Yellowstone River

The longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. Because of its size, the Yellowstone is most effectively fished from a drift boat or jet boat. Every angler should wet a line on the Yellowstone at least once in their lifetime, not only for the trout but for the incredible scenery.

Paradise Valley lives up to its name! Stretching from Gardner, Montana to Livingston, MT, Paradise Valley is considered one of the most beautiful places to float and catch Trout On The Fly. In this 60 mile stretch, high numbers of Yellowstone Cutthroats populate the upper section near Yankee Jim Canyon. The upper section is well known for its prolific salmon fly hatch, starting in mid to late June. Mother Nature timed this hatch perfectly, occurring shortly after runoff and post-spawn, making these trout ready to feed! From Emigrant, Montana to Livingston, the Yellowstone offers a variety of species – rainbows, browns, cutthroats, cutbows and mountain whitefish. The Yellowstone River’s fishing season typically starts later than tailwaters like the Madison, Bighorn, and Missouri Rivers because it lacks dammed reservoirs that allow sediment to settle or dissipate.

The region from Livingston, Montana downriver to Columbus, Montana may not be as scenic, but it makes up for it with larger than average brown trout! This stretch of river offers outstanding terrestrial fly fishing because the river cuts through miles of hay fields loaded with grasshoppers. The structure is similar to the upper Yellowstone with long distinct runs, deep pools, and cut banks, all great habitats for trout.

Fishing the Yellowstone River with the jet boat is a great way to make several passes through long runs holding numerous amounts of fish. In a typical drift boat, that run would only be drifted by once. The jet boat gives you ample opportunities to make the perfect drag free drift! If you get tangled up on one pass through a good run don’t worry, we will motor back up and do it again! All our jet boat trips on the Yellowstone River are downriver of Livingston, Montana, below Highway 89 bridge. All our jet boat trips on the Yellowstone are based on river conditions.

The Conditions at
Yellowstone River

River Discharge

Hatch Chart

  • “First a little back info - I guided my first customer in 1974 and for 20 years guided fresh water and on the White River in Arkansas before any fly fishermen set foot on the river.  I have been fortunate enough to be friends with, and have fished with guides, both great and real rear ends, from the Great Barrier Reef, Colorado, Oregon, Belize, etc so I am well versed in what a good guide should be.  I have towed the boat and fished from Key West to Canada, and fished on really busy waters and interacted with guides from one end to the other in this country. Been there done that so that said here are my thoughts. Over the years I have found the occasional guides to be great, others to be particularly self important and full of themselves, especially in the fly fishing world. (That attitude seems to be present in many fly shops I have stopped in as a compulsive tackle shop junkie.)  Several have an attitude that is well beyond their place in this world, in other words freakin' jerks who have somehow decided that their rights and place on the water take precedent over the common dude just trying to catch a fish.  That attitude disturbs me, guides do not own the water and have a duty to rise above that attitude.  So here we go with Nathan Anderson. My expectations were exceeded, I would give him and the experience an A+ and both my wife and I had a great time. Nathan was beyond all of that nonsense.  Not only did he go above and beyond trying to help the wife get a fish or two, he got that done, but his attitude to others on the river was what a real guide should be. My wife appreciated how he made her feel safe on the water, fishing with me she has certain expectations and he met them.  Being a Saturday it was busy as it is everywhere on the water.   His ramp behavior was great. When a couple of guide boats on our trip cut us off and just acted like they somehow own the river  (See above) he was the bigger man.  We let folks go past us, he did not get stupid when regular folks did the stuff they do because they do not understand "the RIGHT way to fish".  He was a true professional and is the kind of guide that is a credit to the profession.  He was the antithesis of the I am a big shot guide and my rights on the water somehow take precedent over the rest of the world. How could you improve?  (Since I know nothing about your business not sure what to say but here goes.)  Make dam sure that anyone who you use through your service fishes and guides like Nathan.  That your guides treat others on the water as Nathan did.  That others understand that with the pleasure and honor of being a guide come the responsibility to be the bigger guy, to be patient, and understand that guiding gets a bad name with the attitude that seems to affect some guides.  That just because you own a Sage and fancy Simms means nothing in the grander scheme of things. I know that is quite a long answer to your inquiry, but I felt the context was important.  Nathan was professional, patient, smart, and as far as the "technical" aspect of fishing was a real pro.  As you can tell I have strong feelings and do not hesitate to express them good or bad to my readers.  That said when I post it will be beyond positive and include much of the above about his ability and his love of the water and teaching others.  As I begin the fly fishing part of my fishing journey part of hiring guides is to learn and I learned a ton.  I would fish with him again in a minute and I hope that your other guides have the same attitude and respect for others.  Over the last 40 years I learned we hard core fishermen or guides, do not own the water and have a greater responsibility to the resource and others and should be held to a higher standard.  Nathan is a credit to the profession and your company. So thanks for the experience and your follow up.  It was how it is supposed to be.“
    Doug & Nancy,
    Victoria, TX