Christmas Trout

I spent Christmas eve casting nymphs to trout here in
Jackson Hole. The sun was shinning and temperatures were
near 30F, making for a few good hours of fishing. Given the
last minute nature of the outing, I didn’t venture too far from
the car. A little wading through both snow and water, and I
found a nice long riffle to cast into. My size 20 red midge
nymph was a proven winner, and when it was all said and
done, I caught some fish and made it home in time to have
dinner and brace for Christmas.

It’s always nice to see one of these beauties on a
cold day….

Christmas Cutthroat

Can’t go wrong with a Winston 5wt. Most of the time
I fished two nymphs on a tight line. I did use an indicator
though for a bit, but found tight-lining to be the ticket.

Winter fly fishing on the Snake

A view up river….

On the winter trout water

After a few casts, ice would build up on the guides
requiring some chipping…

Icy guide

Fly Fishing in Yellowstone National Park

We’re rolling into the holidays here in Jackson Hole, and while
there’s still another week or so left in 2013, preparations for
2014 are in the works. The big news here at Teton Fly Fishing
world headquarters is that I am now permitted to guide fly
fishing trips in Yellowstone National Park. This will dovetail nicely
with the other guided fishing trip options I offer, and while I don’t
plan on fishing folks in Yellowstone everyday, I am excited to
have it as an option for clients who want to explore the park.

Yellowstone’s fly fishing waters are legendary. The Firehole and
Madison Rivers draw anglers from all over the world, providing
exceptional dry fly fishing amongst steaming geysers and
roaming buffalo. Additionally, there are an unbelievable amount
of smaller, lesser known streams and lakes too that offer up
some great fly fishing opportunities. For anglers looking to
experience fly fishing in the nation’s first national park, this is for

Below Zero

Us folks in Wyoming have been dealing with some cold
temperatures lately. Currently at Teton Fly Fishing world
headquarters this morning it’s -10. That’s nothing compared to
other places around the state. Canyon Village in Yellowstone
reported -36 the other day. Below zero makes outdoor
activities tough, if not impossible. That said, I do know some
folks who have been out Elk hunting; these are tough men, not
to be messed with.

I recently spent some time at our cabin in Dubois. Every
year about this time we get the water shut off, ensuring pipes
don’t freeze during the times we’re not there. We still get up
there quite a bit. Winter is a great time to ski on Togwotee
Pass or hike the badlands, and also can be pretty fishy, with
the Wind River taking top honors.

Lately I’ve been determined to get some art pieces
finished. Watercolors with ink and trout painted in oils
consumer my winter hours. Yesterday I came near completing
a linoleum-cut for print making (see pic below). I’m hoping to
print a proof today to see how it looks. We’ll see… Hope
everyone’s staying warm and having fun gearing up for the

Trout Linoleum print

Winter fly fishing is upon us here in Jackson Hole

Teton Fly Fishing in late November

Saturday was perhaps the last day of “fall” fly fishing around here. Sure there was snow on the grounds and temperatures weren’t much above freezing, but there wasn’t much snow and it was above freezing. My good friend Matt and I snuck out while our respective ladies decorated for the holiday season. It felt good to get out on the water. Especially since I hadn’t cast a fly in a week or two due to a trip to San Diego and other reasons that I won’t bore you with. The fishing wasn’t fast and furious, but we did catch a few and had a great time catching up. Apparently we weren’t the only ones poking around the river bottom; in addition to elk, moose, coyote and wolf tracks, we also came across fresh grizzly tracks passing through our fishing territory.

Griz Tracks

Cutthroat success as winter sets in

There wasn’t much bug activity, save the occasional midge on the water. However, mountain whitefish were caught on nymphs, while trout in a certain deep run chased streamers. Now, watching the snow blow outside and seeing that temperatures are forecast to fall to well below zero this week, I think it’s only appropriate to admit that winter fishing season has arrived.

