Fishing Lately

Finally feels like spring around here in Jackson Hole! What a long, cold spring we’ve had. Nice to be sporting some flip flops today. Warmer temperatures mean that the runoff has begun. Currently the Snake is off color and rising making it not ideal for fishing. The upper Green is changing daily; one day up and off color, then settling down and clearing with colder weather. It’s been a good float option but I suspect that with temperatures hitting 70 today, it’s done for a while. Best fishing right now is going to be on area lakes and up in Yellowstone Park.

Yellowstone just opened for fishing this past weekend. I was up yesterday on the Firehole with a return client of mine and fishing was really good! The river’s in great shape and the rainbow and brown trout were hungry. Most of our fish came on nymphs but I think hatches should get rolling now that the weathers warming. We did see some caddis and a few PMDs and BWOs. Steve manage to target a couple fish with PMD emerges and fooled them. Looking forward to more days up in the park! As always, here’s a few photos from the past few weeks. Enjoy the sunshine!!

George made his yearly return to fish with me for a week. Despite the cold, wind and snow, we had fun!
Pure Joy! Stephanie catches her first trout on a dry fly. One of many on the day.
Andrew, Stephanie’s boyfriend, helps her land another Snake River cutthroat trout on the dry fly. Both had a great time the water.
Adam shows off his first Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat trout. He and his sister Megan joined me for a fun day on the water.
Megan, visiting from Australia, experienced her first day of fly fishing. No better place than Wyoming…
Jamie and I traveled to PA to visit family. We spent the last 3 days of our trip with our friends Kurt and Kelly at the bay in New Jersey. Kurt was kind enough to take us out on the water in search of stripers and blue fish on the fly. Despite our best efforts, we got skunked. We had a great time though and I can’t wait to see them again down the road.
Steve is hooked up on the Firehole with a nice rainbow. Steve’s fished with me numerous times over the years but this was his first time to Yellowstone. He liked it and I was glad to be back up on the Firehole River.

Ah, Spring Fly Fishing on the Snake River…

Some days it feels like spring around here and others, still like winter. Such is springtime in the Rockies where one day can be near 60 degrees and sunny prompting thoughts of barbecuing and porch cocktails, only to have those visions crushed by sideways blowing wet snow. Regardless, spring is a great time to fish the Snake river here in Jackson. I see some of the nicest cutthroat trout of the year in late March and April. Fish are feeding readily after a long winter. Midges, small black stoneflies, Blue Wing Olives and Skwalas.

Always fun fishing with client and friend, Norma Jean! Norma Jean braved the snow and got into a lot of nice cutthroat trout. The midges were emerging like crazy and the fish were chomping!
Max (here with his first ever western trout) and his dad joined me for a beautiful spring day on the snake.
Duncan hooked up on a cold April afternoon. Friends Duncan and Rich joined me for a couple days of spring fly fishing and hotsprings soaking. Always great to see those guys!
Rich assembling his rod. Ready for the first float of the season. While we didn’t see any big hatches, the guys did get some fish on droppers….
“Let’s switch to a stonefly nymph”…. the fish liked it.

Bonefish round two…

I just returned from a week of bonefishing in the Bahamas with longtime fishing clients, Chris and Mark. After years of guiding the guys on rivers here in western Wyoming, they became intrigued by my tales of saltwater fly fishing. I was happy to accompany them on their first bonefishing trip last year and again happily agreed to join-on this year for another crack at the grey ghosts. We spent a week down south pursuing shadows, both fishing on foot and with a guide. The bonefish were bonefish- big, strong, fast and moody, sometimes eagerly eating our shrimp flies and other times not giving the time of day to them. Sometimes we fished to large schools and sometimes to lone cruisers. It was another great trip and I do believe we will do it again next year! Enjoy a few photos from our trip…

Leaving the dock in the morning
Captain Shervin looks over a flat while Chris (on bow) and Mark (seated) wait for instruction. Shervin is kind enough to swap his skiff for this panga to accommodate the three of us.
Starfish on the flat. Always fun to see the various sea creatures while fishing in the shallows
Me showing off one of the many bonefish caught over the course of five days
After a long winter in Wyoming, these beautiful purple flowers along a flat made quite an impression on me. Flowers were blooming!
Mark hooked up! We fished this creek system at low tide and did well with bonefish, snapper and barracuda
Releasing a grey ghost…..
Chris kicking off the last morning of wade fishing with a resident bonefish!
I love a good Mutton Snapper. Especially one that eats my shrimp pattern!

