My Jackson Hole fly fishing report; my observations on local fisheries…
4/22/21 The Snake is offering early season anglers some great days right now! The water is gin clear and fish are gorging themselves on emerging bugs. Right now expect to see midges, tiny black stoneflies, Skwala stones and BWOs hatching. I’ve been doing well with griffiths gnats, parachute adams, tiny (#16-18) black stoneflies, black hare’s ear nymphs, Chernobyl ant type flies to mimic Skwala stoneflies and BWO emerges. Best fishing is 11-3 and fish can be found feeding in really shallow riffles, edges of seams, back eddies, etc. A dropper like a bead head pheasant tail off a large Skwala dry fly is a great searching pattern. I suspect we’ll get at least another good week of fishing on the Snake before runoff off comes.
3/25/21 Early spring fly fishing on the Snake is really good right now. Warmer temperatures have gotten the midges and small black stoneflies hatching. Anglers should look for seams, eddies and slow water. You should find noses poking up and feeding on the surface. On warmer days also consider fishing riffles that flow into deeper water as fish will work into them and feed also. When fish aren’t rising, nymphing and streamer fishing will produce. I expect the action to be pretty great until the snowmelt comes.
3/1/21 Kicking the month off with some stellar fly fishing around here in Jackson Hole! Fishing on the Snake continues to improve with slightly warmer temperatures and longer days. Midges are hatching and a parachute adams a trailing midge such as a griffith’s gnat or larva emerges is a good choice when fish are feeding. Also starting to see some tiny black stoneflies when the sun’s out. Hatches should become more prevalent as temperatures get into the 40s. Otherwise nymph fish with the standard stuff: zebras, pheasant tails, midge larva, princes, etc. Slow water, seams, back eddies, etc. is what to look for. Best fishing is around 11-3. Snow is deep along the river so snowshoes are a good idea if you’re going to cover some ground.
2/9/21 Not much new to report. Fishing on the Snake remains the best option for those wanting to wet a line in Jackson Hole. Thanks to some snow storms etc. temperatures have been a little warmer lately (relatively speaking). Nymphing is still the name of the game right now, either with or without bobbers. Basic patterns such as pat’s rubber legs, prince variations, hare’s ears, pheasant tails, zebra midges, brassies, etc. should fool a fish or two when fished at the right depth. Keep an eye out for midges hatching in slow backwaters and eddies. size 20 parachute adams, griffith’s gnats, rs2s, various emerging nymph patterns are the way to go. A slowly stripped streamer might get a reaction in slow, deep runs too.
1/21/21 We are in the doldrums of winter, friends. It’s been cold. Lack of snow makes it a little easier to get around along the river. Keep an eye on the nighttime temperatures; if it’s single digits and below, fishing the next day will be tough due to slush in the river. Warmer days though are certainly worth getting out. Best to be on the water between 11:30 and 3. This will be the warmest part of the day and the time that fish are most active. Find some deep, slower water or deep riffles and tie on some nymphs. Basics like zebra midges, small red worms, pheasant tails, princes, etc. are my choices. Running a large dark rubber leg stonefly with a trailing midge is always a safe bet. Slowly striped woolybuggers may get a chase here and there too. As days get longer (and hopefully warmer) keep an eye out for midges on the surface. Fish will feed on these, particularly in very slow backwaters. I like Griffiths gnats, size 20 parachute adams, etc. Presentation is key. Stay warm!
12/24/20 Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone out there! We’re in winter fly fishing mode out here in Jackson Hole. Despite the cold and snow, fly fishing is still possible. Nymphing is the primary game around here. Look for slow, deep runs, seams and deep banks. Basic patterns will work- princes, pheasant tails, zebra midges, brassies, etc. will get the job done. I like to run a larger stonefly pattern with a trailing midge under the surface with a bobber or on a tight line. When air temperatures rise, keep an eye out for fish rising to emerging nymphs. Griffith’s gnats, size 20-24 parachute adams and other midge emergers will work in these situations. As always in the winter, best fishing is going to be from 11-3. Dress warm and have fun!
7/27/20 Waters around Jackson Hole are fishing well. Float fishing has really picked up in the past few weeks. The Snake is fishing well with a variety of dry flies; PMDs, Yellow Sallies, Golden Stones, Chubby Chernobyls, Royal Wulffs, etc. Hoppers and terrestrials are starting to be active too. With the warm weather we’ve been having, fishing is better in the morning until mid afternoon. Larger fish are starting to rise to large attractors. The Salt River is fishing well with bugs hatches everyday. Take your time and find feeding fish along the banks and in riffles. The Green is in great shape, although water temps are getting up there. Morning fishing is best. When fish stop rising, target them down deep with nymphs. Local tributaries have a variety of bugs hatching- PMDs, caddis, yellowsallies, stoneflies, etc. As water levels fall, target “green” water and cover ground
6/18/20 Fishing options are increasing around Jackson Hole. I’ve been spending days guiding folks up in Yellowstone National Park. The Firehole River continues to fish well. Expect various bugs hatching- PMDs, Yellow Sallies, BWOs and Miller Caddis. Swinging soft hackles is very effective when fish aren’t rising. Also, nymphing deeper runs is a great way to hook some fish. Lewis Lake and River are also fishing well. The Snake is still high and muddy, save the tailwater stretch below Jackson Lake Dam. The water here isn’t crystal clear, but it’s fishable. The Green is up and down with the cooler nights lately. Nymphing with worm and stonefly patterns will fool some fish.
