Fly fishing the Yellowstone River

Fly fishing and knitting are very complementary activities, in many ways. To list a few:

  1. Both are highly transportable. For example, you can just as easily fit a fly fishing rod in your backpack along with a few flies as you can cram in a few pairs of knitting needles and some merino wool.
  2.  Both can be quiet and contemplative in nature but may also require enormous attention to detail and concentration.
  3. Both are also enjoyed outdoors. One might not as easily imagine knitting outdoors, but if you are a knitter, I would highly suggest trying it on a beautiful summer day at the confluence of the Yellowstone River and Hellroaring Creek.

Last September, Pascal and myself took a short camping vacation in Yellowstone National Park. Being only a short 9 hour drive away from Calgary, there wasn’t much reason not to go, with the exception of our extremely low Canadian dollar in comparison to the American. We were pleased to discover, however, that the cost of camping in Yellowstone National Park was much, much less than anticipated.


Entry fee to the park for a full week only cost us about $30 USD for the two of us, whereas the entry fee to Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies can cost up to $20 CAD per vehicle, per day. If you plan on staying in Banff with a few people for more than a few days, it makes sense to go for the Discovery pass, which costs about $136 CAD, but is good for a full year. Even still, if you are only planning on going to Banff for about a week, it comes out a bit pricey, especially considering that this park fee does not include your camping fees. Camping fees in Yellowstone were also pleasantly low, costing about $12 USD per night.


We ended up staying in Yellowstone for roughly 4 nights and 5 days, and spent most of our time checking out the usual tourist hotspots, such as the Old Faithful geyser and the Mammoth Hot Springs. We could easily have spent a few more days there, but our vacation time was limited.


Pascal is a passionate fly fisherman, and made it clear that at least one day of our trip would be reserved for fly fishing. I am not at all a fly fisherwoman myself, but was happy about getting away from the crowds to find a nice spot where I could sun bathe, relax and knit.

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We decided on the Hellroaring Creek Trail, which was a moderately easy trail with less than a few hundred metres in elevation gain and led to the Yellowstone River.


We passed very few people on the trail. This was in late September, but still surprising considering all of our previous stops had been crowded with tourists. It was nice to see that even in a park as famous as Yellowstone, it is still possible to find hikes and trails where you can get away from the crowds.


Pascal managed to catch a beautiful Yellowstone cutthroat minutes after landing his fly in the Yellowstone River. We spent a few more hours wandering down the Yellowstone River, then up Hellroaring Creek, but with no more luck. We didn’t mind (well, Pascal might have minded just a bit), as it was a gorgeous day just to be outside.

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Yellowstone was an amazing area and definitely a worthwhile visit!