Imagine spending a full day in Yellowstone National Park wade fishing on the Firehole River. Bison and elk are in the foreground, with volcanic features in the background, as you cast to wild rainbows and browns. It doesn’t get more memorable than that! Fishing in Yellowstone National Park opens every year on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and extends through the first Sunday in November. While visiting Yellowstone country don’t pass up the opportunity to spend a day on this very unique river.
The Firehole River is a unique river, from its diverse structure to its range in water temperatures. Originating from Madison Lake on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, the Firehole River flows North to the civilized area of Old Faithful and then on to join the Gibbon River to create the Madison River at Madison Junction. A majority of the Firehole is easily accessed because it parallels the Grand Loop Road, Madison-Old Faithful. The upper section above Kepler Cascades can only be reached by hiking and offers smaller brook trout that were introduced in the late 1800s. The Firehole River has several hot water Geysers that act as tributaries, adding water volume to the river and increasing water temperatures. The hot water is a double-edged sword. During cooler spring and fall months these warm waters help keep the water at a happy temperature for the trout and aquatic insects such as the stoneflies. The water temperatures during summer months, depending on where you are fishing on the Firehole, can be too hot and drive the trout into colder tributaries such as Sentinel Creek. Most of the fish on the Firehole are rainbows and browns averaging 5”-12”, with an occasional 14”-16”. During October and November, there are above average rainbow and brown trout below Firehole Falls, averaging 16”-24” long. These large trout travel from Hebgen Lake to spawn in the Madison, Gibbon, and Firehole Rivers, making for memorable fishing.
NOTE: Felt sole wading boots are prohibited on all rivers in Yellowstone National Park. Trout On The Fly offers non-felt rental gear if needed.