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Yellowstone River Fishing Access-Coldwater

Yellowstone River Fishing Access-Coldwater Hot

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Yellowstone River Fishing Access-Coldwater


Location type:

Location Information

Access Type:
  • Bank Access
  • Boat Ramp
  • Kayak/Canoe Access
Water Type:
Launch Fees:
Cart Needed:

The Yellowstone River at 692 miles long is considered to be the longest undammed river in the United States.  The river starts with tributaries on Two Ocean Plateau just south of Yellowstone National Park.  The river flows for some 75 miles through the park before entering Montana at Gardiner.  Boating on the river inside the park is not allowed.  The section from Gardiner (river mile 551) to Big Timber, (river mile 464) Montana is considered a world-class cold-water fishery for rainbow, brown, Yellowstone cutthroat trout and Rocky Mountain whitefish.  The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department maintains 18 Fishing Access Sites along this section of river, many with camping facilities.  The U.S. Bureau of Land Management maintains a few other sites.  The upper section from Gardiner through Yankee Jim Canyon is high gradient with a lot of class I and II whitewater.  The entire section between Gardiner and Big Timber is floatable with kayaks, although the four mile Yankee Jim Canyon section has some serious class III rapids.  Once the river leaves the canyon its journey through Paradise Valley is a long series of riffles, pools and runs with a lot of beautiful scenery provided by the Gallatin and Absaroka mountain ranges.  As the Yellowstone is designated a class I river for stream access purposes, camping is allowed anywhere along the river below the high water mark as long as the campsite is at least 500 yards and not visible from occupied private dwellings.  Food, Lodging and fishing supplies and information can be found in Gardiner, Livingston and Big Timber, Montana.

A complete description of MFWP access sites is found at: http://fwp.mt.gov/fishing/guide/waterbodyDetail.html?llid=1039825479787




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5.0  (1)
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Outstanding Kayak Fishing Water

I have fished the Yellowstone regularly with my Native Ultimate 12 Tegris kayak since the summer of 2008. The MFWP Fishing Access Sites between Gardiner and Big Timber provide unfettered access to the entire river. Having camped overnight several times on remote island sandbars, the river is large enough and wide enough for serious kayak adventures. Fly fishing and hardware fishing for trout is excellent and outfitters in Gardiner, Livingston and Big Timber can provide great advice on where and when to fish. The MFWP sites are clean, well maintained and have excellent parking and toilet facilities. My favorite sites are (from top to bottom)--Joe Brown (BLM), Carbella (BLM), Point of Rocks, Emigrant, Grey Owl and Pine Creek (MFWP).

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