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  • Trevor Perkes

Is Fishing Allowed in Yellowstone National Park?

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

The other day while messaging with a family that was planning a trip to Yellowstone, I was asked if fishing was allowed in the Park. The father really wanted to take his boys fishing while on vacation, but he was unsure of the ability to fish in the national park. And, if they could fish, what were the specific regulations.

So, is fishing allowed in Yellowstone National Park? Yes! Fishing in Yellowstone National Park is allowed, not only that, but it is one of the best places to fish in the lower 48 states as it is located in what is known as the Golden Triangle.

The Golden Triangle is a designated region whose boundaries form an equilateral triangle. This geographical area is famous for blue-ribbon trout fishing and some of the best fly fishing in the United States. Yellowstone has an abundant number of premier rivers, streams, and Lakes with an equal abundancy of trout.

People have been fishing Yellowstone’s rivers and lakes for hundreds of years. Fish was a major food sources for the Native Americans as well as early explorers of the park during the 1800s. The Native Americans would use baskets, nets or spears to “catch” the fish. In fact, spear heads have been found in Yellowstone Lake as well as other areas within the park.

You can view some remnants of Native American fish trap structure on Yellowstone Lake during the late visitor season (end of August and first of September) when the water in Yellowstone Lake is at its lowest level. Piled rock formations that form an enclosed area that reaches out into the lake, placed there centuries ago by the Native Americans, can be seen from the shoreline. The fish trap structure is located between Bridge Bay Campground and Fishing Bridge Junction. You can Click HERE for a map of that road section or you can click HERE to see photos and a short description of the Native American Fish Trap.

WARNING: It is illegal to move or remove rocks from this area. This is a sacred and historical place within the park. Violators will be prosecuted which may include a fine and/or jail time.

Fly Fishing VS Spinner VS Bait Fishing in Yellowstone Yellowstone National Park allows anglers to fish with both barbless fly fishing flies and spinners (artificial lures). However, bait fishing, whether organic (worms, live insects, eggs, or minnows) or inorganic (Rubber worms, scented bait or attractants) is prohibited within the Park's boundary. You can checkout our resource page titled, "Fishing Regulations" to learn more about fishing rules and regulations for Yellowstone by clicking HERE.

Do I need a separate fishing permit to fish in the park?

Anyone, regardless of age must get a fishing permit from one of the fishing shops or other businesses outside of the park that is authorized to sell the permit. If you are in the park and want to buy a fishing license, they are sold at the following locations:

- Mammoth Hot Springs Visitor Center - Canyon Village Visitor Center - Fishing Bridge Visitor Center - Old Faithful Visitor Center - Bridge Bay Visitor Center - Fishing Bridge Visitor Center

Anglers age 16 and older must purchase a fishing license, while anglers who are under the age of 16 must either be fishing with an adult who has a fishing license or they can obtain a free permit to fish within the park.

How much does a fishing permit cost? Depending on the number of days you want to fish, a license can cost between $18 and $40.

*Three-day fishing permit: $18 *Seven-day Fishing Permit: $25 *Season-long Fishing Permit: $40

NOTE: While Yellowstone is made up of three different states (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming), State fishing permits are not valid in the Park.

What type of fish are in Yellowstone National Park? There are several species and subspecies of fish in Yellowstone National Park, they include: *Cutthroat Trout - West slope Cutthroat Trout (Native) - Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (Native) * Mountain Whitefish (Native) * Arctic Grayling (Native) * Rainbow Trout (Non-Native) * Brown Trout (Non-Native) * Brook Trout (Non-Native) * Lake Trout (Non-Native)

What kind of fly fishing flies should you use in Yellowstone National Park?

Many people from around the world visit Yellowstone and its greater ecosystem in hopes of not only seeing a bear, but to have the opportunity to cast their fly into the “blue Ribbon” waters within the park.

Fly shops at the gateway entrances to Yellowstone National Park will try to sell you on some very expensive flies that can hurt the wallet, especially with all of the other costs associated with a dream vacation to Yellowstone.

We have compiled a box of fly fishing flies that we use to fish in and around Yellowstone National Park. It comes with 80 flies, fly box for the flies, and free shipping. Click HERE to learn more about the details of the Yellowstone Fly Box.

Wondering if we catch fish with our flies? Check out the video below to see for yourself!

Planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park? Use our Interactive Map! We have spent countless hours creating an interactive map of Yellowstone in hopes of helping individuals better plan their dream vacation to Yellowstone National Park. The interactive map of the park is clickable and allows users to see the photos, description and helpful information about key areas and features in each of Yellowstone’s 14 road sections, including fly fishing information and recommendations for the streams and lakes of Yellowstone.

Click HERE to get started in exploring the park using our interactive map!

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