Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Gallatin River -
Yellowstone National Park
The portion of the Gallatin River inside Yellowstone
National Park is the picture perfect small trout stream.
It is also one of the easiest to access streams in the
park. Highway #191 follows the stream within a short
distance its entire length in the park. It is easy to wade in
most places. When you are fly fishing the Gallatin River,
you are fly fishing one of, if not the best small stream in
This stream begins at a high elevation in the park as two
small streams that flow into Gallatin Lake. The outflow of
Gallatin Lake starts the Gallatin River. It's one of the
coldest streams in the park. It is one of the last streams
in the western side of the park to warm up. There's
approximately twenty-five miles of the stream inside the
Fan Creek, Divide Creek and Bacon Rind Creeks join it
near mile post 22 on Highway #191. A few miles
downstream Specimen Creek, another tributary stream,
adds to the flow. Each of these streams also provide
some very good small stream fishing opportunities.
For the next thirty miles of so, the Gallatin River flows
through a continuous string of riffles and runs with only
a few pools along its way. It has the appearance of a
meadow stream since it flows through large meadows,
but it isn't the typical meandering meadow stream at all.
It's mostly a fast water, mountain stream.
The trout are rainbows, cutthroat and cutbows in the
park section although there may be some brown in the
lower section. They probably only average ten to twelve
inches but there are some that get much larger. In fact,
we think most anglers that haven't fished it very often
and at the various times of the season underrate the
size of the trout in the Gallatin River. By the way, there's
also plenty of Mountain Whitefish in the stream and
some of them are huge.
The Gallatin River is usually still to cold or experiencing
runoff conditions at the start of the season near the first
of June. It is at least mid June and often the first of July
before it becomes fishable.
Summertime is the best time to fish the Gallatin. That is
when hatches are plentiful and the water conditions are
Fly Fishing the Gallatin River is good during the early
part of the Fall season.
Fly Fishing Guide to the Gallatin River
The Gallatin River is the perfect small dry fly stream.
Although generic and attractor flies will often work, you
are better off matching the many hatches that occur.
(Clice To Continue)
Gallatin River, YNP
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Bacon Rind Creek
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing this stream and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions. Please
allow up to 24 hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will
help you decide which flies you need.
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
Shipping is free in the U. S. Orders
over $50 are shipped Priority Mail.
Recommended Tackle & Gear
Floating 4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 ft., 5X, Nymphing: 71/2 ft., 3 or 4X
Dry fly: 5X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X, Streamer 1X
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five or
For 4/5/6 Size Fly Lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park