Fishing in Yellowstone National Park – When and Where

Fishermen in Yellowstone National Park

Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is just one of many activities that can be enjoyed here by those who love the great outdoors. Many anglers come to this outstanding National Park each year to obtain a permit and fish in its waters. The park contains hundreds of miles of fishable, accessible trout rivers with high numbers of wild trout – over 200 creeks, streams and rivers are suitable for fishing in Yellowstone National Park. There are also no fewer than 45 fishable lakes, including several large ones that are easily accessed by visitors.

When to Fish in Yellowstone National Park

The fishing season in Yellowstone runs from the Saturday in May associated with Memorial Day, to the first Sunday in November each year. Fishing is usually permitted throughout this season, though the National park service may enact emergency closures and restrictions due to high temperatures, low water or fires throughout this time, an specific areas may be closed or restricted for safety reasons.

More useful info: Best time of year to visit Yellowstone National Park

Where to Fish in Yellowstone National Park

  • Gallatin River – excellent sections for rainbow and brown trout.
  • Madison River – great for fall fishing for trout. (Fly fishing only, catch and release.)
  • Firehole River – runs through active geyser area and has been called the ‘strangest trout stream on Earth’.
  • Gibbon River – Fly fishing only and catch and release below Gibbon Falls.
  • Yellowstone River – Extremely remote upper regions, excellent fishing in Yellowstone Canyon.
  • Slough Creek – One of the most popular shishing areas in the park, with some of the best cutthroat fishing in the world.
  • Yellowstone Lake – largest body of water in the park, opens for angling mid-June. Cutthroat trout must be released, lake trout caught must be killed.
  • Lewis Lake – a popular brown and lake trout fishery.

These are just some of the top fishing spots throughout the park, though there are also plenty more places to try. Wherever you plan on practicing your angling skills, make sure you have the requisite permit and are fully aware of all the regulations and requirements for the area in which you have chosen to fish.

What You Might Catch in Yellowstone National Park

Brown, rainbow, brook and lake trout are commonly caught throughout Yellowstone National Park. Westslipe cutthroat and Yellowstone cutthroat are also commonly encountered, as are mountain whitefish and Arctic grayling. Native species must be released unharmed, while non native trouts etc. have bag limits that vary depending on where you are fishing.

In Conclusion

More information on fishing within the national parks, and angling supplies, can be found at the park’s concession stores and in towns associated with all the park’s major entrances. Fishing in Yellowstone is not only a relaxing pastime, it can also allow you to become part of helping to balance and maintain a natural native population of fish, by keeping the numbers of non-natives down. So it could be an eco-friendly activity to enjoy while you are spending time in these truly breathtaking landscapes.

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