5/28/20 Good news! Wyoming and Teton Fly Fishing are open for business. I’m back out on the water guiding visiting anglers and couldn’t be happier! It’s runoff time around here in Jackson Hole and fly fishing can be tricky unless you know where to go…. I’d focus on the waters in the southwestern part of Yellowstone National Park. Now through late June is a great time to fish the Firehole River. Expect good hatches of BWO’s, PMD’s and Miller caddis and Yellow Sallie stoneflies. When fish aren’t feeding on top, nymphing runs and riffles can be productive. I like flashback pheasant tails, small prince nymphs and stonefly patterns. Swinging soft hackle wet flies can also be deadly. Area lakes are also open (or opening) and can make for some fun streamer fishing. Wooly buggers, leeches, etc all are good choices on a sinking line. Within a few hours of here there are also a few tailwaters that are fishing well too if you don’t mind driving.
3/2/20 Days are getting longer! Spring is coming (slowly!) Winter fishing has been pretty decent on the Snake River lately. It seems like midges are becoming more and more prevalent, and when I was out with folks the other day I saw a couple of our small black stoneflies crawling around. A sure sign spring is coming. Nymphing continues to be a safe bet. Standards like hare’s ears, pheasant tails, rubber legged stoneflies, serendipitys and zebra midges have all been working when drifted correctly at the right depth. To fish the midge hatch, I really like a small parachute adams with a trailing griffiths gnat. Getting a natural drift is critical for fishing the dries so really work on mending your line and getting those flies to sit just right in the water.
2/7/20 Lots of Snow around here. That hasn’t stopped my clients from catching some fish though! Biggest consideration is to make sure night temperatures aren’t too cold. If they drop into the single digits and below, slush will cover the water surface making it really hard to fish. If nights are warmer, look for midge hatches during the day. These can come off as early as 11 and last through the afternoon. Slow backwaters are best, but seams and bank runs are also good to fish. I like to fish a small (#18 parachute adams or hivize griffiths gnat with a midge emerger trailer. Nymphing and streamers will also turn some fish. Access right now is kinda tough due all the snow we’ver recieved lately. Better pack the snowshoes….
1/4/20 Well hello 2020! I’m looking forward to another great year of fly fishing here in Western Wyoming. Right now we’re in the heart of winter around here. Best fly fishing is going to be on the Snake River. There are quite a few good access points and on warmer days, fish can be caught. Nymphing is the name of the game this time of year. Focus on deep, slow waters, eddies and seams. Fish tend to pod up in the winter so if you find one, there is a good chance there are more waiting for your fly. I keep it simple with my flies. Beadheads- hare’s ears, pheasant tails and pats rubberlegs all work. Additionally black, red and brown zebra midges are great as are brassies. I think it’s much more important to get the fly to the correct depth rather than get to fancy with patterns. Getting on the water between 11 and 3 is best. Snowshoes will definitely help you access more water as our snow pack builds.
12/13/19 Merry early Christmas to everyone out there! Hope Santa is good to you and brings you some fun gifts! It’s mid December here in Jackson Hole and that means winter fly fishing. Yes- you can catch fish on a fly rod in the winter around here but it can be tough. I like to nymph fish on the Snake river using a number of public access points for wade fishing. My favorite patterns include black, red and brown zebra midges, pheasant tails, prince nymphs and copper and red brassies. On warmer days you might see some midges on the surface and griffiths gnats, renagades, parachute adams, etc. all will work. Try and find deep, slow water as fish tend to pod up there in the winter. Best time is going to be 11-3ish and snowshoes can really help getting around through our deep snow. Have fun out there!
10/26/18 Late fall fishing continues to be pretty decent around here thanks to relatively warm weather. Fishing local waters like the Snake and Salt, BWOs, Griffiths gnats and october caddis flies all are working for fish looking up. Best action is around lunch time through late afternoon. Look for fish rising in slow water and along current seams. Folks are having fun targeting brown trout with streamers and nymphs. Yellowstone park will close to fishing soon so get up there. As days get shorter, it’s best to fish in the warmest parts of the day.
