Tips for family vacation to Yellowstone [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tips for family vacation to Yellowstone

02-27-2004, 10:29 AM
My wife, 1 year old son, and I plan to visit Yellowstone National Park in late August of this year. We've made arrangements to stay inside the park, near West Yellowstone. I'm hoping to wet a line while I'm there. The wife is not a hardcore outdoors person and our little one is obviously too small to do much of anything, so any flyfishing will have to be squeezed in between the more ordinary tourist activities. I had hoped to avoid needing to hire a local guide, but I would also like to avoid crowds to the extent that is possible. Ideally, it would be nice to plan a few day trips where my wife and son could safely picnic and bumble around the picnic area while occasionaly checking off in the distance to observe Dad's futile attempts to catch (and release) a fish on a fly. <GRIN> Does any one have any suggestions as to good streams, camp grounds, picnic areas, etc. that might allow me to pull this off? Perhaps an alternative itinerary? (Wife goes sight seeing, husband hooks up with them later, etc.) We'll have a car, so we can drive anywhere in the park.


Dble Haul
02-27-2004, 11:04 AM

First, welcome to the Forum.

Second, I'm not familiar with that area, but we have some members who are. In order to increase your odds of getting some responses, I've copied this same question to the Trout Forum. Be sure to check there for potential replies as well.

Good luck, and have fun when you get there.

02-27-2004, 03:05 PM
I was there the laster part of July, year before last. There is alot of great water around there but most of the easy access water gets pounded pretty hard. There are 4-5 great shops in West Yellowstone that can give you more help the men but here is what I think for short trips. The Gallatin river and the Gibbon are great and gets fished alot less then the others. The are medium to small. At that time the meadow streaches would be great as you go north on the loop. Also the Madison. You would be surprised how little pressure it get if you are willing to hike 30-45 minutes up from the access. Most guys just fish the 200yards north and south of the access.
Forget Firehole it is near old faithful and is tempting but it will be way too hot that time of year. It short the fishing can be pretty good in that area but if you are willing to put more time into it it can be great. Load up on Grasshopers, ants and small nymphs.

03-01-2004, 03:19 PM
Welcome aboard, Between the trout section and world wide you are getting lots of great info. I ran the West District of the maintenance department back in the 80's that covered every thing from Old Faithful to West Yellowstone and fished daily while at work, after work and before work. I get asked all the time about where to fish and what I like to tell those that ask is to just go do some exploring. You will not waste a second of your time by just pulling over when you see a place to fish. Any dangers are well marked, the regulations are not too hard to follow. You may not catch fish every place you stop but fishing Yellowstone is not about catching, it is about sounds, vision, smell and the entire park is this way. In some places you will feel the earth move under your feet in others the smell of sulfer from certain geysers is incredible. You may see an entire herd of elk or Bison cross the river right in front of you. At first light you may here the wolf, the coyotte or the bald eagle.

Go and enjoy your stay keep the process simple and you will find more than you know what to do with. Yellowstone is nature and plans and nature just don't mix well if you know what I mean.
Have fun and enjoy.

03-17-2004, 08:06 AM
August on the Madison is awesome. Hoppers are everywhere. Will you be all over the park? What areas? Canyon? Tower Junction? Mammoth? Let me know, and I'll give you some nice spots. I worked there in the summer of '92.

Here's a great link for info:

Shot me an e-mail, and I'll give you some cool ideas.

03-17-2004, 08:29 AM
My best suggestion would be to walk at least a half hour from the road before you begin fishing. The difference, in many ways, is amazing.

04-02-2004, 12:29 PM
Fishing "in Yellowstone" can be great. I lived in Bozeman for three years and 12 miles from the park by Cooke city for three summers. I went back last fall for the firtst time in a few years last September. I have never seen anything like it, a fisherman every 50 feet or so on the Lamar below soda butte cr. and the same above the lamar on soda butte cr. When I lived there if you could see another fisher you were too close. My wife and I hiked up the Lamar three miles. I had a blast found a few pods of fish working PMDs and some Drakes. Beautiful native cuts up to 17" or so. Even with the low water I wish I would have hit slough cr. wonderful, large trout, hard as kentucky moonshine for the first few miles oh well shoulda woulda coulda. For less crowded near the road fishing I would think seriously about hitting the Clarks fork of the yellowstone towards the beartooth pass from cooke city. Ask Ralph and Sue at the general store for directions to trail bridge. Also at the crazy creek campground (about 14 miles ouside of Cooke on Highway 212)there is crazy creek. You will need to hike up it a short distance but you shouldn't see another person. If you cross the beartooth pass there can be prolific hatces in ponds along the high part. If you fly into Bozeman the E Gallatin can be a real treat. It's close to town and very wadeable. That time of year i'd concentrate on early and late and leave the daytime for the family.

Dr. Swing
04-02-2004, 05:06 PM

Check your PM's. I sent you a little info on the area.

Hobble Creek
04-15-2004, 11:34 AM has a forum thats specifically about Yellowstone and most of the folks posting there are from the area. They can give you all the info you need.

Leland Miyawaki
04-15-2004, 12:18 PM
I think half the fun of going to Yellowstone territory is visiting the flyshops in West Yellowstone and Last Chance. They are legendary. I would particularly recommend Blue Ribbon Flies and Bud Lilly's in West and Mike Lawson's Henry's Fork Outfitters in Last Chance.


04-16-2004, 11:29 AM
Unless something has change you do not need to purchase a license to fish inside the park. just thought I would throw that in.


Dr. Swing
04-16-2004, 11:41 AM
Skilly you are correct. The prices for Park fishing licenses are going up this year. There is now a 3 day license (I think it will be 10.00 but I may be wrong) a 7 day at $15.00 and the season is now up to $30.00. Ahh, progress:rolleyes: