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If you plan to visit the promised land for trout fishers, look no further than West Yellowstone, MT, located on the western gateway to Yellowstone National Park. Locals and anglers in the know call this western town by its first name only, West. It's up to you if you want to act cool.
West is a curious mix of ratty fishing cabins and world-class fishing lodges and everything in between. The town has grocery stores and gas stations but you're not going to like the prices. You will like your options of where to cast a Royal Wulff.
How about the fabled rivers and lakes in Yellowstone National Park like the Firehole, Gibbon, Gallatin, Slough Creek, and the mighty Yellowstone? Within minutes of West are the Madison River, Quake and Hebgen Lakes, Henry's Fork of the Snake River, and Henry's Lake (Hank's Lake if you've fished it enough). If you want big fish, you got it. Want solitude? Got it in spades. Beautiful float trip with a bankside lunch? Name the river and it's yours.
If you have a masochistic urge, go ahead and stay in the park. If you want a little more quiet and a lot less traffic, stay in West. That way you can get out to rivers and lakes other than those being pounded in the park. If you want moderately-priced, clean, comfortable cabins, here's what I recommend: Sleepy Hollow Cabins (406-646-7707) and Westwood Cabins (406-646-7713).
The Rustler's Roost (406-646-7622) has good eats and a varied menuideal for the family.
Article © Mark D. Willliams, 2001.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication