Yellowstone Expedition 1 - update 1


Airport day was a big success; we all had so much fun meeting everyone. The guys are getting along great! After a quick lunch, we headed to a fly shop in Bozeman to ask about fishing conditions and to procure some flies.

Tonight we will be staying at the Lillard Fly Fishing headquarters in Ennis, Montana. This evening will be all about bonding and building the foundations of our team. We’ll spend time getting to know each other better and sharing stories and expectations for the trip. After settling in, we'll have dinner together, followed by some games or a campfire where we can enjoy the beautiful Montana sunset. Given the long day of travel, we'll likely get to bed early to rest up for the excitement of tomorrow.

Tomorrow is where the fun begins – we’ll pack up our bags and head to the Madison Campground in the western part of Yellowstone. This will be our base as we prepare for our first backcountry trip. We’ll also have the chance to fish some of the renowned rivers in the area, honing our skills and experiencing the incredible fishing opportunities Yellowstone has to offer. The Madison River is known for its abundant trout and stunning scenery, making it a perfect start to our expedition.

The Yellowstone Expedition truly is a trip unlike any other. It offers a unique opportunity to explore one of the most iconic national parks in the world, learning not just about fly fishing, but also about teamwork, self-reliance, leadership, and conservation. Each day will be filled with new challenges and learning experiences, helping everyone grow not only as anglers but also as individuals.

I have been lucky enough to attend the Yellowstone Expedition seven times in my tenure with Lillard, three times as a camper and four as a guide. Yellowstone has a magical quality to it, with its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and unparalleled beauty. There is a tangible air of excitement in the park: fish to be caught, peaks to be summited, and sights to be seen. The possibilities are endless.

The group is already showing great enthusiasm and camaraderie, setting the stage for an unforgettable adventure. We're looking forward to the days ahead, which will certainly be filled with exploration, fishing, and the creation of lifelong memories and friendships. As we journey through Yellowstone, we’ll have the chance to witness its geothermal wonders, hike its scenic trails, and perhaps even spot some of its iconic wildlife. This expedition promises to be a transformative experience, one that we’ll all remember for years to come. We can’t wait to share more updates with you as our adventure unfolds!

Lastly, we wanted to take a second to introduce ourselves:

My name is Cole Hauswirth, and I will be the trip director for the Yellowstone Expedition. I grew up in San Francisco and spent much of my early youth fishing around California. I have participated in seven Yellowstone Expeditions, and it is consistently one of the highlights of my year. I am entering my senior year at Colorado College, where I study economics and business with a specialization in environmental economics. This will be my third year working for Lillard Fly Fishing Expeditions and my seventh year with the program including my time as a camper. Every moment has been an incredible experience. Fly fishing and conservation have been significant parts of my life, largely inspired by my time as a camper with Lillard. These passions continue to shape my journey, and I am excited to share them with my campers with the hopes of creating a lifelong passion. When I am not fishing, I love to ski, backpack, and play golf. I am also a certified Wilderness First Responder. 

Hello, my name is Owen Reeve, I am from Potomac, Maryland. Like Cole, I attend Colorado College where I study biology. This will be my second year working for Lillard, and my fifth year with Lillard including my time as a camper. My time with Lillard has been an extremely formative part of my life, and I look forward to facilitating that same growth for my campers. Conservation has always been seen as a huge part of my life, and living outdoors has forever altered the direction of my life. When I’m not fishing, some of my hobbies include darkroom photography, skiing, mountain biking, and backpacking.


Hello, my name is Braden Smith Jones, I am from Dallas, Texas. I attend Ole Miss. I have been familiarized with areas including RMNP, Yellowstone, and the Winds as a camper with LFFE. Those experiences helped shape my passion for fishing and the outdoors. 


Tight Lines!


Cole, Owen, Braden, and the LFFE Team


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

[email protected]

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

(828) 577-8204