Snow and Whitefish

Well, when someone wants to do some winter fly fishing, better go fishing. Craig was visiting from TX and wanted to wet a line this week. We headed out for a few hours on the Snake yesterday despite the snow. We found some nice deep runs and proceeded to hook up with quite a few fish! Gotta love the eager whitefish!

Craig enjoying some winter fly fishing in Jackson Hole.

Hooking up in December

Admiring a whitefish


Short Days

Boy, I’m not sure where the time has gone. It’s already approaching Christmas! Not much fishing news to report. I’ve been doing a fair amount of substitute teaching and artwork. Jamie, Lulu and I took a road trip over Thanksgiving to the Pacific Northwest. We visited some friends in OR and WA and got to see the Pacific Ocean.

I was hoping to do some Steelhead fishing, but conditions didn’t cooperate. Most waters close to us were running high and muddy so I didn’t feel too bad about keeping the rod packed away. We did see some salmon and steelhead though at the Bonneville Dam fish ladder. It’s remarkable what these fish have to endure and mind-blowing to think that they run hundreds of miles inland. Hopefully we’ll get back out that way again and wet a line. Otherwise things are pretty calm around here in Jackson Hole. I’m tying flies and building some cigar box guitars; hoping to fill some orders in time for Christmas.

Jamie and Lulu at the Pacific Ocean in OR. Super cool introducing Lu to the ocean.

Jamie and Lulu at the Pacific

Brought along the watercolors and did a quick sketch on the beach

a little watercolor sketch at Cannon Beach

Really neat to watch the salmon and steelhead as they navigate the fish ladder. 

eye to eye with a salmon

A few of my latest creations. Working on finishing a bunch of these and shipping them to folks in time for Xmas.

cigar box guitars

Fishing’s kept me busy

I’m back! Holy Smokes, I didn’t realize how much I have been slacking on my blog… Summer and Fall have flown by and I’ve done a poor job keeping up with things here on the Teton Fly Fishing blog. So sorry to anyone who checks this every now and then. Now that things are slowing down i’ll do a better job of keeping up on the happenings around here.

This fishing season has been one of the busiest I can remember. I had a nice mix of return clients and new folks, fishing them on numerous waters around here in Jackson. Things are slowing down around here, but the fishing continues to be pretty fantastic. In fact, probably some of the best of the year. BWOs are the name of the game right now. Water levels have dropped on the Snake to winter levels. Fish are stacked up in runs and pools, along banks and in riffles, sipping away on the tiny mayflies that hatch every afternoon. It’s always fun to see our native cutthroat trout feeding away! Here are a few photos from recent weeks.

Derek and his lovely lady fishing the Snake with me in September.

d and laurel on snake

Lulu on a hiking/fishing adventure with Jamie and I the other week.


Bill shows off a nice October cutthroat trout. Always fun to get out fishing with Bill!

Bill in October

Snowy day on the Buffalo Fork. Matt and I fished in some early season winter weather. A few fish were caught, but overall it was an exercise in staying warm.

B. Fork in the snow

The week in review

Fly Fishing continue to heat up here in Jackson Hole. I spent the past week fishing folks on a variety of waters. The Green river is now fishing pretty well and it’s my go to for float trips at this time since the Snake is still high and muddy. Grey Drakes, PMDs, Stoneflies, etc. are all hatching on the Green. The fishing hasn’t been easy, but we’ve caught some nice fish. Additionally, the Lewis and upper Snake river in Yellowstone has made for some fun wade fishing for guests.

Mike shows off a nice cutthroat from Flat Creek. A few Green Drakes got the fish looking up…

mike with cutthroat

Steve hooked up on the upper Snake in Yellowstone National Park. Note the confluence of the Snake and Lewis rivers. The Snake there is still off color but clearing quickly. Dry fly fishing is pretty good!

fly fishing the upper Snake

Mike and Nick floated the Green with me a few days back. The fish made these guys work, but they managed to hold their own and caught a couple nice browns and rainbows.

