Yellowstone Park Lamar Valley Streams
Yellowstone Park High Country Streams
Walk/Wade the upper Lamar River, Slough Creek, and Soda Butte Creek, northeastern corner of the park. Fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park is an experience not to be missed! Enjoy the spectacular wildlife and scenery of America’s first national park while you cast big dries to eager native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.
The trip of a lifetime. We primarily fish the waters in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park – the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek. These are some of the best cutthroat trout fisheries in the country. The scenic drive over Beartooth Pass and into Yellowstone National Park (about 90 minutes each direction from The Ranch) is spectacular. You’ll pinch yourself as you fly fish among herds of wild bison. Make some memories dry, nymph, and streamer fishing for Yellowstone Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout in our nation’s first national park!
With Montana Fly Fishing Lodge we have a guiding principle and fervent belief that "Variety is the Spice of Life". In keeping with that, our High Country Cabin serves as the lodging base for our NE Yellowstone Park guided trips.
Built on the banks of Soda Butte Creek high up in the Beartooth Mountains on the edge of the Park, our High Country Cabin has direct access to Yellowstone's world-class trout fisheries. Plan for your Fly Fishing trip in include a few days fishing the Park and few days Fly Fishing out of our main Lodge and truly experience all that Montana Fly Fishing Lodge's world-class trout fisheries have to offer!
Soda Butte Creek
This small stream is also a tributary to the Lamar River, located NW of Slough Creek about 12-miles. This overlooked small stream can provide some fantastic fly fishing all summer long. Soda Butte Creek might just have one of the most majestic backdrops of any river in the area. The entire northeastern view is dominated by the peaks of the Beartooth Mountain range. Winding and braiding its way through the meadows at the base of these peaks, Soda Butte will keep both your fishing eye and your scenic eye competing for favor.
The upper section of Soda Butte Creek from the Cabin well into the Park above Pebble Creek is a tightly forested mountain river that tumbles rapidly from the intense peaks and canyons of the Beartooth Mountain Range. Solitude is the name of the game in this stretch, and the visiting angler can cover pools, riffles, pocket water and runs without bothering anyone, except for the occasional forest creature. Take note of the vegetation structure in this region of Soda Butte, as it is unique to this corner of Yellowstone.
The lower section of Soda Butte loses all of its velocity as it exits IceBox Canyon and enters its final meadowy run to the Lamar. It is here that most anglers visit the Soda Butte, deftly casting dry flies along undercut banks, across shallow riffles, and prospecting slow runs. Surprisingly large Native Yellowstone Cutthroat can be found in the best looking trout water, especially the undercut banks. Good hatch activity all summer keeps the fish in tune with the surface.
Soda Butte Creek is a very small stream, in places less than 20-feet wide. Its intimate character, spectacular scenery, and great fishing lend to its popularity. Cutthroat pushing the 20” mark have been coaxed from its waters, but the average size of the fish is around 13”.
The Lamar River is the major tributary to the Yellowstone within the Park. The Lamar is not only home to fantastic fly fishing for Native Yellowstone Cutthroat, but is also one of the best place in the Park to view wildlife, ranging from wolves and bears, to elk and buffalo. The scenery is also stunning and it can be hard to focus on the task at hand with all the amazing distractions that this corner of the Park offers.
In the valley section the Lamar spills forth from a range of towering mountains and canyons and then spreads out into the fertile, wildlife rich meadows of the Lamar Valley. It is here that the angler will ply the long cobble strewn flats and runs of the Lamar, searching for large native Cutthroat that rise eagerly to a range of aquatic and terrestrial insects.
In the canyon section, just downstream of the long and wide Lamar Valley, the river tumbles down a narrow and short canyon that is noted for its rocks the size of cars. Here among the boulders, small pockets and runs offer solitude for both the fish and the angler. It is also here that the angler will find a few Rainbows intermixed with the Native Yellowstone Cutthroat. This is rugged fishing; hopping from boulder to boulder, laying a delicate cast into a small secluded piece of quiet water tucked amongst raging white water. Action can be fast, so be sure to watch your step.
The lower Lamar River cascades from the short canyon and veers far away from any roads for its last leg before meeting with the Yellowstone. It is also here that the hiking angler can fish water that rarely sees any other fisherman. The character of the river here is a mixture of meadow water and short canyon pocket water. Large boulders are always present. Be sure to pack bear spray and bells, as this is Yellowstone backcountry at its finest, and this is their home, we are just visitors.
Slough Creek is a major tributary to the Lamar. Mostly a meadow stream, Slough Creek has become famous for large Cutthroat in crystal clear water. Much of Slough requires lengthy hikes to reach its upper meadow water, but we concentrate on the lower meadows that are easily reached and can provide some fantastic fishing.
Lower Slough Creek winds and twists through a sage covered meadow as it makes it way to the Lamar. Long slow glides and runs are the hallmark of this water, and the angler stalks slowly along the banks looking for a Native Yellowstone Cutthroat finning quietly along the undercuts, at the base of small riffles, or cruising the slow pools. Good hatches keep the fish pinned towards the surface, always looking for a tasty morsel to pass their way. Long casts are sometime required, but more often a stealthy approach will get the angler within an easy presentation to a feeding Cutthroat. Slough is fantastic sight fishing, allowing the angler to watch the whole process from inspection to take.
A long day trip can be made of going into the first meadow of Slough Creek. This two-mile hike is a rather steep elevation gain, but leads to a beautiful two-mile meadow that is loaded with hungry Cutthroat. Similar to all the rivers in the northeast corner of Yellowstone, this is bear country!