So by the second week of June, the Gibbon and Madison Rivers drop and clear, the ice comes off Yellowstone Lake, and the fishing season is under way for other waters. As a result fishing can be slow on these two rivers until water temperatures drop in early September.
As the aquatic insect emergence diminish, terrestrials play an ever more important role in the trout diet. Imitations of grasshoppers, ants, crickets, and beetles are a mainstay in the angler’s arsenal until the end of the season.
The 19 miles of the Madison in the park, although easily accessible, is not suited for fly-fishing beginners. Because this section offers technical dry fly and nymph fishing for rainbow and brown trout.
Most of the river inside the park resembles a large spring creek and has been called the world’s largest chalk stream. Big Green Drakes materialize on the Lamar River and Slough Creek, along with tiny Blue-Winged Olives and midges.
The Fire hole and Madison Rivers become more fishable again and produce excellent hatches of Bros and midges. October is the best month to come if you want to catch the large migrating fish in the Madison and Lewis Rivers.
As spawning time approaches and the weather becomes more winter like, these big trout become aggressive and territorial. So if you love to fly fish and you have some time, you need to come out and experience October on the Madison, Gibbon and Fire hole Rivers in Yellowstone Park.
This season, they brought another family member along, Uncle Her, to experience Yellowstone and Montana’s fly-fishing. Thus far, we have had a blast walking all over the NE Corner catching cuties on dry flies.
While driving through the Gibbon Meadows in BNP, this wolf was eating an elk calf. At one point, when the crowd got too much for her, she picked up the elk calf and carried it back in the trees.
Apparently, some folks watched as several wolves chased a herd of elk through the meadow, across the Gibbon River, over the road and then this wolf caught a calf. Rarely will we fish 8 hours when traveling over to the NE Corner of Yellowstone.
Normally, we get in about 5-6 hours of fishing as the drive back and forth takes up a bit of time. As the first day of summer quickly approaches and Yellowstone fishing season is already underway (the season officially kicked off the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and runs until the first Sunday in November), there is no better time to start planning your unique fishing adventure to Yellowstone.
Fishing permits are available at the Yellowstone General Stores located throughout the park or from the Bridge Bay Marina. This will help to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species that harm the park’s native trout.
Yellowstone has a fragile aquatic ecosystem that is protected with very specific rules: hooks must be barbless and lead weights and bait are not allowed. Your regulations booklet will also provide further details on restrictions, important dates, and closures, as well as areas that are catch-and-release or fly- fishing only.
One of the main goals of managing a healthy fishery in Yellowstone is to protect the native Cutthroat Trout and its habitat. Both are protected, along with the Arctic Graying and Mountain Whitefish, also native to Yellowstone.
For years, anglers from all over the world have flocked to the park’s bountiful waters during the fishing season. Nowhere else will an angler find so many public lakes, rivers and steams with such a wide variety of game fish in an area the size of Yellowstone.
From May to October, it’s possible to find prime fly-fishing rivers and streams in Yellowstone. The months of July and August can be a great time to head out on a fishing excursion in Yellowstone, especially in lakes and backcountry streams.
Usually, by July the rivers have run clear of Snowbelt and most of the park’s waters are fishable. Insect hatches are also at their peak, making it a great time for dry-fly anglers.
By August, all the rivers will fish well and the biting flies will have thinned out around the backcountry lakes. And don’t forget September and October which can be epic months in Yellowstone with some of the best terrestrial and streamer fishing for lake run brown trout during the fall spawn.
No matter when you head out on a Yellowstone fly-fishing excursion, be sure to bring along bear spray, rain gear, sunglasses, sunblock, insect repellent, and a hat. Custom fishing tours are available to areas of Yellowstone Lake that few people ever get to experience.
If you’re a more experienced angler and prefer to venture out on a backcountry exploration, we offer a shuttle service that will carry you and your gear to designated sites on the farther reaches of Yellowstone Lake. And remember no barbs, no bait, no lead, and if it has a red slash put it back.