Nick with a nice Green river Rainbow

Susan is all smiles on the Lewis river. Nymphs and Dry flies got the job done.

Susan hooked up

A variety of waters

I’ve spent the past few weeks guiding some great folks on a variety of waters here in the greater Jackson Hole area. The fly fishing’s been pretty good overall despite the big runoff we’re having. Yellowstone National Park has been the primary destination with folks. Thankfully the Firehole has been in great shape and allowed us to target fish with dries and nymphs. Additionally, I’ve also fished folks on area lakes and the upper Green river.

The upper Green is dropping and should start fishing well. The other day down there was tough despite tons of grey drakes, PMDs and stoneflies hatching. I think the slow fishing might have had to do with a big weather change; air pressure changes can really shut fish down and I have a feeling that the big thunderstorms and cooling temps conspired against us. In any event, it’s nice to be getting out and showing folks our great fisheries.

One of several nice fish Chuck caught on the Firehole. Clouds rolled in and the PMDs started emerging, Dry fly fishing got GOOD!

Firehole Brown trout

Kirk and Tasha’s first day of fly fishing included everything- Brown trout, Rainbows and a wandering herd of Bison in Yellowstone National Park. (don’t worry, we gave these guys plenty of space…)

Nez Perce

Mark cast along the Firehole river as a small geyser goes off across the way. The fish made us work, but in the end, Mark landed some nice browns and rainbows making for a fun day.

Mark on the Firehole

Lakes can be fun but tough. If you’re only gonna catch a couple fish, a big Brook trout like this is the way to go! Fun day with Jamie, Neal and their ladies!

Big brookie

Small streaming it

Finally some proper spring fishing weather around here! I recently spent three great days in the sunshine fishing a favorite small stream of mine with good friends. The fishing wasn’t anything outstanding, but the days were.

casting into a wyoming small stream

My friend Jeromie gets into casting position…

Jeromie with antler

The man has a knack fo finding antlers.

small stream snake river cutthroat

One of the beautiful little snake river cutthroat trout that fell for a dry fly.

Nate of Teton Fly Fishing on a small Wyoming stream

While I spent most of my time working with Lulu on her fishing training, I did get to fish some nice little runs.

Lulu and Iz looking for trout

Lulu and her buddy Iz always keeping an eye out for rising trout.

Nate and Lulu

Me and Lulu having a post fishing beer.

Losing the man that taught me to fish

Haven’t been doing too much fishing lately. Waters haven’t been in the greatest shape and work continues on the Teton Fly Fishing cabin. I’m happy to report that things are coming together nicely and I’m hoping to finish up in the next week or two. I snuck down to the water yesterday to wet a line. The Wind is running high and dirty so I had low expectations. Fortunately a feisty whitefish took my fly and put up a fight making the outing a success.

I’m sad to report that my Grandfather, Don Goldstrom, passed away a few weeks back. My grandad and I were really close and he’s the reason my life revolves around fly fishing. As many of you know I was fortunate enough to start fly fishing when I was little under his tutelage, joining him on many of the Wyoming waters I fish today. He set a fine example for me, encouraging me to pursue my passions and I think he was pretty proud to know his grandson was actually making a living in Jackson guiding and making art. The last time we fished together, I floated him, Jamie and Lulu down the Salt river, and despite being 88 he caught a ton of fish on dry flies. I was hoping to see him out here again this summer for another day on the water and cocktails afterword, but he decided it was time to move on. Fortunately I have a lot of great memories with him, both fishing and otherwise and I know that anytime I step into a trout stream or tie a fly, I’ll think of him. You can read his obit here

Grandad's funeral

He left some big boots to fill.

March is for midges…

At last it seems like spring is coming. Days are much longer and warmer. There’s still TONS of snow around but lately we’ve seen temperatures in the 40s. This is great news for Wyoming fly fishermen. Midges are hatching on the Snake river and it’s not uncommon to have some really great dry fly fishing this time of year.