Late February Fishing

It’s the end of February and days are getting longer and temperatures have hit 40 degrees in the valley a few times. Midges are showing up regularly on the river and a few tiny black stoneflies are stumbling around too. It’s a great time to go fly fishing! I’ve been out recently with a number of fun folks. We spent the warmer part of days fishing the Snake river, catching whitefish and cutthroat trout on nymphs and dry flies. As we continue toward spring, expect the midge hatches to get bigger, and more and more fish to feed on the surface.

Below are just a few pics from the past week. Folks had a good time braving the elements and finding some fish.

Mike kisses his first fish on the fly. This whitefish didn’t come easy. The wind was howling, making casting challenging.
A guys fishing afternoon- Brendon, Braydon, Mike and Lesley celebrate a successful afternoon on the water.
Adie and son, Ellias work a deep pool on the snake.

Bahamas and Back

Just back from another great trip to the Bahamas. Jamie and I had a few days to ourselves. Then we picked up our good friends, Kurt, Kelly and Owen and settled in for a great week. We fished a lot, both on foot and with our guide Shervin, relaxed, read and caught up. The weather was pretty good save some wind and clouds and I can’t wait to go back in March! Below are few photos from the trip

On the flat. Note the sharks in the foreground and school of bonefish in the back. Meanwhile, my friend Kurt casts to them as Jamie works them from the boat.
Sketchbook notes on the weeks fishing; sometimes simple is better. A reminder to myself that despite tying and taking lots of flies, only a few are necessary.
Jamie keeping an eye out for bonefish.
Me and Jamie fishing the flats together. I don’t know if I ever experienced such a calm morning on the water. Of course not all days were like this. Several days of the trip had winds blowing and frequent cloud cover making the fish spotting tough.
Me and my guide and friend, Shervin. So great to fish a few days with him again. I don’t know if a kinder man exists. Plus he knows where the fish are!
Watercolor sketch of the flats. Keeping a sketchbook journal is a great way remember trips. My kit is simple; a Winsor & Newton field box paint set, a 5×7″ watercolor notebook and a few brushes, pens and pencils.
Jamie and I celebrating another great day with some cold Kaliks
My best friend, Kurt with a great Bone. Kurt and I have been fishing the flats together for years. After a few days on our own, Kurt, his wife Kelly and son Owen joined Jamie and I. So great to spend a week with these guys, catching up, fishing and having fun!
DIY bonefish on a rising tide. While it’s fun fishing with a guide, I love fishing on my own. I stalked this guy in the shallows for 10 minutes and finally got him to eat.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was hooking into some juvenile Tarpon! Man are these guys fun. After landing a few and then hooking a bonefish, I kept an eye out for a Permit to complete the Grand Slam. Mr. Permit never showed but that’s ok. A day of Tarpon and bonefish are fine by me!

Early winter wade fishing

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! We’re watching the snow fall and preparing to join friends for food and drinks.

Had a few groups of adventurous anglers lately. Fortunately the weather was pretty decent around here (until today), making for some respectable late season fly fishing. We worked hard for our fish but had some great days!

Newly minted doctors, Andrew and Dave traveled from FL to celebrate their new careers and see what Wyoming fly fishing is all about!
Susanna and her husband, Sema joined me for two good days of wade fishing on the Snake River. We even found some cutthroat trout rising to midges!
Semi showing off one of the many nice trout he caught while wade fishing with me in mid-November.
Amanda hooked up on a balmy November day
Jeremiah shows off a nice whitefish that fell for his nymph. In addition to getting into fish, Jeremiah and his wife Amanda learned a bunch!

End of another busy fishing season

Well, that’s a wrap on another great fishing season. The time has changed, winter is knocking and the drift boat is put up for the season. Really appreciate all who fished with me. I had a great time guiding folks on our waters around here in Jackson, Wyoming aand am already looking forward to next […]

Summer Fishing

Finally have a day off and thought I’d do a quick blog update on fly fishing around here. It’s been a great summer so far with fun clients! We’ve spent the majority of time casting dry flies to native cutthroat trout. Most of my days lately have been on the Snake River here in Jackson Hole, although I floated some folks down on the upper Green River and Salt River. Also did some wade fishing up in Yellowstone park. The weather’s been great; albeit a little hot. We’ve been getting on the water early to take advantage of cooler water temperatures and finishing in the 2-3 pm time range.

