Fly Fishing Pack Trips

Lamar River Fly Fishing Pack Trip

The Lamar River originates high on the slopes of the Absaroka Range along Yellowstone Park’s eastern boundary. The river and its tributaries are sourced from snowfields in Hoodoo Basin and atop peaks rising over 11,000 feet in elevation, such as Parker, Pollux, and Castor. Numerous tributaries pour off the Mirror Plateau and the Absaroka Range as the Lamar gains momentum on its 66-mile journey northwest to its union with the Yellowstone River near Tower Junction.

You’ll ride horseback on remote trails tracing the footsteps of fur traders such as Osborne Russell and prospectors like Adam “Horn” Miller, famously nicknamed “Montana’s Toughest Man.” In the rugged remoteness of this country, you might imagine stepping back in time to the 1800s when these men explored Yellowstone’s wonders or even further back when indigenous Sheepherder Indians hunted these grounds. 

Customized wilderness adventures include traveling over Mist Creek Pass into the broad Pelican Valley, over Bootjack Gap into the Crandall Creek drainage east of the Park, or south past Frost Lake’s prolific waters into the headwaters of Wyoming’s North Fork of the Shoshone. Along the way, the sprawling grass and sagebrush valleys of the Lamar and Pelican Creek are intertwined with views of the rising high-country, punctuated with old-growth Douglas Firs and their roughly textured reddish-black bark. The 1988 Clover-Mist Fire incinerated much of these watersheds, leaving in its wake a skeletal forest of millions of burnt matchstick trees. Natural reforestation has since transformed these burned areas into dense, young forests of lodgepole pine trees, having grown to over 30 feet tall.

Herds of bison graze on timothy grass amid lavender Lupine, as deep rumbles from bellowing bison bulls resonate on gentle breezes. A proud antelope buck alertly scans for predators as dust rises like smoke in the distant background from bison bathing in concave wallows. Hiking back from fishing, you watch a startled mule deer buck stotting up a nearby grassy knoll flecked with blazing orange Indian paintbrush. Wolves appear like silent ghosts in tall meadow grasses, prancing, heads on a swivel, on a mission. A cinnamon black bear forages on streamside wild raspberries as you cast a bushy dry fly to native Yellowstone cutthroats. Back in camp, in the evening, you might observe a cow moose standing guard over her gangly yearling calf in a nearby meadow.

Ancient volcanic lahars engulfed the landscape, plants, and trees of northern Yellowstone millions of years ago, perfectly preserving petrified specimens. Gravel bars are littered with thousands of pieces of petrified wood of all sizes, mostly in shades of whites and tan scorched with grays and blacks. Rare discoveries include green-colored or agatized petrified wood. Along portions of the river, you’ll encounter standing petrified tree stumps at the bases of cliffs or protruding high above. These stumps can be several feet wide and over ten feet tall, remnants of ancient redwoods, magnolia, and maple trees from a far different climate during the Eocene period. You may also find fallen petrified trees lying embedded in the Lamar River. Much of the petrified wood and stumps perfectly preserved their inner rings. Jim Bridger colorfully described Yellowstone’s fossil forests as “peetriefied trees a’growing with peetrified birds a’singing peetrified songs.”  

Wilderness fly fishing pack trips create memories and bonds with your friends and families, which you’ll treasure forever. 
The backcountry reaches of the Lamar River, and its tributaries serve up spectacular dry fly fishing for native Yellowstone cutthroat trout from 10” to 16”. Perfect for beginning fly fishers, or dry fly enthusiasts, these eager native trout feed aggressively on hatches of caddis, PMD’s, drakes, golden stones, and sallies, along with terrestrials errantly blown into the currents by warm afternoon winds. Precisely matching these hatches is successful but not usually necessary. Highly visible attractors and terrestrials that are buoyant and durable enough to withstand the abuse of dozens of toothy takes are best. These secluded waters are a dry fly angler’s bliss!  

The Lamar River and its feeder streams provide a variety of fishing habitats from cascading pocket-water to grassy undercut banks, deep ledged pools, tangled log-jammed back eddies, riffled seams, and tall clay banks carved by long runs. Minerals from the surrounding geology slightly tinge the waters a glacial flour green, and the cutthroat’s backs adopt a similar shade as camouflage. Smaller tributaries such as Cold, Miller, and Cache Creeks provide a change of pace from the Lamar while still providing superb dry fly fishing. 

