Bonefish and the onset of winter..

Having returned from a two week trip to the Bahamas, I thought I’d post a few pics. Jamie and I enjoyed our low key vacation, spending the days fishing, drinking and relaxing. Our friends, Winter and Amy joined us for part of the trip, adding to the fun. Needless to say I fished everyday, opting to wander the flats and beaches,8 wt in hand. The bonefish were there and reminded me why i love fishing for them so much. Hope you like the pictures…

Reunited and it felt so good… not the biggest of the trip, but a nice little bone; a good way to kick off the trip!

nate bennett of teton fly fishing with bahamas bonefish

This is a shot of Jamie kayaking out in front of our place. Despite the drizzle, the water was as flat as can be, making sight fishing possible despite the lack of sunshine. Overall the weather was great and the island fared the recent hurricane ok.

kayaking the flat water

After fishing all day, some BBQ ribs seemed like a fine idea and if you have to man a grill, I can’t think of many better places.

bbq on the beach

One of the many bonefish i hooked into. Spawning shirmp and Avalons worked well. Sometimes I had to fish lighter flies when the fish were super spooky in the shallow water. Note the white sand bottom. This meant barefoot wading all the time!

bahama bone

High tide brough in the Stingrays; such cool animals. Often times a few big bonefish would be feeding around the Stringrays on the beach where we stayed, picking off critters that the rays kicked up.


Back in Jackson, the snow is falling and winter is here after a mostly warm November. We’re catching up on things and Lulu is glad to have her pack back. 

Grizzly Bears

Yesterday was one of those days to remember. My friend Nick and I headed north out of Jackson to fish. While driving through Grand Teton park we saw our first Grizzly bear. We got to watch as the fuzzy bear fed in the grass up near Pilgrim creek. We drove on, already saying our day was made and we hadn’t even fished yet.

As we drove slowly down a dirt road on our way to the river, I glanced to my left and saw a big grizzly grazing out in the field beside us. We stopped and watched for a good 10 minutes; just us and the bear. Man what a day!

Big Griz having breakfast.

griz on the upper snake

Eventually we got fishing, working our way down stream. I chose to swing streamers while Nick focused on nymphing. We spread out a bit on the water and I continued down hooking a couple of fish.  I hooked another nice fish- a good size Yellowstone Cutthroat trout. As I was bringing the fish in, I noticed Nick walking down river toward me. He caught up and offered to take a picture for me.

Nate Bennett with Yellowstone Cutt

After a few pics, I stood up and thanked him. Then I saw that about 30 yards behind him was yet another Grizzly. This guys had just swam across the river right behind us and was now walking across the gravel bar. We turned and watched; remaining remarkably calm. Fortunately this guys didn’t mind us and slowly lumbered on. WOW! So that’s 3 bears so far.

I managed to snap a few pics as Nick watches. Let me tell you, this guys was closer than he looks in this picture.

Nick watching a griz

We continued fishing, albeit a little more on edge. As we made our way up river to explore some new water, we found ourselves slowly walking through the red willow bushes (yelling of course while we did this). As I scanned the country around us, I noticed a dark spot in an opening. Yep, another bear… we quickly worked our way through the bushes and back onto the open gravel. That’s four bears on the day!  As far as the fishing went, it was okay. We caught a few fish including a couple nice ones, but seeing these wild grizzly bears made the day one to always remember!

One of the browns that fell for my streamer.

streamer-striking brown trout

Blue wings and October caddis

It’s late fall in Jackson Hole and things are slowing down. We had a pretty good dose of winter weather earlier this week, bringing snow to the valley. Fortunately things have cleared up and it looks like we’re in for some pretty nice fall weather for the next few days. I did a few fishing trips the past week on the elk refuge and the Snake. Both have some good surface action in the afternoon, mainly due to BWOs and the large October caddis. In the week to come, I hope to go do some fishing on my own for some colored up Brown and Brook trout. Additionally, I gotta start tying some flies for our upcoming Bahamas trip.

One of the beautiful rainbow trout Chris caught while fishing in Yellowstone with me last week. The fish weren’t huge, but they sure were fiesty! I’m gonna miss fishing the park when it closes for the season in early November.

Yellowstone Rainbow

I took advantage of a sunny day to fish for Lake trout in Grand Teton National Park. This time of year Lakers come into the shallows to spawn and can be taken on flies. While they’re not the most energetic fighters, it’s nice to change it up now and then and fish for them.

Teton Laker


Holy smokes it’s October. Summer has disappeared around here making way for fall; one day is warm and sunny, the next it’s winter with blowing snow. For those of us who love fishing, fall is prime time. Fish are feeding heavily in preparation for winter, crowds are gone and brown trout take swipes at streamers.

