus a guide can be particularly useful. A flyfishing float trip through the Paradise Valley section is a classic with slow-rising Yellowstone cutthroat trout and unforgettable views of the mountainous Yellowstone country.
The Yellowstone River has brown, rainbow, and of course Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and it is not unusual to catch all three in a day. It offers great spring nymphing with big-uglies like Yuk bugs, buggers, and bitch creek nymphs.
It has the potential for truly mind-blowing days in late April and early May with the “Mother’s day” Caddis hatch, an event so intense that usually both fish and fishermen get overwhelmed. There is good attractor fishing after run-off (usually early July) and great hopper fishing during the heat of August. The seasons of the Yellowstone wind up with fall excitement when we throw juicy streamers for big browns.