SoCal and Pearl Jam

I went to Southern California last week. San Diego to be
more specific. Jamie and I, determined to catch our favorite
band, Pearl Jam, flew down to escape the Jackson off season,
eat tacos, see friends and attend a 3.5 hours marathon of a
concert. While I can’t claim to completely understand what
goes on in California, I can appreciate the beautiful weather
and great vistas. I debated taking a fly rod (I hear there’s fish
to be caught in the surf) but thought it best to focus on other
things… Highlights of the trip included seeing some great
friends, a beach fire, the PJ show and a trip to some cliffs and
tide pools.

Hello friend. A barnicle that had hitched a ride on a big
piece of kelp. The ocean, with all it’s creatures can keep a man
busy for quite some time.


Caution: Mountain fishing guide loose on the boardwalk.
Shortly after this was taken, I got myself a shaved ice and
kicked back, taking in Pacific Beach.

Fishing guide on the loose

Jamie and I enjoyed morning strolls on the beach


Celebrating my lady’s birthday with a bonfire on the

beach party

casting flies as much as possible

Spent the past few weeks trying to get in as much fishing
and outdoor time as possible. Normally November brings
some pretty lousy weather (like we’re having today here in
Jackson Hole), however the majority of days lately have been
nice; sunny, kinda warm and ideal for late season fly fishing. I
managed to hook and land some nice trout, including a Brown
that made my fall. The big male had beautiful colors and a
spotting pattern to die for.

fall brown trout

In addition to streamer fishing, I had a few good days
fishing with my pal Leon. The fishing was fairly challenging,
making the hookups that much more enjoyable. Days were
celebrated with beverages on Leon’s porch; watching mule
deer roam and the afternoon sun torch the red rock cliffs

With the weather teetering on rain/snow today, it seems
appropriate to get serious about some fly tying and end of
season fishing business. I’m hoping to do a few gear reviews
this winter on my blog as well as the usually ramblings about
my fishing outings.


Like Norman in A River Runs Through It, I too am “haunted
by waters”. More specifically, waters with large Brown trout in
them. What can I say; it’s just that time of year. Most
Americans associate October with pumpkins, falling leaves,
ghouls and goblins and shortening days. Me and other fly
fisherman here in the Rockies think of orange and ochre
colored Brown Trout; angry fish with sex on their mind and a
predisposition to smack a streamer.

Lately I’ve been working some cold, trout-infested water
with streamers in hopes of hooking a true beast. It happened
to my friend Jeromie last week on his last cast of the day;
monster hammers streamer, fight ensues, fish pops off just
before being brought to hand, just after jumping out of the
water to show us how big it was. I had my chance too a few
days ago when a ravenous, kype-jawed brown smashed my
streamer within sight. This scared the bejesus out of me,
causing me to miss the hook-set (hey, when you haven’t
gotten so much as a bump in 2 hours of casting, it’s only

The following day I got more serious, taking two rods to
the water with me; one rigged with a streamer and one with a
floating line, double nymph rig. This determination paid off. I
landed two beautiful Rainbows and hooked a few nice browns.
Any other outing, this would be considered great. The problem
is that when you come face to face with Moby Dick, nothing but
the White Whale will do. And after enduring gale force winds
and the need to get back to the old dog, I surrendered,
admitting defeat for the day.

Now, each minute I spend off the water is another minute
obsessing about the fish that are on the fall migration. I tie
more streamers, adding more marabou, more rabbit, more
rubber legs and other materials that’ll add even more
movement to flashy patterns and (in my hopeful mind) entices
a shark attack. Time will tell and hopefully later this week I’ll
get to test my new creations, coming face to face with my
white whale.