I’ve continued to be busy guiding visiting anglers. For the most part, days have been really good with folks catching some nice fat cutthroat trout. Last week was challenging thanks to several days of snow and cold temperatures. After two days of tough fishing, Richard finally got into some good fish on the Snake. Hats off to him for keeping a good attitude and sticking with it!

In addition to the guiding, I also had to frame and hang paintings for my art show at the Snake River Brewery. I’m pleased with how things look and the paintings will be up though December. We’re having a reception/opening there on Wednesday (the 12th) from 5- 7. Stop by if you’re around and say hi.

Guides’ day off. I had the pleasure of fishing with Bill and Fred last week. It was fun sharing the boat with these guides and listening to their stories about guiding in the valley. And it was also AWESOME to fish from the boat!

Floating the Snake, guides day off

One of the nice cutthroat trout that was feeding on emergers on the Snake. Super fun day floating Brad and Dennis; it took awhile to make it happen, but the fishing was spectacular and the guys had a special day

Fall cutthroat on tiny dry

Richard shows off a foul weather trout. The weather threw Rich a curve ball, snowing on him during his days fishing with me. After two really tough days on the water, Richard stuck with it and found success on the Snake.

Richard getting it done on the Snake

A few of the painting that are hanging at the Snake River Brewery. 

Nate Bennett trout watercolor art

Pretty colors on this rainbow. 

Dubois rainbow

Busy time of year

As expected this time of year, things have been busy. Family’s visited, friends stayed with us, all of this in addition to guiding clients on area waters. September is my favorite time of year for fly fishing and so far it hasn’t disappointed. Float fishing on the Snake has been a blast. Cutthroat trout are rising to well presented dry flies and anglers are catching some nice fish. Much of this is due to the mahogany duns and Hecuba drakes that are hatching regularly. Throw in some Blue wing olives, PMDs, hoppers and caddis and you can see why the fishing’s been hot.

Ron shows off a nice Yellowstone cutthroat trout from Coyote creek. A multiday cabin stay allowed me to fish Ron on some rugged western Wyoming streams. The rewards were nice rainbow, brown, brook and cutthroat trout.

ron with a nice fish outside Dubois, Wyoming

It doesn’t get much prettier than a brook trout in the fall.

colored up brookie

Craig is all smiles as he brings in a wild Yellowstone rainbow trout. I had a great week fishing him and his compadres, Bob and Mark. These guys fish with me every year and are a highlight of my fishing season! 

Craig in Yellowstone

I love brown trout. Especially when they eat hoppers!

brown release

One of the reasons the Snake is fishing so well, the big Hecuba Drake. These are the double cheeseburger of the trout world and I can’t tie enough of them!


Some floating, some wade fishing and fun

Fishing continues to be solid around here in Jackson Hole. I’ve fished some great folks and have more fun trips on the books. Joe and his dad, Geno, came back to fish with me again this August and we three fantastic days. We fish the Snake and took no prisoners; catching lots of fish on dry flies including some nice ones. Then it was off to the Dubois fishing cabin for some fun wade fishing. Muddy water and cold temperatures one day kept us on our toes, but we fished some super-cool gems, catching rainbows and browns on dries and nymphs. Great to see these guys!

Geno and Joe; always great to see these guys. Fun couple of days on the water with them.

joe and gene

Joe with a nice snake river cutthroat.

joe with a Snake river cutt

Brown from a secret spot. Lousy weather meant a hatch of BWOs, followed by a wood fire.

Brown from Notellum

Small water is my favorite, especially when the fish cooperate 

Somewhere special where the rainbows jump

Yellowstone’s Backcountry waters

Yellowstone National Park is know for it’s legendary waters; the Firehole, Madison, Yellowstone, Lamar, etc. What often gets overlooked is the countless streams that take a bit of work to get too. These are some of my favorites and I love an opportunity to fish them with clients. I had the pleasure of taking Gary and Colin deep into the Yellowstone backcountry the other day in search of wild rainbow and cutthroat trout. The guys had a blast fishing fast pocket water while being surrounded by wild country that not many folks get to see.

Gary fishes a productive run. A stimulator with a hare’s ear dropper was all that was needed…

Fly fishing the Yellowstone backcountry

Not the biggest fish, but these wild rainbows had some serious fight in them!

Rainbow trout from a stream in Yellowstone National Park

Colin and his dad, Gary, got to fish some water in Yellowstone National Park that not many folks see. Super fun spending a day with these guys!

Happy clients

Flat Creek morning; a (lousy) photo essay

A few images from a fishy morning on Flat Creek. Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge here in Jackson Hole, opened for fishing August 1st and will fish well through it’s closing October 31st. 

