Fly Fishing Vacations

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Vacations

Does not include pre & post-trip lodging, guide & camp staff gratuities, fishing licenses, or alcohol.
Fly Fishing Vacations

Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Vacations

Montana Fly Fishing Guides

The lower Yellowstone River is an overlooked and underrated section on one of Montana’s most famed trout fisheries. We have private access on a lengthy section of the lower Yellowstone that is lightly fished. You’ll stay in private cabins or riverside rooms, enabling you to fish this section of the river and access other nearby rivers. Enjoy the peaceful solitude of these accommodations nestled among river bottom cottonwoods with scenic views of the river and opposing sandstone cliffs. 

The highlight of this trip is fishing a remote section of the Yellowstone that is difficult to float in one day. Riverside accommodations allow us to divide this section, fishing this highly productive and scenic reach of the river over two days. Chunky rainbows and browns smash hoppers drifted tightly against overhanging shaded sandstone cliffs. The river is surprisingly scenic, with lofty Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Firs lining hillsides beneath rocky bluffs and views of the Beartooth and Pryor Mountains rising in the distance. The river braids around numerous islands traveling through wooded bottomlands of cottonwoods, willows, and Russian olives intertwined with thick brush, tall grasses, sprawling vines, and conifers. Cretaceous sandstone rimrock bluffs parallel the southern edge of the river for much of the float, with jumbled boulders lining hillsides and riverbanks, having broken off from the upper rims. Sandstone bluffs give way to crumbling, gray Bear Paw Shale Bluffs lining the southern banks of the river in the lower portion of this float. You’ll drift on currents traveled by members of the Lewis & Clark expedition descending the Yellowstone on their return trip in July 1806. The railroad parallels the river with occasional train horns echoing off cliffs down the river corridor.  

In addition to the Yellowstone, you may fish other nearby rivers. The Boulder, Stillwater, and Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone are mid-sized freestone rivers with beautiful scenery, exciting whitewater, and superb dry fly fishing for wild trout. These tumbling, rock-riddled rivers flow against vertical cliffs, through lush cottonwood and brush-lined stream bottoms, idyllic country of rolling aspen-fringed hillsides, fertile alfalfa hayfields, and grasslands dotted with glacial erratics. Cast flies into rushing, transparent streams with views of snow-laden peaks and plateaus rising to nearly 13,000 feet. Enjoy fast-paced action, fishing bouldered pocket-water from rafts descending swift streams. Or wade-fish shaded foothill streams catching vibrant rainbows and browns gulping dry flies from silky slicks, downed cottonwoods, and undercut banks. From the mighty Yellowstone to exhilarating whitewater streams to secluded foothill creeks, there are options aplenty from your Yellowstone River fly fishing vacation base camp. 

These accommodations are ideal for those seeking solitude and scenery without the nightlife, shops, restaurants, and other Red Lodge and Livingston services. These comfortable, well-appointed, beautifully decorated cabins and rooms are the perfect escape for your Yellowstone River fly fishing vacation. Our all-inclusive vacations include customized breakfasts and dinners served daily at your accommodations. You may also prepare your meals at the cabins or sample nearby restaurants; the nearest food services are 15 minutes from the lodging. 

Before fishing, enjoy breakfast at the Bearstone or Rosebud Cafes. After fishing, down a cold one at one of the quaint Montana bars found in secluded towns like the Cowboy Bar in Fishtail or the Atlas Bar in Columbus, dubbed “The Horniest Bar in Montana,” a reference to the abundant big game mounts in the bar. “Where the Hell is Roscoe” is a bumper sticker from the Grizzly Bar in the tiny settlement of Roscoe situated on the banks of East Rosebud Creek. Steaks, burgers, bar food, and adult beverages are served at the 307 Bar in Columbus. And the Wildflower Kitchen outside of Absarokee serves creatively delicious salads, small plates, and entrees, about 30 minutes from your riverside accommodations.  

