Snake’s fishing well around Jackson Hole

Had some good days guiding on the Snake this past week. The
water is at a good level, making side channels and riffles
particularly fun. The best part of the week was working with some
young fly fishers. Kids like Jack and Nick fished well above their
age, proving sometimes middle schoolers fish better than adults. It
was great seeing these guys again (along with their dad Matt).
Other guests also did well with me this week. Most of our success
was on small golden stone chubby chernobyl type flies. Fish also
could be found in early afternoon rising in the shallows to emerging
PMDs. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to post since I got a
new phone and neglected to update things before getting it. Oh

Looks like the weather might cool down a bit in the next few days.
That should be great, helping to cool water temps that have been
rising into the 60s lately. If you’ve ever wanted to fish big, easy to
see flies to eager cutthroat, now is the time!

Week in review

Another hot week has come and gone here in Western Wyoming. Summer has come on fast around here and fishable waters abound, many clear and fishing earlier than usual. We’ll see how things play out down the road, but for now it’s a great time to be a fly fisher in Jackson Hole.

I spent the week mixing business with pleasure; both fishing with Jamie and Lulu as well as a number of great fishing clients. We ventured up to Pacific creek one day and wandered the water fishing yellow stonefly patterns to selective cutthroat trout. The fish were more moody than I remember from past trips there, but once bugs started hatching we found a few runs with hungry risers. Guiding-wise, I did both some float fishing and some wade fishing trips. In all cases, fish were caught and folks enjoyed themselves. Enjoy some pictures…


David's bow on the green

Kid’s got game- Tom shows off a small Yellowstone cutthroat trout caught in Yellowstone National Park’s backcountry.

cutthroat on stone

We followed these grizzly bear tracks along the river. Seems this grizzly and I share an infinity for the same stretch of trout water.

griz fishing

Good fishing and great clients lately

Around here fishing is getting better and better with each passing week. In addition to some time with clients over at the fishing cabin, I’ve spent the better part of the past week guiding in Yellowstone National Park. YNP is one of my favorite places to guide and fish. The variety of waters there is astounding; famous rivers like the Firehole and Madison draw the most attention, but my favorites are lesser-known and off the beaten path.

The hot temps over the past week or two really got the snowpack melting and I think our rivers have peaked and are on their way to clearing. Drift boat fishing on the Green is about to get good, as is the fishing in Jellystone (some of which is already on!) Waters I’ve fished lately have had some great hatches of stoneflies (all different sizes), caddis, PMDs, Green drakes and even a few BWOs on cloudy, cool days. Here’s a few pics from the past week….

Keith caught this fine Yellowstone Cutthroat trout the other day; the nicest of many nice ones!

Keith in Yellowstone

Andrew, a longtime client (and now friend), hooked up with a backcountry brown trout in Yellowstone

Andrew hooked up with a brown in YNP

Beautiful colors on this Yellowstone Cutt. He ate a dry.

Yellowstone cutthroat trout

Off to a hot start

June’s off to a hot start around here. After a mild spring so far, we’re seeing temperatures hit 80 degree here in Jackson. All of a sudden everything’s green; a pretty sight after months of white, tans and browns. It seems like this years runoff is a bit different; I feel like we had an earlier, first-part runoff, with all of the lower elevation snow disappearing. Now with 80 degree temps, the high elevation snow is melting quickly. This gives me a sneaking suspicion that things will clear fairly fast.

Right now much of the fly fishing I’ve been doing, both with clients and on my own has been occurring on our lakes, in the southwestern portion of YNP and in smaller, high elevation streams. The Green was fishing well too until a few days back. Now it’s big and dirty. I think this should get back in decent shape in another two or three weeks.

Matt heads down into a canyon stretch of water. While clear, the water was raging making wading tricky..

down into the canyon

Spotted fever- A beautiful brown. I didn’t catch many fish, but the ones i got were stunning.

A June Brown

A few days back I got out with my friend Matt for some exploring. We fished a stream that was clear but definitely raging with water. Much of it was impossible to fish (and wade) but there were some good, slower runs and while we didn’t catch many fish, the one’s we got were nice. I stuck to a big red ant, remembering why i love dry fly fishing so much!

A little of this and some of that

Over the past week or so I spent time guiding some great folks on a variety of fishy water. Longtime client Chris, came in and spent two days fishing/staying at the Teton Fly Fishing cabin. We focused our attention on some lakes, casting streamers and nymphs to nice rainbow trout from the drift boat. Springs is a great time to focus on lake fishing; trout are hungry and in the shallows, often allowing us to sight fish.

