Copyright 2014 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Lewis River - Yellowstone National Park
The trout in the Lewis Channel are brook trout and brown trout with a few lake trout. Some
of these fish move in and out of Shoshone and Lewis Lakes and the population changes
with the seasons. The resident browns probably average twelve to fifteen inches and the
brook trout four to six inches. Large brown trout move into the channel during the Fall
The trout in the smooth section of the river below Lewis Lake are mostly brown and brook
trout. While there are some nice size brown trout in this section of the river, they are difficult
to catch without a heavy hatch occurring. In the canyon section the fish population changes
to cutthroats and brown trout with some whitefish. During the Fall spawning season, large
brown trout move out of Jackson Lake up into the Snake River and then into the Lewis
River below the falls.
The Lewis Channel is considered the best part of the stream but the fishing there is very
seasonal. When the brown trout move into the channel to spawn, the fishing can be
fantastic. Most anglers use streamers to take the large browns. We hope you will avoid
fishing for them on the redds. It takes a boat ride or a three mile hike to and from the
channel, but it is well worth it when the fish are in the channel spawning.
The canyon section is very difficult to access and we doubt it is worth fishing from purely a
fish standpoint. The fish average a small size but are easy to catch. We have not fished it
but have talked to several friends who have. They all say its a good trip to take once in a
lifetime, but the fishing is less than average for the park. Of course, catching fish in only a
part of the fun of trout fishing and certainly when it comes to beautiful Yellowstone Park.
We suggest you have someone with you if you do fish the canyon.
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Lewis River, YNP