Folks sometimes ask what a guides’ day off looks like. For yours truly, it looks like this: sleep in, tie flies, take a family walk, go out to the Virginian for breakfast with my lady and enjoy the new Jason Isbell album while smoking a brisket. Oh, and throw in mowing the lawn for good measure. Pretty great! And the guitars probably need a little attention….

A few pics from the past month….

Thumbs up for a nice Snake River Cutthroat willing to rise to a big stonefly.
Me and good friend, Jason, waiting for the brown drake spinner fall on the Henrys Fork in early July. While the writer’s strike is keeping Jason out of the writers room, he has more time to fish right now. Always great to fishing and camp with him.
start’em young! Carly had a great day once we discovered the banana she brought on the boat. We promptly disposed of it and started catching fish!
Friend and return client, miss Norma Jean. Always a blast spending the day on the water with her.
More smiles and sunshine!
Scott hooked up on a wade fishing adventure. We covered ground and found wild cutthroat trout!
Nice fish Scott!

Warming up, waters rising

We had a good stretch of spring fly fishing around here. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those of us who endured a looooonnnnngggg winter) the weather has warmed up and our big snowpack has begun melting. It happens every year but it’s always tough when the weather gets nice and the rivers turn brown. Typically our runoff begins in early May and continues through June. Right now it’s tough to find fishable water. While it’s certainly possible to fish during the runoff season, it often makes for tough days. Best tactics are to nymph fish with large stonefly nymphs, san juan worm variations, etc. and target slow pools and seams. Also, if you can find streams that flow out of lakes or dams, you’re likely to find clear, albeit cold water to fish. Depending on elevation, ice has begun coming off area lakes making them a good place to hunt for fish. Large dark streamers also can get a nice fish or two to strike. Fortunately at the end of May, Yellowstone Park opens up for fishing. Typically the Firehole river and its tributaries stay in pretty good shape and are the best place around to fish. I’m excited to get back up to the park and fish clients on these amazing fisheries.

Over the past few weeks I was able to get out with clients before conditions deteriorated. Larry joined me again this spring spending a few days staying and fishing out of my fishing cabin in Dubois before heading over to Jackson to float the Snake with me. Overall we had some good days catching brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout. After Larry left, longtime client and friend, Mark arrived, staying and fishing with Jamie and I. Our day on the Snake was the last before the river turned dirty and tough. We did well with both dry flies and nymphs. Also got out with a few other folks too. Great to see return and new folks alike! Here’s a few photos from the past few weeks on the water….

Larry showing off a nice Snake River Cutthroat trout. Fishing on the Snake leading up to the beginning of runoff consisted of a variety of tactics; nymphs in riffles and dry flies tight to the bank all proved productive.
Always fun to have the local wildlife keeping an eye on us. This ram was grazing while Larry and I did some fishing outside of Dubois, WY via my fishing cabin.
Longtime client and friend Mark W enjoyed a good day on the Snake. Mark was nice of enough to stop and see Jamie and I (and fish) on his way to fish in Montana. Fortunately the water held out for him.
Making a guide proud! Nice fish Mark!

Good Spring Fly Fishing!

April’s always a favorite time of mine to fish the Snake River here in Jackson Hole. Water levels are low and the fish are hungry after a long winter. While this April is definitely the coldest and snowiest I can remember, the fishing has been fun. I’ve done a few guided trips over the past week, getting reacquainted with the oars and the nuances of our local fish. Right now, midges are the name of the game. Good hatches are coming off daily. Also seeing some small black stoneflies hatches. When conditions are right, trout will feed aggressively in riffles and backwater eddies. Looking at the weather forecast, I suspect we’ll get another good couple weeks of fishing in before the runoff begins.

Here’s a few photos from the past couples days….

It’s a family affair! Rusty and Linsey braved the weather and floated with me on Friday. Both picked up the fly casting fairly quickly and were able to hook and land numerous fish, both on nymphs and dry flies. Fun Folks!
My friend Rich works a pool with rising cutthroat trout on the Snake River below Jackson Lake Dam. Rich, Duncan and I celebrated a rare sunny spring day with a wade fishing trip to Grand Teton National Park. The weather was great and we found some fish willing to cooperate. After a day on the water, we decided it best to soak at Astoria Hotsprings.
Dunc and Rich sharing the boat with me Sunday. So great to fish with good friends!
Dunc with a nice cutthroat caught on a tiny black stonefly emerger
Rich with a nice cutthroat fooled by a surface midge
The band back together! Rich, Duncan and myself on the Snake River.