Visitor at the Fishing Cabin

The weather’s been cold around here lately and as a result I haven’t done much in the fishing department. Instead I’ve been doing a little cross country skiing, tying lots of flies for the upcoming fishing season, strumming the guitar and working on some new paintings. Folks have been booking fishing trips and it’s fun to plan days on the water for the upcoming spring, summer and fall. I’ve also found time to get over to our cabin in Dubois and relax. As many of you know, the cabin is my favorite place. Situated a little west of Dubois, Wyoming, it’s tucked back along the upper Wind River and the surrounding wilderness. It’s a great place to spend some time, allowing for fishing, hiking, exploring and skiing. This time of year I like to go over and work on projects, fish for a few hours and watch movies.

Mountain Lion prowling around the Dubois Fly Fishing cabin.

While I was over there this past weekend with Jamie and Lulu, I checked the game cam that’s posted on our deck and was excited to see a mountain lion graced us with its presence. Mountain lions are common to this area of Wyoming and while their population is strong, they are very elusive. I’ve seen them a few times over the years in the flesh, but always at a distance while they lounged around winter kills. Surely they’ve watched me on occasion in the backcountry, but I haven’t noticed.

Mountain lions are solitary creatures up to 7 or 8 feet in length and weighing as much as 150 pounds. They cover a large territory preferring rocky, forested terrain, making Dubois prime habitat. Over the years at the cabin I’ve seen plenty of tracks and sign but pictures are rare, making this pretty cool! Last year to the day, another one (or the same?) was captured on the game cam.

This cat was captured last year on the game cam. If you notice the date, you’ll see it’s one year to the day as this year’s picture. The smoker in the foreground is on our deck.

The mountain lion sightings are part of the reason I love the cabin so much (in addition to the great fishing nearby). Despite having a few neighbors, we are part of the wilderness and there’s no telling what will pass through. Over the years our game cam has recorded Deer, Moose, Elk, Antelope, Coyotes, Badger, Grizzly Bears and Fox. I keep hoping a wolf will show up (they’ve been seen in the neighborhood) but so far they remain elusive.

If you’re looking for a really cool, all-inclusive fly fishing experience, join me at the cabin and see for yourself why this area of Wyoming is so special! Learn more here- Fly Fishing Cabin Stay

Below is a new painting. The photo isn’t best, but you get the idea… head study of a cutthroat trout.

New watercolor; portrait of a cutthroat 11×14

Merry Christmas!

Thought I’d share this years Christmas cartoon I did for all my fishing client friends. All’s well out here in Jackson Hole. I’ve been keeping busy tying flies and working on some new paintings. Hope everyone has a great Christmas! Looking forward to fishing in 2021.

Winter Fly Fishing Kicks off

The other day was my first proper guided winter fly fishing trip of the season. It was cold, there was snow and ice and I had some eager vacationers from Georgia hell bent on wetting a line! We found a few cutthroat sipping midges off the surface but they were challenging due to the slow, gin clear water. After working a dry fly emerged for a while with no luck, I had Brooks and Lindsey switch to small pheasant tail nymphs stripped slowly under the surface. This produced and Brooks landed his first ever Snake River Cutthroat trout! As the sun started setting we switched to nymphs and caught some nice whitefish, including a monster. Overall it was a great day on the water and I have to give credit to Brooks and Lindsey for wanting to fish regardless of the cold.

Brooks shows off his hard earned winter Cutthroat trout on the Snake River!
Lindsey with a HUGE Mountain Whitefish! One of the biggest I’ve seen. She did a heck of a job fighting this guy and bringing it to the net.
Brooks and Lindsey are all smiles after a few hours of winter fly fishing in Jackson Hole.

End of Another Great season

Despite Covid and the current crazy state of the world right now, I’m coming down from a great fishing season. Really appreciate all those folks both new and returning that fished with me this year. Hopefully days on the water provided some relief from the weird situation we all find ourselves in.

Since wrapping up the busy season, I’ve managed some fishing on my own; primarily in the Dubois area but also on the Snake. It was nice wetting a line with my lady as well as good friends. Now that winter has set in in Jackson, Jamie and I treated ourselves to a much needed vacation and currently are enjoying California’s Pacific Ocean. We’re here a few more days taking in the sunshine and visiting with friends before returning home. Naturally I brought my fly rod along (a new 7wt) to cast on the beach. So far I’ve gotten nothing… no strikes, bumps, tugs, etc. I’m beginning to think it’s a loosing battle, but it’s still fun. I’ve also found quite a few mullet in the coastal stream beside us. These guys become pretty active at sunset but I have yet to fool one. These guys feed on algae, etc and all I have with me are crab and baitfish imitations. I hear bread works well……

Seth (with Fish), Jamie and I floated the Snake in late October. The weather held out and we had a beautiful day on the water
Kurt and I reunited for some late fall fly fishing. Here he is showing off a great brown trout.

