Yellowstone River Fishing Report

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Scenic, beautiful and rich in history, this northeasterly flowing river is thought to have acquired its name from the Minnetaree Indians whom were struck by the unique, yellow-colored sandstone lining the river’s lower bluffs. Translated by early French trappers as Roche Jaune, {Yellow Rock} the river kept this moniker until Lewis and Clark recorded their translation into Yellow Stone, a name that took hold and remains today. The river may be better known in history as an escape route after General Custer and his 7thCalvary, were soundly defeated by the Lakota Indians at the Battle of Bighorn. The few remaining survivors were ferried down the Yellowstone to Fort Abraham Lincoln along the Missouri River.

Today, the awe-inspiring river is closely associated with the Wyoming based Yellowstone National Park and the other great recreational fishing rivers that cluster within the southwestern corner of Montana. The Yellowstone itself is officially classed as a Blue Ribbon stream in Montana, from the Park to its confluence with the Boulder River east of Livingston and from the Rosebud Creek to the North Dakota border, and is the longest undammed river in the lower 48. The absence of dams along the river results in favorable habitat for trout from high inside the Park, downstream to Gardiner, the Paradise Valley, Livingston and to Big Timber, a length of nearly 200 miles.

 

montana river map
 
Many consider the area around Paradise Valley to be the most favorable in Montana, especially near Livingston. Here you can expect to lure brown trout, rainbow trout and native yellowstone cutthroat trout as well as rocky mountain whitefish. Further along, from Billings to the North Dakota border, burbot, channel catfish, paddlefish, sauger, smallmouth bass, walleye and the occasional pallid sturgeon can be found. The section of the river from Mallard’s Rest to Carter’s Bridge is known both for its magnificent scenery and abundant fishing. Here you will find yourself in the midst of snow-capped mountains, the Absaroka to the east and the Gallatin to the west, and a landscape dotted with elk, fox and other wildlife. You’ll also discover meandering streams and creeks that flow into the Yellowstone. Many, such as the DePuy Spring Creek, are highly ranked, and like the main river, are full of rainbow and brown trout.
 
