Fishing Gallatin River Montana
James Marsh Fly fishing Gallatin River Montana
Copyright 2016 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
the nation.
Click here for the Lower Gallatin River.

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
park's boundaries.

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
most favorable.
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)
Type of Stream

Rainbow Trout
Rocky Mountain Whitefish
(Wild Trout)


Southwestern Montana, YNP

Nearest Towns
West Yellowstone, Montana

Last of May through October


Park License
Yellowstone National Park License

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Perfect Fly Hatch Chart

Fly Fishing Guide

Hatches and Flies

Fly Fishing Gear

Stream Flow Data (outside the
park at Gallatin Gateway):
Real Time USGS Data
Gallatin River, YNP
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Fly fishing Gallatin River
Gallatin River
Gallatin River cuttbow
Thumbnail Images: Click to Enlarge
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. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.