You could fish a lifetime and still not exhaust the potential of the Yellowstone, the longest undammed river in America. One of the prettiest and most productive sections of the river runs through Paradise Valley, south of Livingston. “Besides the fact that it’s just gorgeous, with the Absaroka Mountain Range paralleling the river and a big green beautiful valley next to you, it has some big freaking fish in it,” says Patrick Sumrell, of the Bozeman Angler. “It’s one of the healthiest rivers around.” Sumrell recommends fishing the “Bird Float,” from the Grey Owl access to Mallard’s Rest, any time between mid-June and mid-July. It’s four times the size of any river in the area, so it’s best fished by drift boat or raft. The fishing peaks when runoff ends, and big brown trout start hammering adult golden stoneflies. Sumrell fishes that hatch with a size 10 or 12 Chubby Chernobyl. “The fish will eat the heck out of that,” he says.
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