If you’re looking to get away from crowded waters, are a dry fly connoisseur, and enjoy fishing a variety of small backcountry waters, contact us to book your Lamar River Wilderness Fly Fishing Pack Trip. 

Required Licenses & Fees
Yellowstone Park Fishing Permit
 
Yellowstone Park Fishing Regulations

Yellowstone Park Entrance Permit
You will need a Yellowstone Park Entrance permit if you ride through or enter the Park for any reason. 
https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/fees.htm                                                                                                           

Wyoming Fishing License*
*Only necessary if fishing outside the Park in Wyoming. 
Depending on your itinerary, you may need a Yellowstone Park fishing permit and a Wyoming fishing license.
There are many elements to be appreciated other than fishing on these memorable wilderness pack trips.  

Take a ride to a breezy ridge where you can glass for grizzly bears strolling adjacent hillsides. Enjoy your lunch on a day hike and nap under the shady limbs of an Englemann spruce. Climb a nearby peak with 360-degree views of snow-capped summits, deep glacial valleys, corniced cirques, and virgin wilderness as far as the eye can see. Ascending, you may come upon bighorn sheep in mountain pastures or observe bull elk with harems in distance sub-alpine basins. While fishing and exploring, it's not uncommon to stumble upon elk sheds among tall streamside grasses, and you may discover bleached skulls and carcasses of elk, bison, bighorn sheep, and other critters. 

Photographers will find infinite opportunities shooting stunning scenery, curious wildlife, vibrant wildflowers, and endless subjects illuminated by the morning and evening light. Rockhounds can search gravel bars for agates, petrified wood, and intricately patterned rocks of countless colors and shades. Bird watchers may spend hours viewing mountain songbirds or Northern Harriers swoosh above meadows and Killdeer prance along graveled shorelines. Or, relax amid verdant meadows adorned with bushels of wildflowers.  

You may observe and enjoy more than your fellow fishing companions!
Reserving Your Pack Trip 
Yellowstone Park has a limited number of backcountry campsites. These backcountry sites require advanced reservations, so be sure to contact us well in advance. The first and best opportunity to reserve backcountry campsites in the Park is mid-January. Trips outside of the Park do not require campsite reservations, but we highly recommend booking your trip many months in advance. We require a 50% deposit to finalize your reservations. Please read our Terms and Conditions for full policy details. 

Trip Expectations
We will meet the night before or the morning of your trip to discuss trip logistics and make final preparations. Supplies will be organized and packed onto mules the morning of your trip at the trailhead. You will then saddle up, hit the trail, and enjoy riding through wild country and impressive scenery.   

Arriving in camp, we’ll pitch tents, settle in, and you may enjoy your favorite beverage and delicious appetizers as you unwind around the campfire as dinner is prepared. You may even enjoy some fishing near camp, depending on the length of your ride, timing, and your energy. 

Wake up in the morning and enjoy a cup of cowboy coffee as you watch the sunrise over the ridges. Then, savor a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs, and pancakes, a breakfast scramble, or biscuits and gravy. After breakfast each day, you’ll prepare your day pack, fishing from camp or hiking several miles to your fishing destination. Alternately, you may take a day ride to your fishing destination. You can fish to your heart’s content, observe wildlife, identify wildflowers, take photos, and enjoy all the wilderness splendor has to offer. 

Upon returning to camp, you may take a nap, read a book, scan the surrounding country with your binoculars, clean up with a refreshing dip in a nearby creek, or simply relax around the fire. 

Enjoy savory meals prepared in classic cast iron cookware and grilled over the campfire, such as ribeye steaks with roasted potatoes or chicken and rice with salads. After dinner, around the crackling fire, as you sip rye whiskey, dodging the swirling smoke, you’ll share jokes, recall the day’s events, and dream of exciting adventures in the days ahead. 

The pure mountain air magnifies the night sky, its countless stars, and the glowing Milky Way that stretches from horizon to horizon. Nights in the backcountry are a star-gazers delight, and numerous constellations are visible. Lying in your tent in the cool mountain air, a Great Horned Owl may lull you to sleep. If you’re lucky, you may hear the majestic chorus of bugling elk or the deep, eerie drone of a lone wolf howling in the distant darkness. 

