Montana and Yellowstone Park Fishing Report

Montana and Yellowstone Park Fishing Report

Welcome to Parks’ Fly Shop’s Montana and Yellowstone Park Fishing Report and Blog. Check out the general fishing report below for an overview of what’s going on in our area. Visit our Blog to check out our fly tying videos, podcasts, fishing tips, detailed posts on weather and water predictions for the upcoming season (generally posted in the winter and spring), trip reports from our guides, and fishing, conservation, and fly shop news.

If you’ve found this page through a Google search or otherwise aren’t familiar with our fly shop, please visit Parks’ Fly Shop’s Main Site to learn about the guided fishing trips we offer, to learn more about the shop, or to peruse our in-depth and free Montana and Yellowstone Fly Fishing Info Site for lots of free advice on fishing our region.

The fishing report is below the fish.

black canyon cutthroat


General Yellowstone Park and Montana Fishing Report – Updated November 30, 2019

The Yellowstone Park fishing season closed for the winter. Waters begin reopening on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, 2020. In Montana, bitter cold weather and limited hours of sunlight to warm the water mean that things are tough most places. If you want to fish public water, the section of the Yellowstone right through Gardiner is really the only nearby option. Below the mouth of the Gardner is in Montana and open. If you’re up for a drive, the tailwater fisheries on the Missouri below Hauser and Holter Dams are also good choices (3.5-4hr drive if roads are in good shape).

If you are up for private-access fishing, the Paradise Valley spring creeks are great choices whenever it’s warm enough for you to stand. Fish midges, San Juan Worms, and egg patterns in the deeper slots downstream of gravel.

Not much will change until mid-January, so don’t expect a new report until then.

Top Fisheries in MT: Paradise Valley spring creeks, Missouri River, Yellowstone River right in Gardiner.

Top Fisheries in YNP: CLOSED FOR THE SEASON!

Detailed Water-by-Water Yellowstone Park and Montana Fishing Report

Yellowstone Park Fisheries

Upper Yellowstone River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until July 15, 2020

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until late May, 2020, and probably muddy until late June.

Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until late May, 2020, and probably muddy until late June.

Gardner River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed for the season. Opens late May, 2020. May be good then. Was great today (the last day of the season), with solid rainbows eating fall-run brown trout eggs in the deep slots.

Lamar River, Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek Fishing Report – November 3

Closed for the season. Opens late May, 2020, but likely muddy into early-mid July.

Firehole River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until late May 2020.

Gibbon River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until late May 2020.

Madison River in YNP Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until late May 2020.

Gallatin River in YNP Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Closed until late May 2020. Probably muddy until the end of June.

Other Waters in YNP Fishing Report – Updated October 6

Closed until late May 2020.

Montana Fisheries

Yellowstone River Fishing Report – Updated November 30

Bitter cold with some ice. Focus on areas near warm-water inputs, especially right in Gardiner downstream of the Gardner River.

Paradise Valley Spring Creek Fishing Report – Updated November 30

The best bet from now through early March, especially for all-day fishing. Midges, mayfly nymphs, San Juan Worms, scuds, and small streamers will work all winter, and some midge hatches are possible. Right now, egg patterns and larger streamers are also good bets. This is the only place we’ll fish through mid-January, if we can help it.

Yellowstone Valley Private Lakes Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Generally inaccessible and starting to freeze up.

Lower Madison River Fishing Report – Updated November 3

Not a bad bet if the wind is calm. Fish streamers, San Juan Worms, and eggs.