Trip to Livingston
I just discovered this forum (you guys seem great), and have searched the archives without luck for advice self-floating on the Yellowstone River from Livingston in mid July. If our plans workout, my wife would shop and such in Livingston while I fish, floating our 7' inflatable dinghy (normally used on our sailboat) down the Yellowstone and at the end of the day, she'd pick me up (say, 5 miles -or 5-6 hours of floating- downstream). No, can't afford a guided float trip.
My concerns are: What will the fishing be like in mid July? Muddy? Water too hot? Will access be available downstream from Livingston, and how will I know if I at days end in an accessible location to be picked up? And, is this another one of my bad idea (I've had a few, just ask my wife)?
Thanks for any and all advice. Need all the help I can get!
Re: Trip to Livingston
This is definitely a bad idea. I have never seen anyone float/fish the Yellowstone in anything less than a Class III-rated pontoon and only even see canoes in a couple short sections. In mid-July the river will certainly be fishing well, but it will still be up to the edges of the bushes with few gravel bars exposed for bank fishing, lots of weird/turbulent eddies, and submerged rocks ready to rip the guts out of a boat that doesn't have durable tubes. This is especially true east of Livingston where there's a lot of weird small channels, islands, rock bars, and sudden changes of direction, even if the rapids are generally smaller.
For a fun-only drift, you could do Gray Owl to Mallard's Rest in Paradise Valley, but I wouldn't try to fish out of a boat like yours.
For a few hours' fishing around Livingston, you will be much better off hitting up a couple of the smaller creeks, wade-fishing a few stretches of the Yellowstone that do have accessible banks, or heading up into YNP.
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