Featured Fishing Trips
Guided Fishing Trips
$
525
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
The Yellowstone River is wild and scenic. With over 650 miles of untamed flows, the Yellowstone is the longest un-dammed river in the contiguous United States. From its origin inside ... moreYellowstone National Park, through Paradise Valley, the town of Livingston and beyond, the Yellowstone River offers approximately 200 miles of exceptional trout fishing. In addition, each stretch offers different scenery and unique fishing opportunities. Fishing four different stretches of the Yellowstone can feel much like fishing four different rivers entirely. Healthy, wild populations of Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat trout keep beginners in the action and the avid fisherperson on their toes. Even though the Yellowstone is a well known river, it is not uncommon to spend a day on the water without seeing another boat. Mountain back drops and opportunities to view wildlife along the way, The Yellowstone offers an experience that few rivers can match.
$
550
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
Join us on the Yellowstone for a great day of fishing. With over 20 years experience floating the Yellowstone, Water's Edge Outfitting knows every riffle and pocket of water to help ... moretailor your trip to meet your expecations and skill level. Whether a first time angler or and expert, we will help you create great moments for a lifetime of memories.
$
575
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
Full day float trip with lunch and flies provided.
$
550
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
A full day float trip on the Yellowstone River is a great experience. The Yellowstone River offers very diverse opportunities for great trout fishing. Countless tactics and approaches ... morework for wade and float fishing the Yellowstone River. Montana Fish Man can help unlock the Yellowstone River's secrets and give you the angling tools for future success. This is a great summer season option for beginners and expert anglers alike. Fly fishing and light tackle spin fishing. For one or two people.
Additional Information
Tributaries:
The Gardiner, Shields, Lamar, Boulder, Stillwater, Big Horn, Tongue and Powder Rivers.
Source:
Confluence of North and South Forks in the Absaroka Range, Wyoming
Mouth:
Missouri River in McKenzie County near Buford, North Dakota
Length:
692 miles
Basin:
70,000 sq miles
Seasonal Conditions
Season
Temperature
Hatches
Spring
29 - 58
 F
rise in temperature brings out Blue Winged Olives & Blizzard caddis hatches
Summer
36 - 73
 F
after spring run-off, great Salmon-fly and Stonefly hatch followed by mayfly & caddis
Fall
11 - 36
 F
cooling waters yield trophy trout; use 7-8 weight rod, sink-tip line and big streamers
Winter
6 - 31
 F
water is low and cold. Mostly nymph, some midges on warmer afternoons
Latest Guide Fishing Reports
Guide Reports
The river hadn't been fishable for a week or two until yesterday. It cleared up a bit due to colder temps but will be getting big and dirty again here VERY soon. I think we'll be giving ... morethat one at least a month. :(
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Saturday, 16 Apr, 2016
The recent warming trend has melted the shelf ice making for some good fishing. You still have to watch out for ice in the water coming down stream. Nymphing is the way to go this ... moretime of year with the usual suspects for flies including stoneflies with a caddis or midge nymph dropper. A Pat’s Rubberleg and small red or black midge is another good option. With the warmer weather, we may see even better action in the coming days.
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Monday, 1 Feb, 2016
Fish Caught:
1-3 fish
The storm that has rolled in should clear up by mid week and temperatures should improve from the 20’s to the 40’s. This makes for much better conditions mid week and on. ... moreThe ice is starting to become an issue as we get into winter so be careful. Double Nymph rig with a Rubberlegs has been doing the trick. Good for both trout and whitefish. Little Midges have been some of the best flies. Also try streamers with a Nymph and dead drift it. Make sure to you cover every inch as the fish are not going to want to move much with the cold water.
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Date:
Tuesday, 15 Dec, 2015
Yellowstone River is getting icy with ice sheets developing across the river. Small Nymphs are doing the best. Midges have been good lately. Make sure to you cover every inch as the ... morefish are not going to want to move much with the cold water. If you find some foam pockets behind rocks or logs, consider blue-winged olives and midges.
Fishing Water Report:
Start Access Site:
Date:
Tuesday, 1 Dec, 2015
The river has only a tinge of color from some of the valley snow melting. The past week has had very good nymph fishing. Soft hackles and little midge nymphs have been a must have ... morefor your fly box. The fish are also feeding on dead drifted streamers. The cold water temps make the fish not want to have to chase something down that is moving fast. Dead drift a medium sized streamer through the bottom of deep holes that the fish love to spend the winter. BOATERS BEWARE!!!! Floating downstream from Carters Bridge is becoming dangerous, there is a major hydraulic just downstream from Carters Bridge that has become very nasty, several other hydraulics further downstream from Carters Bridge have become extremely turbulent as well, floating this section should only be done by very experienced oarsmen. If you are going to put in at Carters use extreme caution navigating these holes and bring a raft, floating this section in a drift boat is NOT recommended. Be safe and good luck!
Fishing Water Report:
Date:
Sunday, 15 Nov, 2015
Fish Caught:
4-8 fish
Fishing Trips
The Yellowstone River is wild and scenic. With over 650 miles of untamed flows, the Yellowstone is the longest un-dammed river in the contiguous United States. From its origin inside ... moreYellowstone National Park, through Paradise Valley, the town of Livingston and beyond, the Yellowstone River offers approximately 200 miles of exceptional trout fishing. In addition, each stretch offers different scenery and unique fishing opportunities. Fishing four different stretches of the Yellowstone can feel much like fishing four different rivers entirely. Healthy, wild populations of Brown, Rainbow and Cutthroat trout keep beginners in the action and the avid fisherperson on their toes. Even though the Yellowstone is a well known river, it is not uncommon to spend a day on the water without seeing another boat. Mountain back drops and opportunities to view wildlife along the way, The Yellowstone offers an experience that few rivers can match.
  • Expert guide
  • BBQ lunch
Join us on the Yellowstone for a great day of fishing. With over 20 years experience floating the Yellowstone, Water's Edge Outfitting knows every riffle and pocket of water to help ... moretailor your trip to meet your expecations and skill level. Whether a first time angler or and expert, we will help you create great moments for a lifetime of memories.
  • Transportation to and from the river (dependent on which river is fished)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Expert "Chuck and Duck" instruction from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide
You know how big fish got to be big fish? By eating little fish. Are you a hog hunter looking for the right stretch to fish and what piece of meet to throw? Or have you just seen these ... morehuge flies in the shop and wanna learn a thing a two? Either way MFFT is here for you. You can't just throw a wooly bugger and hope for the best. There are numerous books based solely on different streamer techniques. Why? Because these techniques have been proven to catch quality trout. However, there is no guarantee in fishing. Especially a big fish guarantee. We are here to help increase your chances of catching big fish, not only on your trip but forever, by teaching you techniques learned throughout extensive guide careers. *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based the quality of streamer fishing on his last few trips
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (depending on which river is chosen)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Excellent instruction on nymph fishing from a knowledgable and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
