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Cody Yellowstone’s long list of incredible outdoor adventures literally goes from A to Z, from rugged ATV excursions to thrilling zipline journeys! With so many ways to discover the fun of the great outdoors, you may find yourself planning multiple trips to experience all the region has to offer. Make sure to enjoy one of the most rewarding experiences of all: Cody Wyoming fishing

Whether you’re seeking the solitude provided by nature’s vast and glorious landscapes or prefer to bring along your family or a group of fellow anglers, fishing here is a beautiful pastime. Take an expert-led tour with Cody Wyoming fishing guides, visit fishing lakes near Cody Wyoming, or attend an annual family-friendly ice fishing derby. Read on for everything you need to know about fishing in Cody Yellowstone. 

Types of Fishing in Cody, Wyoming

Why do so many people flock to Cody Yellowstone to experience Cody Wyoming fishing? One reason is the sheer variety of types of fishing available. Fishing in Cody Yellowstone is a year-round activity that includes fly fishing, lake fishing, river fishing, and ice fishing! With access to pristine waters, Cody Yellowstone is a world-class fishing destination surrounded by incredible landscapes and plenty of comfortable places to stay

Fly Fishing

A man fly fishing reels in a trout from the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park

It all starts with 1,500 miles of trout streams within two hours of Cody, Wyoming. With so much incredible fishing to explore, you can find an area of stream that feels completely isolated as you reel in rainbow trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout while enjoying the unique peace that comes from being out in our glorious natural landscapes.

For equipment, of course you’ll need your waders and boots to get out in the streams, along with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to keep yourself protected. And since you’ll be out in our famously wild great outdoors, it’s a good idea to carry bear spray in case of wildlife encounters (including grizzlies), along with enough food and water and a first aid kit. You’ll also need a Wyoming fishing license before you embark on your fishing excursion. 

There are plenty of great spots to go fly fishing, including Sunlight Basin, the North Fork of the Shoshone River, and the Lower Shoshone Canyon. Watch the Fly Fishing episode of Outside Yellowstone for more information!

River Fishing

A man fishing in a river in Cody Yellowstone

When it comes to river fishing in Cody, Wyoming, the mighty Shoshone River is the place to start. Head to this essential body of water to reel in rainbow trout, along with brook, brown, and cutthroat trout and even rainbow-cutthroat hybrids. The river itself is 100 miles long, running from the Absaroka Range in Shoshone National Forest all the way to the Big Horn River. 

As with fly fishing, you’ll need a Wyoming fishing license to take advantage of river fishing. You may also wish to bring along your waders and fishing boots in case you decide to get right into the water rather than casting in from the banks. Get geared up for your river fishing trip at North Fork Anglers or Wyoming Trout Guides Fly Shop, two local favorites for all your Cody Yellowstone fishing needs.

Ice Fishing

Ice Fishing in Cody Yellowstone

Experience the chilly thrill of ice fishing in Cody Yellowstone! Head to the Upper Sunshine Reservoir, Newton Lakes, and Markham Reservoir in the winter to enjoy ice fishing and scenic trails. Equip yourself with a cozy hut to shield you from the cold and wind on the open ice. Other essential gear includes a hand auger to cut a hole, shoe chains to prevent slipping, a gear-carrying sled, and ice fishing poles. As with any ice-based activity, safety is paramount, so ensure the ice is thick enough to support your weight before venturing out. When it comes to bait, worms and shrimp are excellent choices for attracting the fish. And don’t miss the Meeteetse Ice Fishing Derby, a family favorite that attracts ice fishing enthusiasts and spectators from across the region. Competitors in this annual event catch Yellowstone cutthroat, Rainbow trout, Brown trout, and Lake trout at the Sunshine Reservoir. 

Remember: as with other forms of fishing, you’ll need a Wyoming fishing license to enjoy ice fishing in Cody. Watch the Ice Fishing episode of Outside Yellowstone for more information!

5 Top Spots for Fishing in Cody, Wyoming

1. Shoshone River

A man fishing near Shoshone River in Cody Yellowstone

The mighty Shoshone River is fundamental to so many aspects of life in Cody Yellowstone, and fishing is no exception. In fact, when it comes to fly fishing in Cody Wyoming, this should be your top destination! If you’re planning a fishing trip to Yellowstone National Park, be sure to add the Shoshone to your itinerary for world-class access to rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout.

2. North Fork of the Shoshone River

The North Fork of the Shoshone in Cody Yellowstone

Peaceful and scenic surroundings meet excellent fishing opportunities at the North Fork of the Shoshone River. This is another great place to fish for cutthroat trout and rainbow trout, two favorite species for Cody, Wyoming anglers. The North Fork is the part of the Shoshone River closest to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

3. Buffalo Bill Reservoir

Buffalo Bill Reservoir, looking east as seen from a plane.

If you’re looking for fishing lakes near Cody, Wyoming, the Buffalo Bill Reservoir offers a fantastic experience. The reservoir is the body of water created by the Buffalo Bill Dam and covers a water surface of approximately 8,000 acres. The reservoir is an excellent place to fish for rainbow trout, brown trout, and cutthroat trout. You can fish from the shore or take advantage of three boat ramps. The combination of excellent fishing, scenic views, and a historic engineering marvel makes for an unforgettable angling experience.

4. Beck Lake 

Beck Lake near Cody Yellowstone

Beck Lake, located right in the heart of Cody just minutes from downtown, is an easily accessible lake featuring trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, black and white crappie, and yellow perch. Beck Lake Park also features a wheelchair-accessible fishing pier, picnic tables, boat ramps, bike trails, and much more, making it an excellent destination for lakeside fun right in Cody.

5. Lake Creek

Fishing is also available in Lake Creek, a small stream that runs just under six miles southwest of the town of Cody. Lake Creek offers brook trout and rainbow trout fishing, along with camping and cabins, hiking, and nature viewing opportunities. 

What to Know Before You Go Fishing in Cody, WY

A woman fishes near Beartooth in Cody Yellowstone

Do you need a fishing license?

You need a Wyoming fishing license to take advantage of the great fishing opportunities in Cody. All residents and non-residents who fish in Cody Yellowstone are required to hold licenses, which are available in a variety of lengths and categories, from daily fishing licenses for non-residents to lifetime fishing licenses for residents. You can purchase your license in advance by using the Wyoming Game & Fish Department Online Electronic Licensing Service. 

What is the best time of day for fishing?

They say the early bird gets the worm, and the same thing can be said about fish! Fish tend to be more active feeding on insects and other prey in the early mornings and late evenings. While there’s no guarantee fish will be biting at any time of day, it’s often a good idea to get an early start to your fishing excursion. Plus, early morning fishing trips allow you to make a whole day of it while ensuring you have access to safe lighting. Be sure also to pay attention to the weather and consider seasonal conditions when planning your fishing trip. Check in with local fishing reports for the latest information and fly and bait recommendations.

Is parking available near these lakes?

Parking options vary at fishing locations. If you are planning to drive, be sure to review your parking options in advance or work with local guides to arrange an expert-led tour. 

Where is boat access?

Boat ramps and launches are available at several of Cody Yellowstone’s most popular fishing spots, including Buffalo Bill Reservoir, many places along the Shoshone River, and Beck Lake.

Start Planning Your Cody Yellowstone Fishing Trip

Now that you know about all the fantastic fishing opportunities in Cody Yellowstone, it’s time to start planning your unforgettable fishing adventure. See you on the water!