Yellowstone National Park is a beautiful place to relax in your streams, lakes, and creeks fishing. Within Yellowstone’s borders are some of America’s top trout fishing areas. These include but are not restricted to Yellowstone Lake and River, Madison, Firehole, Gibbon, along with Lamar Rivers, Slough, and Soda Butte creeks. There are many other streams and lakes for you to put a fishing line in. This Yellowstone fishing trip guide includes some suggestions and ideas to plan your trip well ahead.

It is important to remember that the primary reason for fishing within Yellowstone is to help the wild animals that inhabit this magnificent ecosystem, including eagles, otters, bears, ospreys, bears, etc. This is why we have the regulations to keep this system perfectly blended with nature while it serves as a place for you to enjoy. Enjoy yourself and take care, and may your stay in Yellowstone make memories with friends and family that will last for a lifetime!

Yellowstone is fly-fishing heaven. There is nowhere else in the world that many public streams, rivers, and lakes are located in such a compact area. If you’ve never experienced the stunning beauty in Yellowstone from the shores of a stream, river, or lake before, then this could be the perfect time to begin your summer.

When planning your Yellowstone fishing trip, consider these factors

It is important that you follow a variety of rules when fishing in Yellowstone National Park because it contains many different & unique fish and animal species. Here are some of the most important things we have learned that will help you make your fishing trip a success. To make the Yellowstone Fishing Trip a success, it’s a great help.

⏱ A Yellowstone fishing trip is best during the spring or early summer

Yellowstone National Park is a fishing season, which means that fishing outside of the season is prohibited. The season starts on the day before the Memorial Day weekend (usually the final weekend of May) and continues until the first Sunday of November. There are some exceptions to the regional regulations. The fishing season is open from sunrise until sunset, and fishing under artificial light is forbidden.

🗝 Get a permit

A Yellowstone National Park fishing permit is essential for all fishing within the park. You need to understand that a state-issued license (i.e., Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho) is not an alternative to the Yellowstone National Park permit. Permits cost $40 for three days, $45 for seven days, and $75 for the entire season. You can buy licenses in advance through the internet or at the local participant retailer.

🐟 What are the types of fish available & a quick guide? 

Yellowstone is the home of seven-game fish, including brown, brook cutthroat, lake, and rainbow trout. There are also whitefish and grayling. Before you go fishing, you must recognize each species as rules differ. One of Yellowstone’s primary goals of sustaining an influential fishing industry is to safeguard indigenous Cutthroat Trout and its habitat. Be aware of the phrase “if it has a red slash, put it back.” This means that if your fish’s jaw has a slash-like mark, it must be released and safely returned to the water.

The park’s guidelines for fishing include pictures to help you discover. All native fish species, including the cutthroat trout, must catch and release. If you capture a non-native fish such as Lake Trout in Yellowstone Lake, it must be removed from the lake and killed. Being aware of the species of fish that inhabit the particular body of water can help you recognize the fish quickly once you have reached the thrilling “fish-on” moment!

💪 Prepare yourself 

Don’t go fishing in Yellowstone without general safety gear such as sunblock, sunglasses, repellent for insects, sunblock, and a hat. Be aware of applying your spray and learn about the safety rules for bears before going out.

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Additionally, fly fishing is a popular activity in Yellowstone National Park. To make things easier for you, here are a few basic items.

👳🏿‍♀️ Be involved in conservation

Anglers play a crucial part in preserving native fish species found in Yellowstone National Park. They can not only reduce the invasive lake trout population of Yellowstone Lake through fishing, but they can also help spread the word about this program. Native Fish Conservation Program. Learn more about how the Yellowstone National Park protects Cutthroat trout native to the area.

🔍What are the fishing locations in Yellowstone Park?


Fishing in Yellowstone offers a large variety of locations and a variety of fishing opportunities. The park is home to many world-renowned trout streams, including Yellowstone, Galatine, Madison, and Snake. Also, you can find the best Fishing spots in the park below.


💡 Choose your water.

Suppose you’re looking to fly fish or go boat fishing; there are many options to pick from where you can find inside the park. If you’re planning to fish in May and June, the first river to be cleared of snowmelt is the Firehole River, usually the only river good enough to do fishing at the beginning of the fishing season. The latter part of June provides more options, and the most popular fishing spots are the Gibbon and the Madison Rivers. Minor streams like Straight, Glen, Indian, and many others provide excellent fishing for those just beginning.