On longer, progressive trips, you’ll stay in layover camps for one to three days allowing you to enjoy the fishing and explore the area. We’ll then pack up camp, ride through new country and relocate to another campsite where you can experience fresh scenery and fishing opportunities. We may move camp several times depending on the trip itinerary and duration. If possible, we’ll start the trip at one trailhead, taking a circuitous route out another trailhead on a continuously evolving backcountry adventure.  
Sleeping Arrangements
Our deluxe backcountry camps feature spacious tents tall enough to stand up in with two guests per tent. You should provide your sleeping bag and a lightweight foam or inflatable sleeping pad. Cots, inflatable mattresses, and pillows are available upon request. Please notify us in advance if you need any of these items. A headlamp and small solar or battery-operated lantern are recommended. 

Camp Comforts
Our backcountry camps feature high-backed chairs for lounging in camp, private restroom tents, and, in some cases, private hot shower tents. In some camps, tarps or wall tents are provided for shade and shelter from possible storms. 
 
Camp Meals & Beverages
Camps are fully outfitted with all dinnerware essentials, including plates, bowls, flatware, and mugs for your favorite beverages. Additionally, all cookware is provided with a dedicated cook who will prepare all meals for your group. You’re welcome to bring your favorite camp mug, tumbler, or snacks. 

Depending on your trip, we will do our best to customize your menu; however, some outfitters prefer their menu for various reasons. Should anyone in your party require gluten-free meals or have food allergies, please let us know in advance to plan accordingly. Coffee, tea, and non-alcoholic beverages are provided. You are welcome to bring any special beverages, wine, beer, and spirits with you. 

Alcohol
We do not own a liquor or beer and wine license; therefore, we can’t legally provide alcohol for our guests. However, you may purchase and bring alcohol on the trip with you. Spirits such as bourbon, whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, and vodka, as well as wine, can be taken. Glass bottles are okay; however, it’s preferable to transfer your wine and spirits into lighter, non-breakable containers. Many guests bring boxed wine or transfer wine and spirits into flasks or plastic liquor pouches. Beer is not recommended and only allowed in limited quantities as it is difficult to pack due to weight and volume. Consider packing spirits and wine instead, which provide more bang for your buck. Please consult with us in advance if you wish to take a few beers, and please only pack aluminum cans. Keep your alcohol separate from your camp duffel so we can pack it securely, especially any glass bottles. No ice is available in the backcountry, so plan accordingly. 

Day Time Lunch, Snacks & Beverages
Lunches and snacks are provided each day. You should pack one or two 26 to 36-ounce water bottles for water and beverages during your trip. Two bottles are preferred, one for water and another for a hydrating beverage. Powdered drinks such as Tang and lemonade are available, but you can also bring powdered energy drinks such as Gatorade or Crystal Light. Camp drinking water is filtered using professional-grade water filters from mountain streams. During the day, when away from camp, you can refill bottles using water filters provided by guides. Although the water appears very clear and pure, we do not recommend drinking unfiltered water as you risk water-borne illnesses such as giardia. 

Bear Etiquette
Grizzly and black bears are common in and around Yellowstone. Although the chances of a bear encounter are low, it is possible, and bears should be respected. We take all necessary precautions to minimize bear encounters and reduce the chances of them entering camp. Each person’s actions play an essential role in keeping a bear-safe camp, and we approach this seriously. Guests must keep camp clean by disposing of trash and food items in the fire or provided containers and storing any food, snacks, beverages, and odorous items in provided bear-proof containers at night. Do not store any of these items, including deodorant and toothpaste, in your tent at night. It is highly recommended that you carry bear spray at all times. Traveling and fishing in bear country has inherent risks, and we cannot guarantee your safety.