Chris shows off a nice rainbow from one of our days together on the water. Can’t wait to float him in July.

Chris' bow


In addition to fishing Chris, I also had the pleasure of meeting and fishing Donald and his wife Lacee. These guys had never fly fished before and were looking to spend a few hours learning and fishing. Donald’s interest stemmed from “the movie” and while we didn’t shadow cast, we did fish nymphs in the off color water. These guys did great, following instructions and fishing like champs. In the end, Donald caught one nice brown trout and one nice cutthroat trout. Not a bad start….

Donald’s all smiles as he shows off his first ever cutthroat trout!

Donald with his first ever snake river cutthroat trout

This weekend marks the opening of Yellowstone National Park for fishing. YNP is one of my favorite places to fish and I’m looking forward to spending some time up there with clients.

Nymphin’ on the Green

Got to take Joe on his first guided float fishing trip the other day. I debated where we’d fish prior to heading south, but after watching the level on the Green drop, I suggested we go see what’s happening. The water was in pretty good shape; off color, but by no means muddy. After helping Joe straighten out his cast and offering a few pointers, we begin fishing. Almost immediately Joe hooked into a big fish which ran him straight up river. Snap, fish gone but big smiles all around. Once Joe got comfortable fighting fish, he landed a few including a really nice brown trout. Countless other fish were lost and at times we donned raincoats to fight off rain showers. Overall it was a good day on the Green and one that Joe will remember.

Not a bad first fish on the fly rod! Nice brown Joe!

joes first fish with a fly rod

Some bamboo and cutthroat

Jamie, Lulu and I got out for a few hours of fishing yesterday, taking advantage of some great spring weather here in Jackson Hole. We choose a small stream, not too far from home. Too celebrate the day, I broke out my Sweetgrass bamboo fly rod; a really great rod made by the guys up in Twin Bridges. I choose to keep it simple and tied on a Royal Wulff, figuring that any trout in this water wouldn’t be too picky. The Wulff worked and we caught some fish; one of which was a real bruiser for such small water.

bamboo and cutthroat; fly fishing in Jackson Hole

swimming away

Jamie and I are gearing up for a trip to the Yampa River this week. We’re joining friends and doing a 5 day float through Dinosaur National Monument. No fishing on this stretch due to the big, muddy, warm water, so I’m leaving the fly rods at home and taking my paints. My plan is to capture our journey in watercolors; should have a report (and paintings) when we return on Sunday night.

If anyone reading this is looking to inquire about a fishing trip, please know that I will be out of touch until Sunday night. You’re welcome to email or call and leave a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you when I get home.

Back to the Trout

Great to see (and feel) the warmer temperatures the past few days! Lulu and I are over at the Teton Fly Fishing cabin getting it ready for the upcoming season. LOTS of cleaning and random maintenance stuff on the agenda as well as finishing a few painting commissions. Lu gave me the look (and bark) around 10:30 this morning, and while I had other things to do, I couldn’t resist the urge to go wet a line. We quickly hopped in the truck and drove to a nearby small stream that’s known to hold a few trout.

I rigged up my 8.5′ Winston with a small parachute adams and Lulu and I headed to the water. I immediately saw a nice fish holding in the gin clear water. Unfortunately Lulu’s excited state sent the fish running for cover. We’re still working on our training and despite being a great dog, Lulu’s fishing skills leave a little to be desired. At 11 months, there’s still no differentiating a trout from a bird; it seems both need retrieving….. Soo we moved upstream to the next hole and I manage to miss a nice strike. Another run up, I hooked a nice cutthroat. Lulu lost her cool and tried with all her might to get to the fish. In the battle with her, I lost it. Oh well, we’re training right?

So that’s how the next few hours went, a few fish were landed, numerous fish were spooked and one nice brown trout was retrieved and dropped in my net (and swam away)by an overexcited labrador. I can’t say that the time on the water was super relaxing due to my 4 legged companion. However it was nice to fish dry flies in a t- shirt and watching lulu leap and bound over the Wyoming countryside brought a smile to my face; even if she did spook dozens of fish!

