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Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

Monroe, North...
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Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

My husband and I would like to go fishing while we are in YNP and GTNP for 7 days. I have read the guidelines, so to cut down on the tedious rules, we are only going to fish in one spot on one day. We would like to do this ourselves without a guide.

Where is the best place to fish in YNP or GTNP? I've heard that the best fishing in the country can be done here, so my question, is where exactly? Which is better YNP or GTNP, and then where specifically?

Houston, Texas
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for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

Best place to fish? When? What kind of fishing do you want to do? Fly Fishing? Spin Casting? There is no bait fishing. Do you expect to be able to keep any fish, most are catch and release only.

The area does have what may be the greatest concentration of good fishing anywhere. Different streams and lakes fish better or worse depending on the time of the year and weather. Though the fishing is good in the area many of the waters are technical and not especially easy for fishermen not familiar with the area, fish and hatches.

Two books: Fly Fishing Yellowstone Park and The Yellowstone Fly Fishing Guide are good resources for the fishing in the park. Fly shops in West Yellowstone, Gardner, Livingston and Jackson have fishing reports and more specific information online.

If you are going to fish for one day you can't underestimate the value of a guide. It took me over a week of fishing on my own the first time to learn as much (and catch) as I did one day with a guide.

Edited: 11 August 2012, 20:37
Monroe, North...
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2. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

We will be there in mid-September, and we will be spin casting. We just want to catch and release. Unfortunately, we just can't afford to add a guided fishing trip at this point. I talked to the people at Jackson Lake, and they even charge for 1 and 3 year olds. So, even if it's not best, we are going to do it ourselves for just one day. Is there not a place that many people consider an awesome place to fish due to scenery, location, and fish? I've read some people say that about Snake River, but I wasn't sure where and if that is for spin casting too. So, YNP or GTNP, and where?

Ennis MT
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for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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3. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

There is no way that anyone can tell you that one specific place is the "best". There are just too many variables, not the least of which is your own level of experience - and if you have any familiarity with the area.

I'm not sure what "tedious rules" are posing a problem for you?

At any rate, contacting a local fly shop would be very helpful, and I agree that considering a guide service for a day - or even a half-day - would make your fishing experience much more enjoyable.

If you're interested in spin-casting, another option to consider is a guided fishing trip on Yellowstone Lake.

Ennis MT
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for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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4. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

Sorry - I was writing while you were posting, and didn't see when you'll be coming. The Lake fishing trips won't be operating after Labor Day, so that's not an option for you.

I would suggest doing your fishing inside YNP - the park licenses are cheaper than non-resident licenses in either WY or MT. Check out the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce website. They will have links to the local fly-shops, any of which can help you out with whatever type of fishing you're interested in.

Monroe, North...
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5. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

heypaula717, again, that I cannot afford to hire a guide right now, so no matter how much you feel like that will enhance my experience, it just can't happen right now, so I just have to work with my circumstances. I was just asking for ideas of places where people enjoy fishing that offer good scenery and fish. My husband grew up fishing in rivers his whole life, but we will have our kids with us, so that makes a difference. As for the tedious rules, cleaning my equipment, shoes, gear, and letting my stuff dry for 5 days before fishing in different water just seems tedious to me personally.

Edited: 11 August 2012, 22:32
Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

My son wanted to fish, so we asked the rangers at Canyon and also the guy at the bait and tackle shop where to go. They had current information on the best places. We ended up on Lake Yellowstone on a side road near Bridge Bay CG, but, as usual, didn't catch anything, lol. We also camped at Madison River and saw plenty of people fishing there (you can only use flies even if you use spincast rod/reel).

Also check on local fly shop websites, they have fishing updates and news usually. http://www.wyflyshop.com/ http://jacklinsflyshop.blogspot.com/

Wish I could help more, but hope this at least gets you headed to some fun!

Ennis MT
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for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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7. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

It seems there was a lack of clarity in my previous post. By suggesting that you contact a fly shop, I was not saying that you should do so for the sole purpose of hiring a guide, The shops are very helpful in letting you know where you are most likely to have the most fun - and success - fishing in the area, whatever your circumstances and preferences..

Bay Village, Ohio
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8. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

Our son is a biologist who works for the Fisheries Department and lives at Lake Village. He has been involved in removing non-native fish (lake trout) from YNP since graduating from college 5 years ago. Lake trout is the one fish that is NOT catch and release in YNP - if you catch it, you MUST keep it and not release it back into the water. It is a good eating fish, if you are interested. I can ask him what are currently the best fishing areas - he fishes pretty much every spare minute he has if he is not out hiking. I will tell him you have young children, you want pretty scenery, and that you are spin casting. He may have some suggestions for you.

Edited: 12 August 2012, 14:35
Spery, Iowa
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9. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

Water temp makes a difference in YNP- I believe I recently saw where a popular stretch would be closed due to warm temps. You will need to ask for the latest when you get to the park- and the shops outside the park are willing to help even if you don't hire them. Tell you what flies are working, etc. mom83 has a good source ( and one lucky son!) for the local info. Folks here are not trying to be difficult, it is just difficult to recommend a place in the park when things change before you can get there. Another joy of Yellowstone! Have a fun trip, and remember: even if no one catches a fish- you are still fishing in Yellowstone!!

USA
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10. Re: Fishing Without A Guide in YNP or GTNP?

When I was in early June areas were closed for the spawn.

Then I was in late June & the fishing look idyllic along the Gibbon river. What a picturesque setting!

But then in July some of that was closed & Lamar was packed with fishermen.

So it's in constant flux. Mr Hubby has found that it helps to stop at the local fishing store to get local recommendations for what the fish are hitting on, which was what heypaula suggested.

mom83, what a generous offer!

Yum! Grilled lake trout! Good luck KerenElise!

Edited: 12 August 2012, 16:40