For more information on bear safety and etiquette, visit: 
Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee -  http://igbconline.org/bear-safety/
 
Cell Service & Internet
Cell phone reception is unavailable in most locations due to the remoteness and mountainous topography. Additionally, wireless internet connectivity is not available. Therefore, be sure to notify people of your unavailability and take care of all personal and business tasks beforehand. We carry satellite communicators for emergencies. 
What’s Included
  • Riding & Pack Animals
  • All Tack, Riding Saddles, Pack Saddles, Panniers & Packing Gear
  • Backcountry and Fishing Guides – 2 to 3 Anglers/Guide
  • Personal Instruction
  • Wranglers, Camp Crew & Cooks
  • All Meals, Snacks & Appetizers
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages
  • All Cooking & Camp Essentials
  • Dinnerware & Drinkware
  • Water Filters
  • Camp Chairs
  • Sleeping Tents
  • Sleeping Pads upon request
  • Cots upon request
  • Private Restroom Tents
  • Shower Tent in some camps
  • Handwashing Station, Paper Towels, Toilet Paper
  • Sheltered Tarps or Wall Tent for Core Camp
  • Transportation To and From the Trip Destination from Local Accommodations 
  • Flies & Terminal Tackle
  • Rods & Reels – If Needed
  • First Aid Kits

Not Included
  • Fishing Licenses
  • Gratuities – Fishing Guides, Wranglers, Camp Staff
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Bear Spray
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Shuttle Fees *
  • Resupply Fees**
  • Rental Waders & Boots - If Needed
  • Personal Items – See our Pack Trip Gear List
  • Park Entrance Fees

* On trips that end at a different trailhead than where the trip begins, additional shuttle fees may be charged for moving all vehicles and stock trailers due to additional fuel costs, mileage, and paying shuttle drivers. 

** Resupply fees may apply on trips longer than a week to offset additional fuel, mileage, and wrangler fees. Additional wranglers may have to pack food and other supplies in many miles. If you’re lucky, your resupply may include a cooler packed with beer on ice!

Recommended Airports
Once you have confirmed your trip with us, you’ll want to make flight reservations as soon as possible. Please consult with us for airport recommendations based on your trip itinerary. We may recommend flying into Bozeman (BZN), Billings (BIL), or Cody, Wyoming (COD) before your trip begins.
 
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport 
(https://bozemanairport.com
Served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Southwest, United Airlines, and a few smaller carriers. 

Billings Airport
(https://www.flybillings.com
Served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, United Airlines, and a few smaller carriers

Yellowstone Regional Airport – Cody, Wyoming
(https://flyyra.com) 
Served by United Airlines

Ground Transportation
Having your own transportation allows more flexibility before and after your trip. Major car rental companies are available at your arrival airport. Rideshares, shuttles, taxis, and other transportation services are also available. On your arrival, you can purchase alcohol, mixers, bear spray (airlines do not allow bear spray onboard), and any other items you may need for your trip, including your fishing licenses. Guides may pick you up at your accommodations and drive you to and from the trailheads. You may also drive a rental vehicle or arrange for a shuttle or other transportation services. 

Drive times to and from Trailheads
*Drive times vary depending on the beginning and ending trailhead locations.

Vehicle Shuttles
If your trip ends at a different trailhead than where it starts, it will be necessary to shuttle vehicles from one trailhead to the other. If you drive and want your vehicle or rental car to be at the ending trailhead, you must pay for the shuttle service. Shuttle fees vary, and we will assist you with arranging a shuttle. Alternately, we may arrange to leave your vehicle in Livingston or another location, and you may ride with your guides. Shuttle fees for guide and outfitter vehicles are included. 

Accommodations
Before your trip, we recommend staying at accommodations in gateway communities. Accommodations in the Park must be made well in advance.

Departure Details
On the final day of your trip, we will arrive at the trailhead in the late afternoon. Please make departing airline reservations for the following day. Guests are responsible for booking and paying for accommodations on their outgoing night after returning from the backcountry. If you do not have a rental car, we recommend booking accommodations with airport shuttle services. If needed, rideshares such as Uber and taxis are available for dinner, getting around town, or to the airport.  
Rates
Numbers of Guests   4 Days                         5 Days                         7 Days                   10 Days                 14 Days
4 or More 
                   $2,995/person          $3,695/person           $5,095/person     $6,995/person     $9,750/person
2 Guests Only             $4,495/person          $5,595/person           $7,795/person     $11,000 pp          $15,500/pp
  • Rates based on 2 anglers/guide, double occupancy.
  • For additional days not listed, add $695/person/day.  
  • For odd numbers, 3, 5, 7, etc. - add an additional $300/day/single angler supplement.
  • Guests are responsible for their first and last night’s accommodations and meals.
  • Additional sales tax and fees may apply on Wyoming and Yellowstone Park trips.
  • Shuttle fees for your vehicle are your responsibility for trips ending at a different trailhead.
  • Resupply fees may be charged for trips longer than one week. 