This guy loved the hopper. As the season progresses, the big fish that reside in Flat Creek will become less likely to aggressively take a hopper, instead opting for mayflies that match the hatch.

Fell for the hopper

Minutes outside of town, Flat Creek is as pretty a place to fish as there is

Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole

Gravel bottom makes for easy wading. Most of the time however you’re better off staying on the banks; careful fo the holes and muck….

gravel bottom of Flat Creek

My weapon of choice, a 5wt Winston. A 4 wt is fun to fish too but the 5wt helps battle the big fish that like to run downstream and head under banks.

Weapon of choice; Winston 5wt

Who says you have to wear Khaki and camo while fishing the Refuge? I think fish like a little Hawaiian flare…

Some Hawaiian style for the trout

Pretty, strong fish- hard to catch but extremely rewarding

one of the resident cutthroat trout on the elk refuge

Heat reprieve; small stream

Saturday I sought refuge from the excessive heat by exploring
a small stream with my friend Matt and Lulu. I’d fished this water
before further down but hadn’t explored one of it’s smaller forks.
In a last minute decision I grab my “new” Tenkarka rod;
determined to give it a proper chance and see what all the
hullabaloo is about.

As I alluded to in a previous blog post, I’ve spent years
naysaying and making fun of this telescoping rod movement. On a
cold snowy day this winter though i broke down and bought one
from Tenkara Rod Company, a small company over the hill in
Idaho, and have been waiting for the right opportunity to test it
out. Well the water we were fishing Saturday seemed as good as it
gets for the glorified cane pole. So I extended it out to it’s 11 feet
of tapered glory, tied a stimulator on the 3 foot piece of tippet and
proceeded to have a blast fishing it. It’s really intuitive to use and
I quickly got use to not having the reel. The long reach of it was
ideal for getting perfect drifts around boulders, etc. and it was nice
not having to fumble with extra line. When not fishing, I collapsed
it down and put it in the back of my vest; I was dog training wit
Lulu while Matt fished, so it was nice having both hands free to
control the beast.

The small stream we fished was beautiful, meandering through
steep hills deep in Griz country. The water didn’t seem to hold as
many fish as it should have, but the one’s we caught were all really
nice for such water and I had a BLAST with the Tenkara rod. I’ll
definitely be using it again for similar types of waters and days
when I’m out and want to keep things simple.

A good fish to break-in the rod with…

Teton Fly Fishing; a tenkara experience

Lulu strikes a pose while Matt works some pocket water
down below.

Lulu on a small stream in Wyoming backcountry

Close up of a beauty; I never get tire of the colors.
Probably will have to do a painting off this pic in the winter.

summer cutthroat

Matt fishes a nice hole deep in Griz country.

Deep in bear country for cutthroat

Fish and Fire

July has gone by with the blink of an eye. My updates here have been lacking, mostly due to long days guiding visiting anglers. Most of my trips have been floating the Snake, but I’ve also gone down to the Salt river, up into Yellowstone National Park and over to the Dubois fly fishing cabin. It’s been fun introducing new folks to our great trout waters in addition to fishing numerous return clients.

Warm temperatures (hitting upper 80s and low 90s) have meant getting on the water early, but so far the fishing’s been good with dry flies; both large attractors and smaller PMDs, etc. We also had a front row seat to the ever-growing Lava Mountain fire this weekend while at the cabin. So far the cabin is ok and the fire fighters are doing amazing work.

Tim shows off a nice Snake river fine spotted cutthroat trout. Small side channels can often hold some surprises!

Side channel cutthroat

Like father, like son. Mitch one-ups his dad, catching this nice cutthroat on a big stonefly pattern.

Mitch getting it done on the snake

Chris got into some nice fish with me on the Salt river south of Jackson

Chris with a nice cutt from the Salt river

John (chris’) friend came back this year to fool more fish. A good PMD hatch on the Salt gave these guys plenty of risers to target.

John had some success on the Salt

Fishing clients Jack and Bret got more than just a fishing trip. These guys got to see the Lava Mountain fire blow up from under 2000 acres when they arrived at the cabin Friday to 10000 acres when they left Sunday evening. Depite the fire threat, we fished some great water and the guys got into some wild Wyoming trout. We spent the evenings sitting on the deck, drinking beer while the helicopters flew overhead. As of today, Thursday, the cabin is safe. Crews are soaking our property and neighbors with a massive sprinkler system. Thanks to the fire crews for working so hard to protect structures. Here’s a view of the fire as we drove back from fishing Sunday. The fishing cabin sits below Hat Butte (seen below, center left).

Lava Mountain fire encroaching on Hat Butte

One of two helicopters fighting the fire behind our place. As of now, the fire’s over 12k acres and growing….

Fighting Lava Mountain fire behind Teton Fly Fishing cabin