I continue to spend a lot of my time working on the Teton Fly fishing cabin remodel. Once things get finished in the next couple weeks, i’ll post some pictures. Things are coming along nicely and i have a feeling fishing clients are really going to like the improvements here. Also just complete a new watercolor painting. Named “Chomper”, it’s a 18″x24″ watercolor and is for sale if anyone’s interested- $600. If you’re interested, give a shout.

Nate Bennett original watercolor

Snowpack and what to expect

I just read a brief article about the predicted spring runoff and
what to expect. It got me thinking about fishing options for guests
and what folks can expect and look forward too this upcoming
fishing season. The following are my thoughts, and hopefully will
help you plan your Jackson Hole fly fishing trip.

First off, we’ve had a HUGE amount of snow so far this winter.
While a lot depends on the weather the next few months, I expect
the spring runoff to bigger than normal and last longer. Fear not
though, there are plenty of great places to fish during runoff
provided you’re flexible. Here’s a break down of months and
where we’ll go…

April- Snake and waters over around the Dubois fishing cabin will
fish really well. Dry fly fishing can be some of the best of the year
and larger fish are happily feeding.

May- As area rivers rise and muddy, lakes become fun options.
There’s a lot of them around here and I really like taking my drift
boat on them to sight-fish with streamers. Typically trout are
cruising the shallows and love a leech pattern. Also, there are
some small waters that remain clear.

June- Lakes continue to be a good option. Yellowstone also
becomes a good choice. Waters in the southwest part of the park
(Firehole, Madison, etc.) aren’t as effected by the snow melt and
make for super-fun days. Also, the Green river will clear and fish.
Even when off color and high, the Green can be pretty good with
nymphs, streamers and big dry fly patterns.

July- Usually the Snake clears in July. This year, i bet it starts
fishing better later in the month. The Green will continue to fish
well. The smaller tributaries will also start fishing really well with
dry flies.

So there’s my super basic brake down on what I’m anticipating for
our upcoming early fishing season. Should be another great year
and if anything the snow this winter will mean rivers like the Green
fish well longer into the season.

Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow, hey how about some more snow!

What a winter we’re having in Jackson Hole. It seems that the winter storms just keep coming and folks are running out of places to put the snow. So far this week we’ve had the Sears building’s roof collapse and then last night with wind gusts in the valley hitting near 90mphs, numerous power lines buckled, causing a major power outage at Teton Village. The ski resort is closed for the next few days last least as LVE works round the clock to get things back up. Bummer for folks out on ski vacation but fortunately here in town things are okay.

evening view from Teton Fly Fishing cabin

Sunset on the Ramshorn; A view from the Teton Fly Fishing cabin. Lots of snow there. Thank goodness for the snowblower!

All this winter weather has made fishing a bit tough. As February rolls on, I expect things to pick up. Warmer days in the 30s and 40s should get midges hatching and it won’t be long before some good dry fly fishing occurs. I’ve been spending the bulk of my time teaching, both in the high school and alternative high school, and also working over in Dubois at the Teton Fly Fishing cabin. There’s a big remodel underway and I have no doubt my guest will love it! Progress is slow, but we’re making headway and I’m hoping to have things finished by the beginning of April. With all the Snow, critters are all around searching for food. At the cabin, there’s been a mountain lion hunting deer as well as two moose feeding on our aspen trees. It’s a tough time for the animals, but cool to see them up close.

moose at the fishing cabin

One of the moose frequenting the cabin. These guys have been making the rounds feeding on our Aspen trees.

Hunkering down tying flies and strumming the guitar is fun and I’ve been working on small fly patterns for the spring. Really looking forward to some warmer days and jumping fish. Hope everyone’s staying warm.

red midge pattern for spring

This is one of my favorite winter fly patterns; kinda like a zebra midge. It’s red thread, silver wire, a bead and some UV glue. Tie them in size 14-18. I really like to fish this behind a larger stone fly pattern