Payment Options
Your non-refundable 50% deposit is required to finalize your reservation and is due within 10 days of booking your trip. We will invoice you by email, and upon receiving your invoice, you can choose to pay using the online ACH payment option. This option is a quick and convenient way to pay your trip deposit and finalize your reservation. 

Payment reminders will be sent by email for open invoices with remaining balances due, which can be paid using the ACH option. 

Deposits and final payments can be paid with bank wire transfers, credit cards, or mailing checks payable to Greater Yellowstone Flyfishing Outfitters. A 3.5 % convenience fee is assessed for all credit card transactions. Please contact us if you prefer cash or other payment forms. 

Greater Yellowstone Flyfishing Outfitters Payment Options
·      ACH Online Payments – U.S. financial institutions and bank accounts only
·      Personal & Business Checks* - U.S. financial institutions and bank accounts only
·      Electronic Wire Payments - wiring fees are the responsibility of the client
·      Credit Cards – 3.5% Convenience Fee applied
·      Cash
·      International Payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.
*Client will be billed all associated costs for returned checks. The client will have 7 days to reimburse Greater Yellowstone Flyfishing Outfitters for returned check costs and provide an alternative form of payment; otherwise, trip reservations will be cancelled, and all deposits and payments will be forfeited.  
Our guides, wranglers, and camp staff work very hard to ensure an enjoyable trip, and we encourage you to tip accordingly. As a guideline, gratuities range from $100-$200/day/guidewrangler, and camp staff, although an excellent day of fishing, a memorable event, or extra effort on behalf of your crew may deserve more. Please consider that your crew works tirelessly on these trips, especially during adverse weather.
Cash gratuities can be given directly to the trip leader at the end of your trip and are distributed evenly among the guides, wranglers, and camp staff. Should you wish to give a specific guide, wrangler, or camp staff a bonus gratuity for something special, you can give it to that person directly or to the trip leader with specific instructions. Alternately, you may present each guide, wrangler, and camp staff gratuities directly, rather than pooling them, extending your gratitude upon departure.   

Pack Trips require a great deal of planning, logistics, and hard work. Your guides and crew work relentlessly from sunrise to after dark. Setting up and taking down camp, saddling and packing animals, monitoring stock, cooking, cleaning, and performing necessary tasks is demanding yet essential for a successful and comfortable trip. Our crew performs numerous tasks behind the scenes; successfully executed, you’ll never notice, including at least a day before and after each trip. 

Many variables beyond our control, such as weather, wind, barometric pressure, water temperatures, and fish behavior, influence the fishing, riding, and camping experience. While fishing can highlight the trip, it’s only a portion of many experiences to enjoy and appreciate on a Wilderness Fly Fishing Pack Trip. Please align your expectations with the conditions and your abilities. No expectations, no disappointments!

If you have any comments or concerns about your trip, please let us know. 
Trip Insurance
We realize these trips are expensive, and much is at stake financially. For this reason, we highly recommend that you purchase trip insurance in advance. Unforeseen circumstances arise, and travel insurance is very reasonable should you have to cancel your trip for any reason. We recommend Travel Guard Travel Insurance and Global Rescue Insurance to protect your financial investment, which may cover trip cancellations for any reason. For more information or to purchase Trip Insurance, please visit https://mvp.travelguard.com/ or http://www.globalrescue.com.
To receive complete coverage options and benefits, be sure to purchase travel insurance within 15 days of paying your deposit.

Medical Evacuation Insurance
We recommend Global Rescue’s worldwide medical evacuation and extraction services if you become ill or injured during your trip or due to natural disaster, COVID-19, and other reasons. Due to the remote nature of Wilderness Fly Fishing Pack Trips, potential challenges receiving immediate professional medical help, and limited cell coverage, we highly recommend purchasing medical evacuation insurance along with your trip insurance. We carry satellite communicators on our Wilderness Pack Trips.
For more information or to purchase Medical Evacuation Insurance, please visit http://www.globalrescue.com.

The Sphinx, Madison Range

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