Preparing for a cold day of October Brown trout


BWOs and rising trout

The past couple days here in Jackson have been a blast.
Fishing and weather have conspired to offer up some of the
best fishing of the year around the valley. After a summer of
higher than normal flows (thank you Idaho), the Snake River is
down at winter flow levels. The result is that trout are podded-
up and side channels are easily wadeable. The Blue Wing
Olives have been popping in the afternoons and the trout
aren’t too shy about eating them.

a view of the river-bottom…

fall in the river-bottom

With guiding trips drying up, Jamie and I have been able to
get out on the water together lately. Sunday, our neighbor and
friend, Taylor, joined us for a walk-in trip on the Snake. The
sun was out, enhancing the yellow and orange river-bottom
colors. We fished a stretch of the Snake in Grand Teton
National Park; open again after the childish Washington
bullshit. On the hike in we saw a healthy momma moose who
let us pass without incident.

mama moose in the willows

Too many fish to count were caught and at the end of the
afternoon we walked out with big grins, realizing we
experienced some awesome dry fly fishing; the kind the
Snake is known for.

fall fine spotted cutthroat

Yesterday I walked out on the Elk Refuge with my friend
Matt. Trout Unlimited is doing some great work out there;
improving habitat and flow on the upper part of the stream. As
some of you may know, water above the hatchery tends to
meander extremely slowly and while the upper end holds a
good number trout, it pales in comparison to its lower stretch.
The habitat enhancement looked good, with added bank
structure and some selectively placed rock that will no doubt
make Flat Creek even better than it already is. In addition to
checking out the stream work, we caught some fish
on…..streamers…..yes, dry fly purists, we cast streamers and
were reward. Definitely fun to get out! Over the next few
weeks, I’m hoping to swing streamers for colorful Brown trout.
Should be fun and at some point I’ll be sure to post a report.
In the meantime, hope folks are getting out and enjoying this
great weather!

tracks in the sand; lots of gizzly prints..

griz print


When October arrives, with it comes the transition to
winter. Lately here in Jackson Hole, the weather has varied
considerably, with snow and fast-moving early season storms
making frequent appearances. Animals are doing their best to
put on the pounds for the upcoming winter. Trout do this too,
sipping Blue Winged Olives and the odd grasshopper that
stumbles into the cold current.

Jamie with a nice cutthroat

Jamie showing off one of the nice trout from the

We’ve been trying to make the most of things around here,
fishing as much as possible and tying any necessary flies that
aren’t already in the fly boxes. Jamie and I got out this past
weekend, spending one day scouting for fall-run brown trout
and another day on a beautiful Dubois trout river. We failed to
locate staging browns in the lake. The wind added considerable
challenges and it’s probably still a little early, but it never hurts
to check…. Nymphing proved successful on the moving water.
Jamie ended up landing several really nice cutthroat trout
during the hours we spent out. Besides the trout, we saw mule
deer, pronghorn, a fox and two Grizzly bears.

crossing paths

One of the two Grizzlies we saw on our drive home.
These guys walked right by our car

The Gov’t shutdown has affected things around here.
GTNP, Yellowstone and the National Elk Refuge are all closed
at the moment, denying access to the anglers and guides who
hoped to fish, not to mention all the folks who were planning
to enjoy the parks in arguably the best month of the year to
sightsee. I’m doubtful that things will reopen before the
season ends and we’ll probably have to wait until next year to
fish the miles of great water in our parks. In the meantime
there are still plenty of fishy waters to explore that remain
open and unaffected from the idiots in Washington. Tributaries
in the forest are still fishing well and bigger rivers the like
Snake are in their prime.

A little bit of remote cutthroat country..

Fall’s here in Jackson and the fishing is strong. Clients and I
have managed to escape the crowds here and fish some remote
waters around Dubois on several overnight trips. Aside from a
little dirty water due to strong thunderstorms one day, folks have
had a blast getting away and catching some wild trout. Hoppers,
Parachute Hare’s Ears and Hopper/droppers have been the ticket
for all but the most finicky fish. Below is a short video of
Christian hooking up with a nice cutthroat trout.