- Yellowstone National Park
The rivers in Yellowstone National Park are popular fishing spots Firehole River is known for its consistent dry fly fishing, although the fish are generally smaller than other rivers. In the southeast corner of the park, the Yellowstone River is known for its larger cutthroats. Check out the Fishing Regulations Handbook on the National Park Service website.
- Madison River
From Yellowstone Park to Three Forks, Montana, the Madison River offers great fishing. The upper Madison in Yellowstone provides rainbow and brown trout, and also some great scenery. The best time for this section of river is from late June to the first part of July. Be sure not to miss the renowned Salmon Fly Hatch, starting on the lower Madison River upstream from Ennis, Montana.
- Gallatin River
Find some magnificent rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout on the Gallatin, a cold, clear mountain stream. The most productive fishing will be from the middle of July through late fall.
- Henry's Fork
With a great mix of water types on this river, you’ll find yourself compelled to try your luck. On Henry’s Fork of the Snake River you can experience the best dry fly fishing anywhere.
- South Fork of the Snake River
In Eastern Idaho, wade along the river bank, launch a boat for an overnight trip, or hire a guide to show you the best spots.
- Southwest Montana Rivers & Lakes
In southwest Montana, the most famous rivers for great fishing are the Blackfoot, Beaverhead, Bitterroot and Big Hole Rivers. Rock Creek provides some superb fishing for the wader. Lakes include Georgetown Lake and Clark Canyon Reservoir.
Lake and Ice Fishing
- Hebgen Lake
Use dry flies or streamers, troll or spin fish on Hebgen Lake. It’s the ideal place to do some trout fishing and enjoy the breathtaking scenery all around. The brown trout begin their spawning run around early October with the average size being around two to three pounds. Through the ice, great brown and rainbow trout fishing from December up until mid March can be had. Don't miss the Hebgen Lake Ice Fishing Tournament in February.
- Henry's Lake
Only 15 miles west of Yellowstone, Henry’s Lake invites fishermen from all over, with its great yields of trout. You can’t overlook the great potential of lake fishing, although you may have stayed with streams or rivers in the past. The lake opens just before Labor Day and stays open to the end of October.
- Ennis Lake
Travel northwest on 287. Ennis Lake is just past Ennis. Fish for browns, rainbows, and mountain whitefish any time of year!
- Quake Lake
This lake is great for browns and rainbows and almost never crowded, especially for ice fishing.
- Yellowstone National Park
Lake fishing on Yellowstone, Shoshone and Lewis Lakes is superb. On Yellowstone Lake you’ll pull in cutthroat trout often in the 17-inch range. You should fly-fish mostly near the shore to find the greatest number of trout feeding. Alternatively rent a boat from Bridge Bay Marina or join a guided fishing tour and head out to the depths of the lake. For brown and lake trout of great size, try Shoshone Lake. You’ll also find some good-sized brook trout here. In Lewis Lake, you’ll get some decent catches of brown, lake and brook trout. There are a number of other lakes that can be accessed by taking a short hike. These, in the northeast corner of Yellowstone, include Wolf Lake, Heart Lake and Trout Lake.
The only real fees associated with fishing in West Yellowstone or Montana will be your Conservation License and fishing license. The Conservation License is $9.25 and must be purchased before obtaining your fishing license. You can get a two-day fishing license for $15, a 10-day license for $43.50 or a season license for $60. A separate permit is needed to fish in Yellowstone National Park. A Yellowstone 10-day permit is $10 and a season permit is $20.
Hire a Guide
Check out all your options for the hiring of a guide when you are coming to fish in or around West Yellowstone. Fishing guides have a vast knowledge of the local region and can take you to the ideal spots where you can likely make your trophy catch. Getting an experienced guide increases your chances of making the best catch ever.
Some nearby lodges specialize in fishing trips and packages. Make the most of your fly fishing vacation and stay at one of these specialized lodges.
Hear straight from guides and local avid anglers about the latest fishing conditions in the area.