Our Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Vacations are an ideal retreat for those seeking a peaceful, scenic setting with fantastic fishing nearby.
Yellowstone River Guided Fly Fishing Trips 
The Yellowstone River is the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, hosting world-class trout fishing for rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and cutbows. Most anglers fish the river in Paradise Valley and near Livingston, Montana. The lower Yellowstone is often overlooked and underappreciated. Anglers assume the river is too slow, warm, silty, and only holds trash fish and warm water species. Yep, that’s right, keep thinking that. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. The lower Yellowstone supports a healthy population of wild trout. One would assume the river would be dominated by brown trout. While browns are common, rainbows predominate with occasional Yellowstone cutthroats and cutbows seen. Most trout average 12” to 16” with larger trout sometimes exceeding 20”. Warm water species are present, including native goldeye shad, which devour hoppers, are sporty, and have a striking resemblance to baby tarpon. And on occasion, anglers may tie into smallmouth bass on hoppers or while stripping streamers.

The river braids into multiple channels, flowing around wildlife-filled islands with Bald Eagle nests and heron rookeries. Whitetail deer bounce through streamside foliage, beavers mow down cottonwoods, swallows dart from cliffside burrows, Great Blue Herons hunt the river’s edge, and Ospreys hover above. The river’s swift currents plunge over shelf-rock drops, surge over powerful rapids and pour over broken inside riffle corners. Currents push around broad sweeping bends lined with vast cottonwood galleries, carving tall muddy, root balled banks. Trout feed in foam back-eddies, along seams created by rip-rapped points, and beneath hopper-filled grassy cutbanks. Ponderosa pines and Douglas firs blanket broken sandstone hillsides. Anglers twitch hoppers along overhanging sandstone cliffs and on seams projected by streamside boulders, provoking explosive strikes. Vast pools and runs transition into glossy flats and sprawling tailouts where trout slurp mayflies, hoppers, and nocturnal stones. 

In the spring, hatches of Baetis, march browns, and Mother’s Day caddis create superb dry fly opportunities. As the river recedes from runoff in late June to early July, golden stones, large sedges, caddis, green drakes, PMDs, and yellow sallies bring trout to the surface. As these hatches wane, the fish switch to a diet of hoppers, terrestrials, and nocturnal stoneflies from August to mid-September. In a good hopper year, two anglers in a boat can induce 50 to 100 takes on hopper patterns, landing dozens of brawny trout. Upon fall’s arrival, Baetis are the primary hatch. At the same time, attractors with droppers continue to work wonders, and streamers pounded along shoreline structures trigger hulking browns.

Stillwater River Guided Fly Fishing Trips
The Stillwater River is anything but “still,” descending rapidly, through prairied foothills and soaring cliffs tumbling through rock gardens and Class II and III whitewater. 

The Stillwater is a guide favorite and a dry fly fisher’s delight. In the spring, baetis mayflies, March Browns, and Mother’s Day caddis bring wild trout feeding upon the surface. Hatches of PMD’s, various caddis, yellow sallies, golden stoneflies, and Green Drakes provide ample dry fly opportunities from late June through July. Nocturnal stoneflies, grasshoppers, and other terrestrials such as ants and beetles continually source dry fly opportunities during August and September.

You will make countless casts for miles through varied water from bankside seams to mid-river pockets and deep pools. You can expect to have excellent action for the river’s plentiful rainbows and browns, with an occasional Yellowstone cutthroat and cutbow tossed into the species mix. These hard fighting and vividly colored wild trout average 10” to 15” with occasional 16” to 18” specimens landed. Intermediate and experienced anglers can expect to hook dozens of these fish daily during prime summer months. Beginning anglers will be challenged with the river’s fast pace but can expect to catch many fish and learn swift pocket-water fishing techniques.

The thrilling whitewater ride combined with solitude, wildlife, mountain vistas, and superb dry fly fishing for feisty wild trout makes this action-packed freestone river one of our favorites! 

Clarks Fork Yellowstone Guided Fly Fishing Trips
Boulder River Guided Fly Fishing Trips
The Boulder River drains north from the Absaroka Range and associated plateaus into the Yellowstone River near Big Timber, Montana. This fabulous action-packed freestone river, over an hour from Red Lodge, is a summertime favorite among guides and clients! 

The river is aptly named for its innumerable lichen-covered granite boulders, creating miles of multi-colored pocket-water on its tumultuous white-water descent to the Yellowstone. Dry fly enthusiasts and non-anglers enjoy the exciting raft ride through one of Montana’s most scenic and secluded valleys.

