Yellowstone Adventure Update

Greetings again from Canyon Campground on the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone! Today we wrapped up our last portion of the trip in the Yellowstone front country after a few days of fishing the Snake River, the Upper Yellowstone, Slough Creek, and several smaller creeks around the park. The boys have been having a blast, catching fish, and getting along well.

Over the next few days, we look forward to the backcountry in the heart of the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone, which should produce fantastic views, hiking, and lots of fish on salmon flies which is an absolute treat. On the evening of the 2nd, we will depart Yellowstone for good, heading back to base camp in Ennis, where we will fish the world famous Madison for a day before floating with Montana Troutfitters on the final full day of the trip.

The past few days, the group has enjoyed the comfort of a routine and somewhat of a base camp in the park, eating hot breakfast every morning and s’mores around the campfire. We’ve had a great and productive time fishing, learning a little more every day, and crushing the massive native fish at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, with several fish 20” or bigger being brought to net. We’ve learned to diversify our fishing style on the Gibbon River as well as the Snake River, both of which are smaller than the Yellowstone but hold a variety of new trout species, as well as some grayling and a few fish around the 20” mark as well. As much fun as the big fish are, we have also enjoyed the smaller streams and their plentiful numbers of slightly smaller fish. To fish big terrestrial dry flies in some of the more scenic streams the park has to offer has been a blessing, and the group has taken full advantage. Fishing streams such as Lava Creek and the Upper Gibbon have demonstrated the true beauty of small stream fishing. With groups of 6 exploring different stretches of the river, more water was covered, and even more, fish were caught.

Everyone has been eager to learn and significantly improve not only their fishing capabilities but their knowledge of the outdoors as well. Allowing the kids to have a say over what food is being made, as well as giving them the opportunity to cook, has demonstrated a variety of leadership traits and a range of very tasty meals! Throughout the days, we’ve learned how to pack a backpack, what clothing to wear, how to wade across deeper water, and how to properly handle a fire. Not only has their knowledge strengthened for fishing, but also for the wilderness.

We look forward to the upcoming days and are excited to see how many more fish and experiences we can squeeze out of our remaining time out west.


All the best, and look for our last update on the 4th,

Eli, Max, Jack and the crew

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.


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Will Lillard, Founder/Director/Guide

Contact Us

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

(828) 577-8204