The three Paradise Valley spring creeks, Depuy, Nelson's, and Armstrong, are among the most famous spring creeks in the country. The offer consistent hatches, large but picky wild trout, and the certainty that you won't have to deal with the crowds that can sometimes jam the more-famous and easily-accessed waters inside Yellowstone Park. This comes at a cost, however. The creeks charge $40-120 per angler per day depending on the time of year, and reservations are required. For trips taking place during the prime PMD hatch period from about June 20 through about July 20, when the trout rise heavily almost every day, reservations must generally be made a minimum of six months in advance.
On the other hand, in our opinion there are three periods when the creeks are at their best, and during two of them, March through mid-April and again in October and early November, their rates are at their lowest, even the limited crowds of summer usually aren't present, and the fish are at their least-spooky. The other great period to hit the creeks is during the July PMD hatches, when all three creeks are always fully-booked, with good reason.
All spring creeks are populated exclusively by wild trout, mostly rainbows and browns though there may be a cutthroat or two as well as a few whitefish. These trout average 12-18 inches and are always rather fussy, which is part of their appeal. The spring creeks are about outwitting challenging trout that lead relatively cushy lives, for fish, and see a lot of fake flies year-round. As such they are probably our worst possible choices for beginners, but are excellent choices for experienced anglers who like challenges.
You have two choices in booking a day on the creeks. You can book your trip with the creek first, then book your guide (links to their websites are present on our links page as well as above), or we can book the spring creek reservation for you. Please note that deposits we make on your behalf with the creeks will generally be nonrefundable.
The rates below do not include the access fees charged by the landowners (usually called rod fees). When we make reservations with the creeks on your behalf, these fees will be charged along with your deposit to the shop. Spring creek trips generally run as full-days, since landowners do not offer discounted access fees for shorter days.
Again, the above rates DO NOT include the access fees collected by the landowners.
Richard Parks is Montana Outfitter #327. Under his licensure, Parks' Fly Shop is licensed to operate in Yellowstone National Park, Montana waters under general regulations, and the Custer-Gallatin National Forest. Walter J. Wiese is Montana Outfitter #22001. Under his licensure, the shop is licensed to operate on the Madison and Missouri Rivers.
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Website, text, and graphics by Walter J. Wiese. Photos generally by Walter J. Wiese unless noted.