During peak season, experienced anglers can hook dozens of plentiful rainbows and browns, averaging 10” to 15” with some larger. Wild trout swim under shaded banks of twisted vines and deciduous branches, in swirling currents behind mid-river boulders, in shallow riffles, and emerald holes. Hatches of PMDs, caddis, yellow sallies, golden stones, and Green Drakes lure the trout to feed on the surface.
There’s something about the sound of rushing water, the sight of multi-colored rocks wavering under clear, swift currents, and the thrill of an acrobatic rainbow engulfing your dry fly! You rapidly fire casts with dries and dry-dropper combinations to structured banks and bouldered pocket-water as you descend Class II and III white-water rapids. The excitement heats up as you hook a nice brown, battling it as you descend one of these drops before your guide eddies out and nets the buttery brown. After a moment of admiration, the fish slides out of your hands back into the river; high-fives and smiles ensue.  

Required Licenses & Fees

The surrounding area offers many activities for anglers and non-anglers alike. Guests often plan several extra days to enjoy other activities and explore the area in combination with their fishing trip. Explore Yellowstone Park’s natural wonders, take scenic drives over the Beartooth and Dead Indian Passes, through Sunlight Basin, and visit Cooke City, Montana, or Cody, Wyoming. And take a scenic driving up the Stillwater past Nye to Woodbine, looping back through Dean along Fishtail Creek.  

Non-anglers often enjoy riding along in the back of the boat, taking in the action, scenery, photographing, reading a book, and relaxing. 

Non-angling partners and family may take scenic day hikes to waterfalls and pristine mountain lakes or explore hundreds of miles of trails. Rent an ATV to explore back roads, go horseback riding, mountain biking, or whitewater rafting on the Stillwater River. Schedule a tee-time at nearby Stillwater Golf Course, Laurel Gold Club, or Red Lodge Mountain Golf Course. Or take a guided van tour or a self-guided hiking or biking tour of the unique large-scale, outdoor art sculptures at Tippet Rise, a 12,500-acre working cattle and sheep ranch with over 13 miles of trails. The art center also features classic musical performances in the Olivier Music Barn or outside under the Domo.
Red Lodge is an hour away, where you may enjoy a spa day, massage, or browse its many shops and galleries. Red Lodge hosts many festivities, concerts, live music, events, rodeos, and festivals, including the Beartooth Motorcycle Rally and Red Lodge Car Show.

Weddings, Bachelor & Bachelorette Parties 
Celebrate with a Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Vacation for your guests, as exciting bachelor and bachelorette parties, or on your honeymoon! 
Family Reunions 
Are you planning a family reunion? Let us assist you with accommodations, meals and arrange a Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Vacation for the whole family. 
Business & Corporate Meetings 
Are you looking for an attractive location for business meetings? We can help arrange your group’s accommodations, meals, transportation and plan corporate and business fly fishing retreats.

Montana Fly Fishing Trips are a popular way to entertain important clients and excellent employee and sales rewards.
Medical & Health Care Fly Fishing Retreats
Host continuing education and training events for business, medical, and health care parties, combined with Montana Fly Fishing Vacations.
Team Building & Leadership Fly Fishing Retreats
We partner with a professional facilitator for on-the-water outdoor leadership and team-building events. Why hold these indoors? Bond better with your team on the river on Montana Overnight Fly Fishing River Trips or Yellowstone River Fly Fishing Vacations.
Clubs, Non-Profits & Hosted Trips
Are you a member of a club, a non-profit organization, a women’s group? Let us put together a Montana Fly Fishing Vacation for your group! Involved in a fly shop or fly fishing business? Host a Montana Fly Fishing Vacation.

Reserving Your Fly Fishing Vacation 
We recommend booking your Montana fly fishing vacation well in advance to ensure the best guides and accommodations. Guides and accommodations may be hard to reserve on short notice. A 50% deposit is required to finalize your Montana fly fishing vacation reservations. Please read our Terms and Conditions for complete details. 
Arrival & Ground Transportation
Upon arrival, your guide will pick you up, or ground transfers will take you to your accommodations. You may also choose to rent a vehicle. Having independent transportation allows more flexibility and freedom during your trip.  
Trip Expectations
We recommend arriving the day before your fishing begins. Upon arrival, you may purchase any last-minute provisions and settle into your accommodations. Relax, explore the local area, enjoy your favorite beverages, appetizers, and dinner at your accommodations overlooking the Yellowstone River. 