We all know how to catch the most fish--nymphing. After all, nymphs account for over 80% of a fishes diet. But there is more to it than just flopping a bobber out there, much more. ... moreFor example, how far up your leader do you want to put that indicator? How much weight should you use? How often should you change your nymph rig? And that is just scratching the surface. Come with us on a fun filled day learning how to increase your success rate with nymphs! *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based on the quality of nymph fishing on his last few trips
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (dependent on which river is fished)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Expert dry fly instruction from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide
Are you sick of throwing bobbers and wanna try something new? Already throw dry flies but would like to hone your skills? Pretty darn good just want to be pointed in the right direction ... moreand given some bug recommendations but also there with a net when you need it? We can accommodate all skill levels on our dry fly only trips. We can explain how, what and where to fish something that doesn't look like a dodgeball at the top of your leader :) *The location of this trip will be decided by the guide based the quality of dry fly fishing on his last few trips
Destination:
  • Transportation to and from the river (dependent on river being fished.)
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch on each river
  • A three river adventure with a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
Variety is the spice of life, right? Well, that's where our 3 Rivers in 3 Days comes in because that's exactly what you'll be doing, fishing three different rivers in three days! With ... moreour choice of 4 world class rivers, our guides will know what rivers to fish on which days to maximize your chances for success. Don't blink, you might miss something!
Destination:
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  • Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Alder, Sheridan or Twin Bridges.
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunches
  • Casting instruction
  • Knot tying instruction
  • Entomology lessons
  • Learning how to "read the water"
  • Beautiful 2-3 day float trip in pristine Montana
  • All from a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide
This is our 2-3 day, personalized introduction to fly fishing. You will learn knots, fly selection, how to find where the fish are and soooo much more. Our guides have been fishing ... moreall of their lives, they know what their doing and are excited to share that knowledge with you! We offer this on the water, individualized, class in two and three day sessions. Besides another great day of fishing, the booking the three day intro will give you a chance to: ask more questions as you learn more and start knowing what questions to ask, see more of a variety of water and better learn to adjust your fishing to different situations, get a better understanding of bug life (entemology) and what part that plays in your fishing plans, as well as more intricate fishing knowledge from one of our professional and experienced guides. The rivers you learn this wonderful sport will be determined by the guide and where he/she thinks you will be most successful. However, if there is a certain river you would like to spend some time on, let us know and we are happy to accommodate.
Destination:
  • Transportation to the river and back from Ennis, Bozeman or Livingston
  • Access to top of the line fishing equipment
  • Wonderful streamside lunch
  • Great day of floating with a professional, experienced and enthusiastic MFFT fishing guide!
If you're a fisherman and you haven't heard of the Yellowstone River, take out your earplugs! Big, deep and beautiful, your going to wish you had a paintbrush and an easel on this ... morefloat. The only undammed river in the lower 48, the Yellowstone is a truly wild river as it courses from the Absaroka mountains of Wyoming almost 700 miles to North Dakota, where it meets and joins the mighty Missouri. This is an awesome river and if you want to catch some fish, the Yellowstone's healthy population of trout and whitefish can help you achieve that goal. However, if you don't mind throwing big ugly streamers until your arm falls off, you may just hook that trout your grandpa used to tell you about...
  • Rods, flies, lunch, non acholic beverages
The Yellowstone River is probably the prettiest guided fishing trip that we offer. It is absolutely breathtaking. We only offer float trips on the Yellowstone because it flows mostly ... morethrough private land and it is a rather large freestone river, much easier fished from the comfort of a drift boat. We try to fish mostly dry flies on the Yellowstone which if you are familiar you know how exciting it can be. The Yellowstone is home to wild Rainbow and Brown Trout as well as native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout and native whitefish. Come enjoy one of Montana's most beautiful trout fishing experiences with a knowledgeable guide to show you around.
  • Guide
Full day float trip with lunch and flies provided.
Current Forecast
Water Flow
Fishing Access Sites
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
82 acres
Elevation:
1,886 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
Boat Services:
Hand Launch
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
2 acres
Elevation:
1,903 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing
Boat Services:
Ramp
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
560 acres
Elevation:
1,906 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
Boat Services:
Hand Launch
Sanitation & Water:
Pack in/Pack out
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
2 acres
Elevation:
1,903 ft
Activities:
Fishing, Camping, Hunting
Boat Services:
Hand Launch
Campground:
Campsite
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
948 acres
Elevation:
1,949 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, Photography
Boat Services:
Hand Launch
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
1,070 acres
Elevation:
1,949 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing, Photography
Boat Services:
Hand Launch
Sanitation & Water:
Pack in/Pack out
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
93 acres
Elevation:
2,001 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Camping, Picnicking, Hunting, Wildlife Viewing
Boat Services:
Ramp
Campground:
Primitive Campsite
Picnic Site:
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Sanitation & Water:
Drinking Water, Toilet
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
5 acres
Elevation:
2,162 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Camping, Hunting
Boat Services:
Ramp
Campground:
Campsite
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report //
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
92 acres
Elevation:
2,195 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Camping
Boat Services:
Hand Launch
Campground:
Campsite
Find out about the latest fishing action with our Yellowstone River Fishing Report
Fishing Water Reports:
Size:
56 acres
Elevation:
2,238 ft
Activities:
Boating, Fishing, Camping, Picnicking, Hunting
Boat Services:
Ramp
Campground:
Primitive Campsite
Picnic Site:
Fire Ring, Picnic Table
Sanitation & Water:
Toilet
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Fishing Quality
(5.0 of 5)
Scenery
(5.0 of 5)
Access
(4.5 of 5)
Water quality
(5.0 of 5)
Top Fly Fishing Rivers in the US
River is rated as one of the top trout fishing rivers inthe US by Bob Mallard, author of 25 Best Towns - Fly Fishing for Trout
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One of the Top 10 Fishing Rivers in the US
The longest undammed river in the lower 48, the Yellowstone River is one of the best freestone trout streams in the western U.S. The headwatersin Yellowstone National Park contain the sought-after Yellowstone cutthroattrout. Downstream into Montana, the river contains healthy populations of largerainbow and brown trout. A mix of water types means both the fly and spinangler can do well here.
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