I hope everyone’s doing well. Have a great turkey day (we decided to throw tradition aside and have crab as the main course tomorrow)

Jamie and I along the beach at Morro Bay, California
watercolor beach sketch

Fall Fishing is HOT

Been slow on the blogging due to fishing trips. This summer and fall has been extremely busy and I’ve had the pleasure of fishing great folks! We’ve been prowling the waters of Western Wyoming, floating the Snake and Salt, wading in Yellowstone and Dubois. It’s been great to see anglers new and returning fooling nice fish with dry flies! Below are some photos from the past weeks. Enjoy

Fantastic Cutthroat from Dubois. Always nice when there’s a hatch on and the fish are gorging!
Regulars and father-son duo Kevin and Kory got a nice double on the snake. Always fun to fish these guys and laugh at their bantering on the boat.
Every now and then it’s nice to fish a lake!
The Yellowstone Backcountry never disappoints!
Paul comes every year to fish out of the Dubois Fishing Cabin. Here he is hooked into a nice trout during one of our days adventuring.
Arvind shows off a nice Snake River Cutthroat during yesterday’s float.

July fly fishing in Jackson Hole

It’s been an extremely busy July around here. My days have/ are being spent with great folks casting dry flies to our local trout. In addition to wade trips, float fishing has really gotten good. Lately I’ve been floating anglers on the Snake and it’s great to be back on this old friend. Here’s a few pics from the last few weeks.

You author (and Teton Fly Fishing Guide) starting a morning on the Green with a casting lesson. It paid off…
We were fortunate to see this amazing site on the drive home from fishing in Yellowstone a few weeks back. This Grizzy bear was feeding just off the road. One of the craziest things I’ve seen (from the safety of the truck!)
On a rare day off, Jamie, Lulu and I hiked in to a local lake and caught a few cuttbows and brook trout. Loved how this fellow posed for a few snapshots before swimming off. Funny how you don’t notice the mosquitos bitting when you have a trout on the line.
Matt landed this beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat trout while fishing with me in the Park. He and his wife, Mercy were so much fun to spend the day with and I can’t think of a better way to end a day on the water!
Learning to fly fish is hard enough, hooking and landing a fish on your first day out can be a battle. Pam did a great job floating the Snake with me. She hung in there after having numerous fish get off and was rewarded with this awesome Snake River Cutthroat trout! Hope to see her and Dave again!

Back in the Saddle

Fishing’s been pretty good around here lately. I’ve had some great guests and it’s been a pleasure spending time on the water with them fooling fish. Over the past few weeks, many days were spent up in Yellowstone Park on the Firehole River. There, we wade fished for wild rainbow and brown trout while Bison watched from afar. Yesterday I floated Brian and his son in law, Matt, on the upper Green River. The river fished pretty well. Lot of bugs fluttering around and we decided to go with the most fun option- giant dry flies to mimic emerging stoneflies. A few nice fish were landed and many more ate our bugs but got away. Really nice to be on the oars watching big bugs float on top of the water. Fly fishing around here in Jackson Hole is going to continue to improve as more and more waters clear and begin fishing well.

Anna shows off a nice Rainbow trout on the Firehole River in Yellowstone. Fish were eager to eat a soft hackle wet fly.

Clint fulfilled a life-long dream by fly fishing Yellowstone. We had a blast! Lots of fish like this brown put on a acrobatic display after being hooked. Of course the scenery wasn’t bad either!
Snow in June? Yep. The ladies and I forged ahead and had a great day fishing dry flies and nymphs. Mandy works water on a chilly afternoon after the snow melted. Note the geyser steam rising across the river.
Got back on the oars and floated Brian (seen with this nice rainbow) and his son in law, Matt on the Green River. These guys were a blast and managed some nice fish on dry flies.

Fly Fishing again around here!

Well, this Covid thing is a mess! Fortunately all is well here at Teton Fly Fishing and I’m back up and running, taking folks fishing and booking trips for the summer. Lately I’ve been guiding some return clients out of the Dubois Fishing Cabin as well as doing some local walk-in trips. Additionally, I’ve made it a priority to get out camping and fishing with Jamie, Lulu and some good friends. It’s been really great being on the water and the warm temperatures lately have been icing on the cake!

Right now the best fly fishing trip options are to fish in Yellowstone Park and area lakes. Waters in Yellowstone like the Firehole aren’t affected by snowmelt like much of the freestone rivers around here. That, combined with some great hatches and a healthy population of brown and rainbow trout make it a great option right now. If you like stillwater, many of our area lakes are ice free and fishing well too. I love to cast streamers to fish cruising the shallows this time of year. It’s a great way to hook some nice fish!

Below are a few photos from recent fly fishing trips.

Jamie with a nice Green River Brown Trout
Never doubt the power of the Black and Red (wooly bugger)
Bob landed this beauty of Brown while fishing with me for a few days
A little campfire music after a day of fly fishing in Wyoming
I’ve taken advantage of the Covid situation to do some fishing too! I do love a nice brown trout!

Eleuthera and Back

Caribbean Eleuthera

Jamie and I just returned from the Bahamas, spending the better part of a week and a half on the island of Eleuthera. We were lucky, getting our trip in just before the Coronavirus shut down most of the world.

