Yellowstone fishing is one of the most popular activities among vacationers, whether you’re an angler looking to make a big catch in the park or a novice on your first fishing trip. Many species of fish are found in the streams and rivers, and anglers can enjoy an afternoon of Yellowstone fly fishing almost year-round.
Native species of fish in Yellowstone National Park include Artic grayling, Yellowstone cutthroat trout, and westslope cutthroat trout. Hybrids include cutthroat/rainbow trout hybrid. The nonnative species of fish in Yellowstone National Park include lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout. Both native and nonnative species provide anglers interested in Yellowstone fly fishing plenty of action.
Because of the size of the park, anglers have seemingly endless choices among fishing locations, whether they’re interested in Yellowstone river fishing or dropping a baited line in a bubbling creek or stream. Before starting, be sure you have all required permits. Adults and children 12 years of age and older are required to have a regular permit or non-fee permit, depending on the age. Children under 12 years of age are not required to have a permit but must be accompanied by an adult. Yellowstone fishing permits can be purchased at any ranger station, visitor centers throughout the park, and general stores such as those found in Grant Village.
There are more than 100 lakes and thousands of miles of waterways for Yellowstone fly fishing and fishing. Anglers can go Yellowstone River fishing or cast their line along the Gibbon, Madison, Gardner, Slough, Lamar, or Firehole rivers; off the shores of Henry and Joffe lakes; and in the West Yellowstone area for prime fishing locations outside of the park.
If you’re less interested in fishing yourself and would rather just watch, a perfect place for observing Yellowstone fishing is at Fishing Bridge, which crosses the Yellowstone River. Once a popular place for fishing enthusiasts, the Fishing Bridge is now open, only, as an observation point, but it’s still a classic sight to see in Yellowstone.
The season begins the last weekend in May and runs through the first Sunday in November unless noted in the exceptions area of the park’s fishing regulations handbook. Also note when planning to fish in Yellowstone National Park, some areas within the park are permanently closed to the public, streams may be closed temporarily, visitor’s may find seasonal closures regarding trails, limits to party size, and limitations to the number of daylight hours for accessing specific areas.
No matter where you plan to fish, be sure to acquaint yourself with the rules and regulations in effect before you fish in Yellowstone National Park. An important requirement for fishing in Yellowstone is to drain all river and lake water from boating, remove any debris from shoes and equipment such as mud and plants, do not bring bait into the park, and be sure to thoroughly clean and dry anything, including shoes, clothing, and fishing equipment, from one area of water before entering anther area. This is to ensure parasites are not transported among the lakes, rivers, and streams of the park.