Each day, after coffee and a delicious breakfast, you will make final preparations and drive to your fishing destination, where you will enjoy an exciting day of fishing and adventure. Yellowstone River boat ramps are only minutes away. On some mornings, you’ll walk directly from your accommodations to boats already anchored in the river. Other fishing locations are within an hour of your lodging, though some can be further. Expect to spend six to eight hours on the water fishing, taking in the scenery, watching wildlife and songbirds, photographing, trading jokes, and having a great time. Delicious lunches with non-alcoholic beverages are served on the water daily; feel free to bring any alcoholic beverages of your choice.

After a full day of fishing and adventure, return to your comfortable accommodations, perhaps stopping at a favorite watering hole on the way back. Back at your accommodations, clean up with a refreshing shower, relax and enjoy apres fishing. 

Customized dinners will be served at your accommodations or at a gathering area next to the river. You may also choose to sample regional craft beers or sink your teeth into a juicy ribeye steak, grab an elk burger, or a healthy salad on the lighter side. Wrap your day up with a nightcap and live music before settling in for a rejuvenating night’s rest. 

Rinse and repeat daily as you see fit.  
You may choose from our all-inclusive packages with breakfast and dinner served at your accommodations. You may also prepare your own meals or elect to sample the many local cafes and restaurants. Gratuities for private cooks and caterers are not included.
Lunch, Snacks & Beverages
Shore lunches, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages are provided each day. 
Since we do not have the proper licenses, alcoholic beverages are not included, except when purchased from licensed establishments such as restaurants and bars. You may purchase alcohol to bring to your accommodations and on the water. All alcoholic beverages are the responsibility of clients.
Cell Service & Internet
Cell reception at the riverside cabins and rooms is good. Many towns and locations in Montana and Wyoming have good cell phone reception. Other locations have spotty reception or no reception at all. Cell service is often spotty while driving due to the mountainous terrain, rolling hills, draws, and river bottoms.

Wireless internet connectivity is not available at the riverside accommodations. Wi-fi is available at the B&B. Be sure to notify people of your potential unavailability and take care of all personal and business tasks beforehand. 
Sleeping Arrangements
Riverview Cabins
Three cabins overlook a riverside meadow and beautiful sandstone cliffs which glow during sunrises and sunsets. 

Two 450 square feet cabins each have a queen-size bed, sofa sleeper, jacuzzi tub and shower, kitchenette with microwave and small refrigerator, wood-burning stove, air conditioning, heating, and TV with DVD player.

A third, 650 square feet cabin has a bedroom with two queen beds and a private half bath. An additional full bathroom with a walk-in river rock shower is located in the hallway between the kitchen and bathroom. The full kitchen has a stovetop, oven, microwave, medium-sized refrigerator, and dining table. The living area includes a sitting chair, sleeper sofa, wood stove, air conditioning, heating, and TV with DVD player.   

Cabins include a covered deck complete with patio furniture and gas grills.

Riverside Rooms
Four riverside guest rooms each have a king-sized bed, ceiling fan, sitting chair, desk, small refrigerator, and coffee maker. Bathrooms include large bath vanity and premium walk-in showers with river rock flooring and built-in benches for sitting. Rooms also have a blow dryer, iron, and ironing board. Each room has a private porch with a table and chairs. Enjoy your morning coffee or sip a glass of wine while taking in the scenic river views, sunrises and sunsets.  
Bed & Breakfast 
The Bed & Breakfast at the main house serves breakfast and provides two rooms with wi-fi connectivity.

The Den Room is furnished with a queen bed, couch, recliner, satellite TV, small refrigerator, private bathroom, and walk-out patio.
The Riverview Room is a larger room on the second floor with beautiful views overlooking the river bottom. It’s furnished with one queen bed, one full-size bed, a private bathroom, a satellite TV, a small refrigerator, and a table with chairs.
Recommended Airports
Once you have confirmed your trip with us, you’ll want to make flight reservations as soon as possible. 
We recommend flying into Billings, Montana (BIL). You may also fly into Bozeman, Montana (BZN). 
Private aircraft and charters may arrive and depart from Woltermann Memorial Airport in Columbus, Montana (6S3).
Served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, United Airlines, and smaller carriers.  

