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Fly Fishing in Yellowstone

by Rick Chapo

Despite the media frenzy about Yellowstone being a super volcano, it is still one of the truly beautiful places in the world. Oh, I should probably mention the fly fishing is good as well.

As you probably know, Yellowstone National Park has a basic philosophy that underlies everything. The animals and park take precedent over everything. That includes you and me. As a result, you can't just walk up to a body of water and start casting. Nope, there are all kinds of rules and regulations about open season, open and closed areas and so on. The lakes in Yellowstone are not stocked, so the rangers are very particular about people following the rules.

The park has general rules regarding fishing which we will cover here. Take note, however, that these change frequently, so make sure to check out the latest news. Regardless, you are going to need a fishing permit. The good news is they are cheap with a 7 day license running $5 and a season permit running a whopping $10. On a more onerous issue, the park has a "non-toxic" policy towards fishing gear. Anything with lead in it is prohibited. This includes lead weighted ribbon used for nymph fishing.

The rivers in Yellowstone are primo fly fishing opportunities. The target fish is trout. The Yellowstone River gets the most pub. You can find cutthroats over 15 inches that will give you a good run for your money. If you are looking for more of a challenge, the Firehole River is the best bet. It is fishable in late May, which is unique in Yellowstone. The only problem is it has thermal springs feeding it in certain places and the fishing is a challenge. Gibbons River offers a chance to rub elbows with other fly casting. It is restricted only to fly fishing, but can get a bit crowded. The fishing is better middle to late summer.

When heading to Yellowstone, it is pretty hard to have a bad experience. Even if you aren't catching anything, the scenery is so amazing it doesn't really matter. The only way to have a bad time is to get in trouble with the rangers. The fines are large, so make sure you know the rules and comply with them.

About the author: Rick Chapo is with NomadJournals.com - makers of fly fishing journals.

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