A nice spunky rainbow put a bend in the rod!

wyoming small stream fly fishing rainbow in hand

Lulu on point looking for a released trout. I swear she can smell them; that’s gotta be why she swims around in all the fishy holes when off leash right? Ah, the training continues…

Lulu, the Teton Fly Fishing labrador on point

I love small stream fishing. It reminds me of my early days fly fishing in PA. Although I don’t think I’m as good at it as I used to be… Too many days on big open rivers. Definately fun though today. Some holding water I walked by, just observing the fish rather than trying to put a cast under all those willows

Fishy pocket on a wyoming small stream

A good size brown for this small stream. I saw ( and spooked) some other nice fish, but a lot of the bigger ones were stationed up in root balls.

Spring brown trout in Wyoming; Teton Fly Fishing small streams

This time of year the water is LOW making it extra challenging. It’s amazing how fish can sense you and spook from so far away. I only had one cast per run and if I messed up the fish would let me know by shooting by.

Slow pool with wyoming trout


After spending a week in Florida, I’m back home in Jackson Hole. Overall it was a fun trip. We met up with friends, Kurt and Kelly and their 3 year old son at the Tampa airport and then headed west to Anna Maria Island on the Gulf side. While this was more of a “family” trip, Kurt and I did do a fair amount of fishing but walked away a little disappointed, managing only a handful of sea trout and lady fish. Our main target, Snook on the beaches, never materialized. We talked to other anglers who reported the same thing. In addition to prowling the beaches, we were also treated to some days fly fishing in the shallow mangroves courtesy of our friend, captain Matt. It was awesome to explore the Bay and see the diverse sea life with an Anna Maria local. Matt isn’t a fly fisherman, but he’s damn good with a boat and was more than happy to push Kurt and I around in search of Snook. Things in the mangroves were quiet too, save the huge School of Mullet that I’ve come to hate (Mullet eat algea and don’t give two shits about a well presented fly!). By far, the coolest sightings involved Manatees and dolphins; some of which swam beside the boat! Enjoy some pics…

Kurt and I on the beach looking for Snook the first morning on Anna Maria. By all accounts, they should’ve been there. Unfortunately we never saw or cast to any. 

nate and kurt

Kurt shows off a nice Sea trout. Sinking line and a Schminnow proved effective, allowing Kurt to bring several of these guys to the boat. Thanks Captain Matt for finding them!

kurts seatrout

One evening while working our way through some channels, we were treated to a group of dolphins fishing and playing around us. Several times the dolphins surfaces right beside us. At one point I tried to touch them but came up short by a few inches…


A lone ladyfish one evening. I like the ladyfish. They fight and jump hard making for a fun fight

nate  with ladyfish

Some storms passed through our last day on Anna Maria. Here’s a shot of the Gulf from our beach.


Gotta have a family picture. The Bennetts and Weavers pre dinner. Always fun catching up with these guys!

family portrait

A weekend of fish, both good and bad…

We had some nice weather here in Jackson Hole this past
weekend. Naturally the best course of action was to go fishing.
Saturday, Jamie, Lulu and I headed south to fish the Snake river
canyon. This was partly to get Jamie on her first fish of the year,
but also to do some dog training. For those that don’t know, Lulu
is our 11 month old Lab pup who has an affinity for retrieving
hooked fish. While you can’t blame her, the behavior isn’t ideal
and needs to be improved in order to make her a good fishing

We immediately found fish rising to midges and small black
stoneflies. Jamie caught one spunky cutthroat trout after another
while I worked with Lulu. After a while we traded off; more fish
were caught and Lulu got better with each fish. After about two
hours we decided to quit while we were ahead (plus Lulu was
getting tired and cold). We headed back to town, picked up
supplies for cocktails and settled in on our tiny deck with friends
for the rest of the day.

Jamie and Lulu headed to the water

dry fly fishing on the Snake

Sunday I headed over to the Henry’s Fork with my neighbor
Chris. We decided to float despite our late start. The weather
seemed perfect; partly cloudy, no wind and kinda warm. As we got
the boat ready and pulled on the waders we saw a few fish rise.
There were all kinds of bugs hatching- BWOs, midges, caddis, a
few larger mayflies, what you expect from the bug factory. Right
off the bat I hooked two trout on a skwala pattern. Seemed like
we were in for a good day. WRONG! That was about as exciting as
it got as we battled our way down the river. I hooked another nice
brown on a streamer and Chris managed a few fish on a dry-
dropper combo. I ended up with more whitefish than trout and a
massive sucker that I swear was a brown trout until he got to the
net…. The highlight however came in the last bit of water when I
got a solid strike on my streamer. Brown trout, nope a PERCH!
Yeah, I caught a perch on the most famous trout river in the
world. That summed our day. Oh well, they all can’t be diamonds

Evening on the Henry's Fork

on the fork