Soda Butte River Montana

In August, Michael Ames and I drove to Livingston, Montana to fish with our friend Molly Semenik. Molly is a FFF Certified Master Casting Instructor and owner of Tie The Knot Fly Fishing Outfitters. During or trip we fished the Yellowstone River, Soda Butte River and Armstrong Spring Creek. This post is about our adventures on the Soda Butte River. More on the others later.

The Soda Butte River is a 20 mile long river in Yellowstone Park that runs through the Lamar Valley on its way to the Lamar River. Before its confluence with the Lamar river, it snakes through a beautiful meadow between the Absoraka and Beartooth Mountains. The lower part of the river, just before its confluence with the Lamar river, house some of the largest cutthroat trout of the river. Some of the trout reach 18 inches. This meadow is also home to a large heard of Bison.

Fly fishing the Soda Butte river is excellent. Spring runoff causes muddy conditions that can last until mid July on occasion. But once the water clears the fishing is good. August is terrestrial time. The water is about 4 feet deep on the outside bends of the river. Often that side of the river is under cut with over hanging grass. When the wind blows, grasshoppers and ants fall into the river and are taken with gusto by the fish. Dry flies also work as the Soda Butte has reliable hatches.

Here is a nice cutthroat I caught on a Bead Thorax Gold Rib Hares Ear Soft Hackle. This was one of the largest cutthroat I caught.

Cutthroat Trout from Soda Butte River

Getting to the river is easy. The highway from the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone to Tower closely follows the river. Park and walk to the river. If you are looking for solitude, this is not the place to find it. Not only will there be other fishermen, there will also be many people watching the Bison.

I hope to make another trip to Yellowstone to explore some of the other rivers and creeks. Slough Creek is only 12 miles from the Soda Butte. Or perhaps try catching Grayling on Grebe Lake. >>ML