Yellowstone Adventure II Update

Hello from Yellowstone. Our adventure continues to be an excellent time with a great group of guys in one of the world’s most beautiful settings. Since our trip to Pebble Creek, we have continued to grow as outdoorsmen, fly fishermen, and environmentalists.


Since the last update, we have been busy fishing some incredible rivers and taking in some of the amazing sights Yellowstone has to offer. We started this leg of the trip by fishing in the Gardner River Valley, a beautiful place that provided us not only with incredible views of rock structures, animals, and the Paradise Valley but also with a many excellent fish. The Gardner can be a challenging river, and we were proud and impressed with our boys as they executed new fishing strategies and techniques to catch a number of rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout. The evening gave us an opportunity to visit and soak in historic Mammoth Hot Springs, have a twilight fish, and take in a night sky with an unimaginable number of stars.

The following day, we had another eventful and successful day on the water and exploring the park. We hiked into a remote section of the Lamar River, and our willingness to hike to find better fishing was rewarded as everyone caught an impressive fish during that session. We fished in an incredible canyon with views that will be hard to forget and were able to observe bison, pronghorn, and several other species in their natural habitats. We finished the main activities of the day by fishing at Tower Creek, a small scenic stream not far from our Mammoth campsite. Again, we were met with both an stunning setting and great fishing, something we are all incredibly grateful to experience day in and day out. We caught several rainbows and brook trout and had a good conversation about the nature of invasive species. This trip also gave us our first bear sightings of the trip, as we saw three full grown black bears from a safe distance and were able to observe them and how they behave in the wild. It was another great day on our adventure.


The following day has proven to be one of the great highlights of our trip: our full day excursion into the Slough Creek. Given incoming weather systems and the likelihood that the fishing would be adversely affected, we opted to hike hard, fish hard, and hike out to maximize our successful fishing time in optimal conditions and avoid incoming storms. To say that we were proud of the boys at the end of the day would be an incredible understatement. They showcased their incredible growth as hikers by walking at least 12 miles each at a brisk pace. On the water, they demonstrated technical command of a number of different types of casts, mending techniques, and improved understanding of how the fish were feeding that demonstrated marked growth since our first days together. Each of our guys put these skills together successfully enough to have multiple big cutthroats eat their flies. Following the long hike out, there was a palpable sense of accomplishment among the boys, a feeling they had certainly earned.

In the days ahead, we’ll have the chance to fish the Buffalo Fork, Soda Butte, and new sections of the Lamar River and Slough Creek to finish out our time in Yellowstone. From there, we’ll head back to the Tetons for a service project, a whitewater rafting trip, and a float fishing trip down the Snake River with guides from World Cast Anglers. We’ve had a great time working with your sons, and while we are sad that the trip is winding down, we are anticipating a great finish to the trip!

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