Yellowstone Expedition Update

Greetings from Yellowstone, 


After exiting our first backcountry, our group set up camp in the Lamar Valley. Home to some of the best fishing and wildlife viewing in the park, the Lamar Valley is a highlight of every trip. We had easy access to the Lamar River, Soda Butte, Slough Creek, and Pebble Creek from our basecamp. Each river is unique. Combined, they offer some ideal conditions for everyone in our group. The more experienced anglers enjoyed the big but challenging fish on Lamar and Slough Creek. At the same time, the canyons of Soda Butte and Pebble Creek offered nonstop action to our less experienced anglers. Experience that will go a long way during the remainder of our trip. 

On the 15th, we got up early to move our camp to Bridge Bay, on Yellowstone Lake. This gave us prime access to the Upper Yellowstone, which opened to fishing on the 15th. This section of the river is the seasonal home of huge Yellowstone Cutthroat that run out of the Lake to spawn. To protect these fish, you can not fish until 7/15. At this point, the spawning is finished, but a lot of these big fish hang out in the river for weeks or months after the spawn. This section of the Yellowstone is big, and the fish are more spread out than your typical "residential" fish. Utilizing the skills they have been practicing all trip, the boys have been catching some of the biggest fish of the trip. 

Today marks the start of our final backcountry into the Upper Snake River. A relatively flat 6-mile hike will bring us to our site next to where a thermal spring enters the river. From there we can fish all day, then relax in the hot springs in the evening.  

After exiting the backcountry, we will make our way back to paradise valley, where the trip started. We will cap off the excellent trip with a float down the Yellowstone with local guides. Our group continues to get along great, and our time together is flying by. We will send another update when we exit the backcountry on the 19th. 


Ed, Jack, Eli, and the gang

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