Yellowstone Thorofare Expedition

Yellowstone Thorofare Expedition

A true bucket list expedition into the heart of the most remote wilderness area in the lower 48.

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of the largest and most important intact ecosystems in North America. The heart of that ecosystem is the Thorofare region. Straddling the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park and the Teton Wilderness, the Thorofare is further protected by Grand Teton National Park to the west and the Washakie Wilderness to the east. To put it simply, the Thorofare is the furthest point from a road in the lower 48 states. It is also the backdrop for one of the greatest conservation stories of our lifetime. The endemic Yellowstone Cutthroat trout population in Yellowstone Lake return to this area annually to spawn. Bears, eagles, otters, ... the entire ecosystem counted upon the spawn. The same Yellowstone Cutthroat trout populations were decimated by the introduction of Lake Trout, then hit even harder by the 1988 Yellowstone fires, and the entire system felt the hit. Through aggressive conservation efforts, Yellowstone Cutthroat continue to make a comeback, and with them come a handful of only the most adventurous anglers. A boat ride across Yellowstone Lake and two days of hiking will bring us to our basecamp at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. For 5 days we will explore the Yellowstone, Thorofare, and other small tributaries fishing dries for eager post-spawn cutthroat. Walking into a wilderness this vast is like stepping back in time. Historic ranger cabins are the only sign of human development and wildlife encounters are more common than those with humans. Chances are you will never be in a place this wild again.

Upcoming Trips

Dates Cost Arrive/Depart Location
Jun 20 - Jun 30, 2021


Bozeman, MT
Entering 9th Grade
Entering 10th Grade
Entering 11th Grade
Entering 12th Grade
Entering College Freshman
Community Service
5 Hours
What to Bring

We have put together a list of all that you will need for a successful and comfortable expedition. We offer a rental program for most of the big ticket items like fly rods, reels, sleeping bags, etc..

  • Catch a glimpse of some the West's most iconic wildlife and landscapes
  • Explore Yellowstone National Park
  • Fish and raft the world famous Yellowstone or Madison Rivers
  • Catch trophy-sized wild trout in a remote wilderness setting

Day 1

Arrive in Bozeman, MT.  Drive to Yelllowstone National Park.

Day 2

Fly fishing instruction and backcountry prep.

Days 3-9

7 day backpacking trip in the Thorofare region of the Yellowstone Greater Ecosystem.  Highlights include a boat shuttle across Yellowstone Lake, historic patrol cabins and homesteads, Two Ocean pass, and of course, fly fishing for wild and native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.

Day 10

Full day float fishing trip with local guides on the Yellowstone or Madison Rivers.

Day 11

Depart from Bozeman, MT.


Ready to Enroll?

Click "Enroll Now" or give us a call to get started. You can also send us an email at [email protected].

If you have any questions you can Request Information and we will contact you soon with answers.

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions was started in 2010 as a graduate thesis for my Master's Degree in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. The operating premise was simple - by coupling amazing wilderness fly fishing camps for teens with environmental education and service learning we can help inspire future generations of fly fishing conservationists. We have been growing our unique list of trips and experiences ever since.

When it comes to choosing a summer program for your teen the options are endless. For the teen who loves to fish, be outside, and has a strong sense of adventure we have made the choice easy. We are the leader in teen fly fishing adventures and are dedicated to providing the best backcountry fly fishing experience with opportunities for teens to engage in leadership training, community service, and backcountry camping.


Will Lillard signature

Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

[email protected]

Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions
2540 King Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

(828) 577-8204