Fly fishing near Yellowstone National Park is an angler’s dream. The iconic scenic mountain views, wildlife, and the opportunity to catch native cutthroat trout among other species are what bucket-list fishing trips are made of. While some anglers prefer to fish waters like Yellowstone Lake within the park boundaries, some of the best fly fishing near Yellowstone happens in the many rivers, streams, tributaries, and lakes surrounding the park.
With thousands of miles of flowing water to choose from your best bet is to hire a fishing guide near Yellowstone who can get you to the most productive and accessible spots for your skill level. You will also want to be aware of bear safety while fishing these mountainous waters by carrying bear spray and being mindful to not leave food out in the open.
You can base in Cody, Wyoming (50 miles from Yellowstone’s east gate) and get a valid Wyoming fishing license then prepare for the fly-fishing experience of a lifetime.
Fishing in Yellowstone National Park
It is possible to fish within Yellowstone National Park, but you will need a special permit from the National Park Service and abide by specific restrictions for fishing in these waters. Yellowstone Lake is popular for catching native cutthroat trout and invasive species like brook, brown, rainbow and lake trout. Some other great spots for fly fishing in Yellowstone are the Yellowstone River and Soda Butte Creek which has a wide space for big casts and is surrounded by the stunning wildlife in the Lamar Valley.
Lower Shoshone River
Some of the best fishing near Yellowstone is along the Lower Shoshone River. Since it passes through Cody this is an easily accessible river for wading, float fishing or casting a line from the bank. It is a great option for families who may be staying in Cody on their way to a Yellowstone vacation and only have a few hours to spare. The Lower Shoshone River is fishable year-round for rainbow and brown trout and mountain whitefish.
North fork of Shoshone
The North Fork of the Shoshone River follows one of the scenic byways near Yellowstone, so you are guaranteed stunning views while fly fishing for rainbow, brown and cut bow trout and mountain whitefish. You can hire a fly-fishing guide near Yellowstone who can get you onto the best sections of water and advise you on techniques while monitoring water conditions that can change rapidly with rainfall. Access is easy on this stretch of river that flows out of some of the most remote wilderness areas in the region.
Wood River near Meeteese has shallow, colder water surrounded by the beautifully preserved natural landscape of the Shoshone National Forest. There are guided fly-fishing trips near Yellowstone available with guides who are familiar with these waters and can take you to the most productive sections. Access is easy and anglers can wade in Wood River through most of the summer.
Wind River Canyon
If you are staying in Cody, you can make an easy day trip for fly-fishing in the Wind River Canyon. You will want to hire a fly-fishing guide to take you to the most productive spots and navigate the extensive waters flowing through the canyon. This is a great river system for float fishing for cut bow and brown trout. A popular section for float fishing is from Wedding of the Waters to Hot Springs State Park, a fee-free park that you can explore on your own after fishing.