The Yellowstone River (The Stone/Jelly Stone) is the longest freestone river in the United States at 692 miles. It starts in the Absaroka mountain range in Wyoming and ends in the Missouri River in North Dakota. This amount of river miles gives us ample opportunities to catch fish. The Yellowstone River is king on the east side of the Rocky Mountain Range as every river on the east side of Montana flows into it.
Many times during our tours we will float from the Stillwater or Boulder Rivers into the Yellowstone. This is a unique opportunity to see and experience fishing two different rivers in one day!
Hopper fishing in the summer on the Yellowstone River is epic!
Dry fly fishing on the Yellowstone, especially hoppers in the summertime, is exceptionally good. Large Rainbow and Brown Trout can be caught well over 20″ are often caught on a mix of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. The Yellowstone also has its own native Yellowstone Cutthroat that can mostly be found closer to the headwaters but end up in the middle to lower sections where we are at.
The Yellowstone River offers unique rock fixtures that big fish will hold tight up against as well as wide inside flats where trout will move up into to take advantage of hoppers that stray to far away from the tall grass. Nymphing and Streamer fishing in deep buckets and against these rock fixtures is a sure way of catching fish too. The Whitefish population in this river is very healthy as well. It is not uncommon to catch 40-50 Whitefish in an outing, and don’t be surprised when one eats your dry fly as well!
Depending on conditions the Yellowstone is generally 40 minutes to an hour away from the lodge but we have gone up to an hour and a half upriver when water temperatures begin to rise in the heat of the summer.
Check out the Stillwater River here.
See more info about the Yellowstone from our lodge here.