Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Yellowstone River - Yellowstone National
Yellowstone Grand Canyon
This section of the river begins just below Chittenden Bridge at the upper falls. The
three-hundred foot plus falls is just downstream from there. The area is closed for safety
reason. The Grand Canyon section is about fifteen miles long and ranges from very difficult to
impossible to reach. Reaching the canyon below the falls to fish and return in a day is a major
undertaking. You better be prepared to do some tough climbing. The trip is usually rewarded
with lots of fast action from the cutthroats that average between twelve to sixteen inches long.
The Seven Mile Hole Trail is the first access point below the falls. It's about 1300 feet below the
trialhead and requires a five mile hike even though it is called the Seven Mile Hole. The
trailhead is located on Inspiration Point Road at the Glacial Boulder Trailhead. Backcountry
permits can be obtained for those interested in spending the night in the canyon. The Grand
Canyon section is dominated with fast flowing, pocket water. There are huge boulders, large
pools and short riffles and runs.
You cannot access the middle area of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon. The steep canyon walls
prevent anyone from fishing the area. The lower part can be accessed from the bridge where
the Northeast Entrance road crosses the Yellowstone River about a half mile from Tower
Junction. From there you can only fish a short section up or down on either side of the river.
The uppermost tributary stream to the Yellowstone River in the canyon is Broad Creek. It is a
fifteen mile long creek that begins at White Lake. Its confluence with the river is about the
center of the canyon. It can be accessed from Wapiti Lake Trail. It is a very long hike of about
fourteen miles form the trailhead at Chittenden Bridge to Broad Creek. The stream has two
small tributary streams of its on, Wrong and Shallow Creeks. The trout are small, averaging
about ten to fourteen inches in length. You cannot access the river itself from Broad Creek.
The Yellowstone River can be accessed in the canyon area from Agate Creek. It joins the river
about six miles above the Lamar River confluence. Again, the going is tough. You have to
access Agate Creek from the Specimen Trail located about two miles from Tower Junction on
the Northeast Entrance Road. It requires a three mile hike on Specimen Trail and another
three mile hike on Agate Trail to reach the stream. Only about a mile of the Yellowstone River
can be fished from this access, so I doubt anyone would have much company.
Approximately three miles of the East bank of the Yellowstone River in the canyon can be
reached from the Sulphur Beds Access. The Sulphur Beds Trail provides this access. It can be
accessed by hiking just over a mile on the Specimen Trail until you see an unimproved trail
heading down to the river. You can fish about two miles upstream and just over a half mile
downstream from that point.
Tower Creek is another tributary stream of the Yellowstone River in the canyon section. The
creek only has about a hundred yards of water that can be accessed below Tower Falls. It can
be accessed from the Tower Falls Overlook Trail. The upper section of Tower Creek can be
accessed from the Tower Falls Campground Loop Road. The trout above Tower Falls are
small brook trout.
Near the end of the canyon section you will find its largest tributary, the Lamar River.
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