Served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Southwest, United Airlines, and smaller carriers. 
Ground Transportation
Depending on your itinerary and preferences, your guide(s) may pick you up at your arrival airport. You may also rent a vehicle for greater flexibility and freedom during your trip. Major car rental companies are available at your arrival airport. We will work with you to finalize transportation details upon booking.
Drive Times To and From Yellowstone River Lodging
Billings            45 minutes
Bozeman        1 hour, 50 minutes
Departure Details
Please book departing airline reservations for the day after your trip ends. We may book accommodations with shuttle services to your departing airport, your last night. Your guide(s) may also drop you off at the airport, depending on your itinerary. Ground transfers are also available to the airport if you do not have a rental vehicle.
All-Inclusive Fly Fishing Vacation Rates
3 Nights/2 Days4 Nights/3 Days 5 Nights/4 Days6 Nights/5 Days7 Nights/6 Days
Fishing & Lodging Only Fly Fishing Vacation Rates
3 Nights/2 Days 4 Nights/3 Days5 Nights/4 Days 6 Nights/5 Days7 Nights/6 Days
  • Rates based on 2 anglers/guide, double occupancy
  • Contact us for Single Angler Supplement Rates
  • Additional fees may be charged for private chefs and caterers
  • Fishing & Lodging Only Rates Do Not Include Transportation, Meals or Alcoholic Beverages
Payment Options
A 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.  
  • Accommodations
  • Transportation & Airport Pick Up and Drop Off* 
  • All Meals, Snacks, Appetizers & Associated Gratuities**
  • Alcoholic Beverages with meals if dining at licensed restaurants**
  • Lunch, Snacks & Non-Alcoholic Beverages on the river**
  • Fishing Guides – 2 Anglers/Guide
  • Flies & Terminal Tackle
  • Rods & Reels – If Needed
  • River Shuttles

Not Included
  • Airline Flights
  • Rental Car (Optional)*
  • Additional lodging and meals beyond your scheduled trip
  • Upgraded Premium Lodging
  • Alcoholic Beverages at accommodations or on the river**
  • Private Chefs
  • Catering
  • Fishing Licenses
  • Gratuities for Fishing Guides, Private Chef/Cooks, and Private Ground Transfers
  • Rental Waders & Boots - If Needed
  • Personal Expenses & Incidentals
  • Personal Items – See Gear List PDFs Below
  • Park Entrance Fees

*We may arrange private ground transfers between the airport and your accommodations. You may also rent a vehicle for greater flexibility and freedom during your trip. Transportation not included in Fishing & Lodging Only rates. We will work with you to finalize transportation details upon booking. 

**All meals, snacks, and appetizers are included in all-inclusive packages. Private chef/cook gratuities are not included. Meals, appetizers, and alcoholic beverages are not included in Fishing & Lodging Only packages. Alcoholic beverages are not included with meals served at the accommodations or on the river, but you may bring your own. Alcoholic beverages are included with meals at licensed restaurants.
Our guides very hard to ensure an enjoyable trip, and we encourage you to tip accordingly. We suggest an appropriate gratuity from $100-$200/day/guide, although an excellent day of fishing, a memorable event, or extra effort on the guide's behalf may deserve more. Please consider that our guides work harder when fishing is slow or during adverse weather. Cash gratuities should be given directly to your guide daily or upon finishing multi-day trips.

Gratuities for your private cook/chef are not included. A suggested appropriate gratuity from $50 - $100/day is recommended. Cash gratuities should be given to your private cook/chef upon finishing your trip.

Many variables beyond our control, such as weather, wind, barometric pressure, water temperatures, and fish behavior, influence the day's fishing. While fishing is a highlight of your trip, there are numerous ways to enjoy your fly fishing vacation. Please align your expectations with the conditions and your abilities. No expectations, no disappointments!

Clients frequently invite guides for drinks or dinner after fishing. Socializing is a great way to celebrate the day's events, plan the next day, and connect. While guides always appreciate the generosity, buying drinks and dinner are not considered part of or in lieu of gratuities. Socializing extends a guide's long and physically demanding day. Time is required before and after each day's trip for preparing, organizing, and cleaning. 

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 Travel Guard or Global Rescue.
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 many of our trips, potential challenges receiving immediate professional medical help, and limited cell coverage, we highly recommend purchasing medical evacuation insurance along with your trip insurance. 
For more information or to purchase Medical Evacuation Insurance, please visit Global Rescue.
The Sphinx, Madison Range


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