Fishing in the Cooke City Area

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Fishing in the Cooke City Area

The rivers and streams around Cooke City offer numerous opportunities to enjoy great fishing, especially trout fishing. In this article, we discuss some of our favorite locations for trout fishing near Cooke City. We focus on local rivers and streams, although you'll also find great fishing opportunities at the many alpine lakes in our area. If you need more information about fishing in the Cooke City area, feel free to give us a call. We'll be glad to offer suggestions and recommendations.

Slough Creek

Slough Creek, a tributary of the Lamar River, is one of the American West's best locations for cutthroat trout fishing.

In Yellowstone Park, Slough Creek is made up of four meadows: Lower, First, Second, and Third. Accessing most of the meadows requires hiking, but part of the Lower Meadow is along a road. While the First Meadow is basically a day-trip hike, the other two typically require an overnight stay. (Note that, while all of these areas have plenty of cutthroat trout, competition from other fishermen increases with accessibility.)

The best time to fish Slough Creek is from early July through late September. July is an especially good time since that's when mayflies begin to hatch. Also, you'll probably encounter fewer fishermen early in the season.

Soda Butte Creek

Soda Butte Creek is probably the most convenient location for fishing near Cooke City. The creek runs right by town, along the Northeast Entrance Road, south to the Lamar River. It's a great place to fish for Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

The waters of the Soda Butte Creek are cold year-round. Fishing is typically best from July until mid-August. In addition, the water is perfectly clear, so you'll want to avoid casting shadows and spooking the fish. Note that, due to easy access and the abundance of Yellowstone cutthroat, Soda Butte Creek can be relatively crowded in some locations. 

Lamar River

The Lamar River runs for over 40 miles. Access to much of the river requires doing some serious hiking. However, the area near the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and into Lamar Valley is much more accessible. You can find plenty of places along the Northeast Entrance Road to pull over and hike to the river. These areas also offer an excellent opportunity to fish for a variety of trout. Yellowstone cutthroat trout are especially prominent.

While you can fish in Yellowstone from Memorial Day until the first part of November, the best time to fish the Lamar River is during July and August. 

Yellowstone River

The part of the Yellowstone River that runs through Yellowstone National Park is one of the world's premier trout fishing locations. Here, you'll find an abundance of Yellowstone cutthroat trout, as well as brown trout, and brook trout.

The best time to fish Yellowstone River is generally from the middle of July until the middle of September. 

Upper Clark's Fork

Just outside Yellowstone's northeast entrance, you'll find Yellowstone River's Upper Clark's Fork. Upper Clark's Fork runs parallel to Highway 212 and Highway 296, making it one of the most accessible rivers in our area. There are plenty of pullouts along the way where you can park and hike down to the river.

Expect to find rainbow trout and brook trout, as well as Yellowstone cutthroat trout. The best time of year to fish Upper Clark's Fork is around mid-July, mainly because the river isn't running as fast as earlier in the year, and wading is much easier.

Resources

Need more information about fishing around Cooke City? Check out these resources, or give us a call.

  • Montana Troutfitters. Up-to-date fly-fishing reports for various creeks and rivers in Montana, including Yellowstone River.