Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Firehole River - West Yellowstone - Wyoming

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Midday 20-22 Zebra Midge, Griffin's Gnat
February Midges, Blue Winged Olives Midday 18-22 Pheasant Tail Nymph, Gnat
March Blue Winged Olives, Midges Midday 18-22 BWO Emerger
April Blue Winged, Olives, Caddis Afternoon 14-18 Hare's ear, CDC Caddis
May PMDs, Caddis Afternoon 14-18 Sparkle Dun, Chocolate CDC Caddis
Salmonfly Afternoon-Evening 2-6 Stonefly Nymph
June Caddis, Green Drakes Morning-Afternoon 12-16 X-Caddis, Green Drake Dun
Yellow Stones Afternoon-Evening 8-12 Yellow stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis
July Terrestrials, Caddis All day 12-20 Ants, Beetles, X-Caddis
August Terrestrials, Caddis All day 12-20 Ants, Hoppers, X-Caddis
September Blue Winged Olives, Caddis Afternoon 16-20 Pheasant Tail Nymph, Elk Hair Caddis
October Blue Winged Olives, Midges Midday 18-22 Pheasant Tail Nymph, Griffith's Gnat
November Midges Midday 20-22 Zebra Midge
December Midges Midday 20-22 Zebra Midge, Black Beauty

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Firehole River in West Yellowstone is renowned amongst avid fly-fishermen for its unique geothermal features and rich aquatic life. Here are the top spots loved by experts for fly fishing:
  • Upper Firehole: Near Old Faithful, this is an ideal spot for beginners. As fishing pressure is low here, chances of hooking a cutthroat or rainbow trout are high.
  • Mid Firehole: Between the Upper and Lower Geyser Basins, this area is perfect if you’re looking for brown trout.
  • Nez Perce Creek: A tributary of the Firehole, it offers excellent opportunities to fish for brook and brown trout.
  • Lower Firehole: Starting from Midway Geyser Basin to Madison Junction, it’s the most challenging yet rewarding section, especially for brown trout.
  • Biscuit Basin: For those who prefer quiet and solitude, the Biscuit Basin is where the crowd is less but the trout are plenty.
Remember, fly fishing in Firehole River requires great skill and appropriate equipment but the experience is worth the effort.

Best Access Points

The Firehole River in West Yellowstone is a renowned destination for fly fishing. Here are the best access points:

  • Upper Geyser Basin: Inhabited by rainbow and brown trout, this location is full of hot springs and geysers, providing a unique fishing experience.
  • Midway Geyser Basin: Located below Excelsior geyser, it offers ample space for fishing amidst beautiful landscapes.
  • Lower Geyser Basin: This is ideal for anglers loving solitude and plentiful fish. Access it via Fountain Flat Drive.
  • Firehole Canyon Drive: There are designated areas along the route that allow access to the river, offering good fishing for Brown Trout.
  • Madison Junction: Located before the junction of the Firehole and the Madison River, it’s an excellent spot particularly during the Fall run.

Although it’s required to comply with Yellowstone National Park fishing regulations, the thrill and serenity make Firehole River a wonderful fly fishing destination.

Local Fish

  • Brown Trout: A common species in the Firehole River, Brown Trout are a favorite among fly fishers due to their large size and fighting spirit.
  • Rainbow Trout: Known for their distinctive coloring and taste, these fish can be found in some parts of the river.
  • Brook Trout: Brook trout are smaller than other trout species but can provide a fun challenge for fly fishers.
  • Cutthroat Trout: A native species, the Cutthroat has a unique ‘cutthroat’ mark below its jaws and is highly sought after by anglers.
  • Arctic Grayling: These cold-water fish are identifiable by their large dorsal fin and are common in tributaries of the Firehole River.
  • Mountain Whitefish: A native species and gamefish. Despite being underrated, fly fishers enjoy the challenge whitefish can present.
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout: A subspecies of Cutthroat Trout that is native to the Yellowstone area. Look for the red slash on the lower jaw.
  • Mirror Carp: Although not as common as other species, it is targeted for its large size and sporting quality.

About The River

As a visitor in West Yellowstone, you can’t miss a trip down the historical Firehole River. This river, pronounced ‘Faiyaa-hol’ by indigenous tribes, has a captivating story to tell.

  • The Birth: The Firehole River was born from the junction of three enchanting geyser basins; the Upper, Midway, and Lower basins. These bubbling hot springs contribute to the river’s warm temperature, giving it its fiery name.
  • Cultural Significance: The Firehole River was a spiritual site for Native Americans. Legends tell of their respect and admiration for the river’s ‘hot smoking waters’.
  • The Modern Era: Today, this river is a popular destination for angling enthusiasts. Known for its robust rainbow and brown trout populations, fishing on the Firehole River is a West Yellowstone tradition.

In the heart of Yellowstone National Park, the Firehole River carries the whispering tales of a rich, vibrant history, patiently waiting for you to discover.

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