As some of you know, our yearly Bahamas trip is a highlight for me; an excuse to relax after a long winter and try my luck bonefishing. While we’ve spent time (and fished) on other islands in the Bahamas, this was our first adventure to Eleuthera, hoping its reputation for a mellow out island and decent DIY fishery lived up to its reputation. After overnighting in Nassau, our good friends Kurt and Kelly met us and after some delays, we boarded the Bahamasair flight to Rock Sound in South Eleuthera. We rented a house on the Caribbean, allowing for out the door fishing, swimming and general beach bumming. Additionally, the house was a great home base for exploring the southern end of the island.

Kurt, Kelly and Jamie. One of the remote areas we explored and fished

Fishing-wise, we had the usual strikes and gutters. Despite promising water in front of the house (rock, coral and sand flats), Kurt and I weren’t able to find any bonefish. We fished incoming tides, out going tides, etc. and were left frustrated by the lack of opportunities. While walking the beach one day we came across a local’s fishing “camp”. Strung out over a hundred yards was a gill net and I wonder if that might explain the lack of fish? We were able to catch a variety of reef fish though so it wasn’t a total bust. Besides fishing from the house, we also explored other flats and beaches in search of bonefish. The Atlantic side proved to be windy, making seeing a problem. I did manage a nice Jack thanks to Kurts coaching. Some other promising spots proved empty despite being beautiful. Each day we fished promising water only to be shutout. I think morale would’ve been higher had we at least seen some fish to cast too, but none were to be found.

Me (with Jack) and Kurt celebrating!

As our time on Eleuthera progressed, so did the global pandemic situation. Originally Jamie and I decided the best course of action was to stay in the Bahamas longer to ride things out. However, when the State Department issued a warning telling US citizens to get home immediately or risk being stuck indefinitely, we decided we needed to get back to Wyoming. We all scrambled, buying additional plane tickets to get off the island, only to find flights canceled when we showed up at the airport at the appointed time. So we made the most of things and decided to enjoy ourselves, deciding to explore yet another creek system; a place with a white sand beach for the ladies and bonefish flats for Kurt and I.

Insult to injury or paying dues? Broken Winston 8wt on day 2

It’s as if the bonefish Gods took pity on us (or decided we’d put in the time and deserved to be rewarded). With an incoming tide, Kurt and I proceeded to have a field day, hooking more bonefish than we’ve ever experienced! It got to the point where fish that came off didn’t matter and I stopped fishing and got Jamie, helping her catch fish. After working the creek system, we waded the white sand flat where numerous schools of fish were moving. I’ve never had a day like it and likely never will again. It made us forget the shutouts we received earlier.

Me with a Bonefish from Eleuthera
Kurt with one of his many bonefish

Afterword, we headed back to the house, stopping at a local restaurant that was open for take out. Earlier, the Bahamian government had implemented a curfew and closed the liquor stores. Thinking we’d get out earlier, we’d drank all our booze and now were in need of some cold Kaliks. Fortunately the local proprietor understood our predicament and happily sold us what we needed around back. We returned home, sat on the porch overlooking the caribbean, and toasted our amazing day.

Celebrating catching a flight!

The following morning we reported for our flight (which the day before was assured would go) only to learn that it wasn’t coming and that flights were being suspended. We immediately hopped in the car and headed north in the dark to Governors Harbor hoping there might be a flight there. Running in the airport, we explained our situation to a Pineapple Air worker. She made some calls and we got the last four seats on the soon to be leaving flight to Nassau. Once in Nassau, we all caught our respective flights home. Eventually Jamie and I (after delays, cancelations and a night in SLC) made it back to Jackson.

Some good February Fishing

We’re plugging through winter here in Jackson Hole and I’ve been fortunate to have had some great folks wanting to get in on some winter fly fishing while visiting on ski vacations. In typical winter fashion, the Snake River has made us work for our fish, but anglers walked away happy. Much winter fly fishing success relies on finding good holding water. Fish in the winter like to hold in deep, slower water where they don’t have to expend lots of energy. If you find the right kind of water, you can usually fool a couple fish.

Most of our fishing has been dead-drifting nymphs, but as days get longer and a bit warmer, fish are also being caught on the surface. These midge hatches can last 10 minutes or an hour or two depending on the weather. The other day I was out with three great guys visiting from Canada. Trevor, Rich and John decided to take a day off from skiing and joined me on the river. All being novices, I taught them about reading water, bugs and winter fishing. In the end we managed a few fish to net and lost some others. The highlight for me came when we found a pod of cutthroat trout aggressively feeding on the surface on the edge of some fast water. After a few casts, John got his presentation just right and was rewarded when a beautiful cutthroat came up under his fly and inhaled it. Then it promptly ran down river, eventually breaking off. Despite not landing the fish, it was an awesome experience and one John likely won’t forget.

February cutthroat trout
Rich meeting a Snake River Cutthroat trout; his first fish ever on a fly rod. Not bad for a day off from skiing!