The Gibbon and Madison Rivers, as well as Yellowstone, Grebe, and Trout lakes, are cleared of snowmelt during the second week of June. As the biting flies have thinned out, August is the best time to fish Yellowstone’s lakes-especially the backcountry lakes. Most rivers are good to fish during August, except Madison. In addition, due to the combination of warmer temperatures during the day and thermal activity on the Firehole River, the Firehole Rivers may become too warm.

👆 Use a trusted Guide.

If you’re considering fishing initially or when you think you’re an experienced angler, A lesson or guide can help you make the most enjoyment out on the water. This summer, the Yellowstone Forever Institute offers three fly-fishing courses to those who want detailed instruction. You can also check for yourself on the following list of guides approved by the Yellowstone Institute.

🛶 Get a permit if you’re boating

permit if you’re boating
permit if you’re boating

The boating season is in the same time frame as the fishing season. All boats, including floating tubes, which are popular with river anglers, require the approval of a permit. Each craft should have an emergency life jacket for every passenger and an emergency alarm device such as a horn or whistle. Every boat that should pass through the National Park is subjected to inspection. Service inspectors ensure that they’re clean of aquatic invading species before entering the park’s waterways.


👨‍🦱 Should know these things if you’re taking children

Children younger than 16 do not require a permit if they’re under the immediate control of an adult who holds the key. Children under the age of 16 who wish to fish without supervision from an adult may obtain the permit for free, signed by an adult responsible. It is recommended to take your children to areas with

peaceful waters. The recommended locations include the Gibbon River at Virginia Meadows or similar meadows; and Solfatara Creek near Norris Campground. Aster Creek is close to Lewis Falls, the Lewis Lake shoreline, Yellowstone Lake along Gull Point Drive, Sand Point, or the Yellowstone Lake shoreline near Grant Marina.

Make sure you read the regulation book.


Yellowstone has a delicate marine ecosystem, which is protected by strict rules. Hooks should be barb-free and lead weights and bait are not permitted. The regulations booklet will give additional information on limitations, important dates, closings, and restrictions, as areas are designated for fish-only or catch-and-release only.



The above list of ten ideas is just a guideline for planning your trip. You might come across many questions while you are planning your fishing trip to Yellowstone. We include a FAQ section at the end of this article so that you would get some of your questions answered. Please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any other questions regarding your Yellowstone fishing trip. We are more than happy to help you.

Enjoy your fishing trip to Yellowstone!

Don’t forget to comment and share your experience here in our comment section.


What is the most optimal time to fish in Yellowstone Park?

The fishing season in Yellowstone generally begins during the final weekend in May, which falls on Memorial Day weekend. Memorial Day weekend continues until the first Sunday in November.

How can I get Yellowstone National Park Fishing Permits:

State licenses are not required to fish within Yellowstone National Park However, the purchase of a Yellowstone National Park fishing permit is required. You can buy these permits from Park Visitor Centers or Fly Shops close to the park.

Children younger than 15 do not require permits if they’re fishing alongside an adult who holds keys. Children younger than 15 may get unpaid access approved by an adult, and the child can then do fishing on their own without supervision.

The cost of a permit to fish within Yellowstone National Park are:

  • 3-Day Permit: $18
  • 7-Day Permit: $25
  • Season Permit: $40

This information could change soon, so ensure the accuracy of all details through Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks or with Yellowstone National Park.

How can you fly-fish in Yellowstone River?

Utilize a larger hopper with sizes 2-10 and then hurriedly dump them into the water and float them over the banks. If you’re bored of fishing hoppers, lure flies like Royal Wulffs can also be effective. Many feeder creeks drain to the Yellowstone River along this section.

Where is the best place to fish in Yellowstone?

The park named river Yellowstone runs through the entire park from north to south. The most effective fishing can be found within The Grand and Black Canyons and requires a hike to get there for the most part.

What other activities could I do within this area?

For those who aren’t keen on fly fishing and are not interested in fly fishing, the Park and National Forests surrounding it are filled with scenic trails for hiking. Yellowstone is a fantastic spot to observe wildlife, ranging from Trumpeter Swans to Bald Eagles to Bison along with Grizzly Bears.

The Yellowstone geology is diverse and exciting, and photographers love the vibrant scenery and the abundance of wildlife. There are endless trails throughout the Gallatin and Beaverhead National Forests for mountain biking and horseback riding. You can enjoy rafting that can do on the Gallatin, Snake, and Yellowstone Rivers. Whatever your interest, West Yellowstone is a fantastic spot to relax and enjoy the outdoors.



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