Yellowstone Area

Henry's Fork 2
Henry's Fork 2

Henry's Fork River, Idaho. Millionaire's Pool looking east towards the Tetons. Image credit: Mike Lawson and Henry's Fork Anglers.

Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River

Firehole River
Firehole River

Firehole River in Yellowstone. image credit: grandtetonflyfishing.com

Henry's Fork 2
Henry's Fork 2

Henry's Fork River, Idaho. Millionaire's Pool looking east towards the Tetons. Image credit: Mike Lawson and Henry's Fork Anglers.

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Yellowstone Area:

In my humble (and somewhat biased...over 100 trips to the area) opinion, the area within a 50 mile radius of West Yellowstone Montana (the West entrance to Yellowstone Park) has the best fly fishing waters in the contiguous US and maybe the world. Just for starters, you have the Henry's Fork and the Madison. I love the Henry's Fork like I love my kids! The Madison and dozens more other places in this circle are also very special. As I said earlier, I have fished at least a hundred different trout streams in the West and the Yellowstone area has no equal in my mind. Certainly, there are other rivers, lakes, etc. that might individually be more famous or have bigger fish. I do not think there is another area this size anywhere that holds as many great fly fishing opportunities in terms of beauty and species. One thing that is especially important to me is that the fish I chase are wild fish. I would rather catch a single 14" wild trout than a dozen fish twice that size that have been planted. If a fish is not "wild", I am generally not interested. I sometimes use the term "native" and "wild" interchangeably and that is not correct. A "wild" fish is one that was spawned in those same waters typically over several generations...it does not necessarily mean "native" in the true sense of the word. In the Yellowstone area, you have the true native Yellowstone Cutthroat and a few other native cutthroat subspecies, wild rainbows, browns and brook trout. In Yellowstone Lake you have a big population of Lake Trout (actually char) that were introduced (evidently by a stupid but probably well intentioned unknown individual(s)) and now the Park is trying to get rid of them. In Henry's Lake just inside Idaho, there are very large "hybrids"...a cross between rainbow and cutthroat. I believe there are still a few out of the way places that have grayling and there are some kokanee salmon in a few places. I am probably leaving a few out but this is a list that could keep you busy for a lifetime.

To see a listing of the most well known and popular rivers, streams and lakes/reservoirs in the Yellowstone area...Click here...