8/20/18 Hard to pick a bad place to fish around here. The Snake is fishing well with dry flies- both smaller parachute mayfly patterns and large foam flies. All tributaries are worth fishing, but you’ll need to cover some water, looking for “green” water and targeting fish there. Again, standard attractor dries, foam and parachute dries will get it done. Flat Creek on the refuge is open and you can expect hatching grey drakes in the mornings. Should start seeing some Mahogany duns too in the next few weeks. The Green is still fishing, but it’ll make you work. Hopper droppers along the banks are a good idea. Fishing down deep with nymphs and streamers are the best way to find one of the big fish the river’s known for.
7/7/18 Some great fishing to be had around Jackson Hole right now! Water levels are coming down and a lot of stuff is now clear and fishing with dry flies. The upper Snake is in great shape. PMDS, yellow sallies, golden stones, drakes, caddis, etc. are all hatching. Chubby chernobyls are my favorite, but yellow sallie patterns and parachute adams and purple haze’s are great too. Pacific creek is about perfect right now as are other tributaries to the north. The lower Gros Ventre has come around… we’ll, just get out there and fish something with a dry fly! It’ll be fun. Remember bear spray and make noise, i’ve seen some griz
6/5/18 Lakes and Yellowstone Park, that’s where to fish right now. Area lakes are treating anglers pretty well. Leech patterns, soft hackle wet flies and damselfly nymphs are all good patterns to try. The Firehole is in great shape and fishing pretty well. Nymphs and soft hackles have bee working well and i suspect that PMDs and Miller caddis will start coming off soon. The Snake and it’s tributaries are still massive and not worth fishing. I think we’ve peaked runoff-wise, so we should start seeing things comeing down soon. Lots of bear activity up in Teton Park. Take bear spray and make noise.
5/17/18 Fish the lakes, it’s the best game in town. Ice is off everything below 8000 ft and fish are hungry. Intermediate sinking lines will help get flies down. I like fishing leech patterns on size 6- 10 hooks; black, brown, olive and rusty/red are all good colors. Also hard to go wrong with a black wooly bugger. If you’re visiting, try Jenny or Jackson lakes at the base of the Tetons. Lakers, Cutthroat and brown trout can all be found cruising the shorelines. Get your fly ahead of them and strip slowly. If you want to have some fun and learn a thing or two, give a shout and book a trip with me. It’s always fun taking clients out and targeting stillwaters with large trout!
5/4/18 Warmer spring days have started the runoff around here making fly fishing more challenging. The Snake is dirty and running high and I expect it to get worse as spring progresses. The 3 mile tailwater stretch below Jackson lake is a good option. Depending on the day, fish could rise, take nymphs or streamers. I think we are another week or two out from ice off of Jackson Lake. Most tributaries are also heading toward unfishable, but there are a few hidden gems out there for folks willing to adventure. Best to prep your lake fishing gear- sinking lines, leech patterns, etc. As soon as the ice comes off, fishing should be good! Also a few weeks out from Yellowstone opening to fly fishing. Patterns I’m tying for the season include PMD and BWO sparkle duns, peacock soft hackles, miller caddis, x caddis and small prince and hare’s ear nymphs.
3/15/18 Spring is slowly creeping into the valley. Fishing is picking up and and fish are beginning to feed on top! Keep an eye out for midge hatches. I like simple flies like a griffith’s gnat, parachute adams or renagade in size 16-18. Also, nymphs work will along seams. Zebra midges, copper johns, pheasant tails and caddis pupa should get the job done. As we get further into March and April, look for black stoneflies to appear. A size 14 or 16 black elk hair caddis can work and rubber leg stone flies are a good choice too.
1/7/18 Happy New Year! Winter fishing in Jackson Hole is in full swing. This means primarily nymph fishing for our resident cutthroat and moutain whitefish. Temps the past few days have been on the warmer end of the spectrum for January (30s). This combined with a lack of snow on the valley floor have made for some decent fly fishing. Look for slow, deeper water, seams and back eddies. Nymphs ranging from pheasant tails, zebra midges, stoneflies and caddis larva will all produce. If, on warm days midges hatch briefly, try a griffiths gnat. Best time to be out is roughly 11-3.
12/6/17 With not much snow here on the valley floor, there is still lots of fishing access on the Snake. Days are short though. Best fishing’s going to be from noon to 3ish. Pay attention to daily temperatures and expect to mostly nymph fish, although on warmer afternoons it’s possible for some midges and BWOs to hatch. I’d look for slow, deep runs as fish are retreating to those kind of waters for winter. An assortment of basic nymphs will get the job done. I like princes and pheasant tails, bigger stones and black and red zebra midges.
10/18/17 BWOs are the name of the game. Expect great dry fly fishing on the Snake each day. The best fishing will occur in the afternoon, say 1-5ish… Look for fish sipping in soft water, just off banks, in back eddies. Fish will also feed heavily in shallow riffles, so keep an eye out and cast your fly up in the shallows. Parachute adams and parachute BWOs in 18 and 20s are a good choices. In addition to the fantastic dry fly fishing, brown trout are starting to move. Swinging streamers is a fun way to hook some nice fall run fish.
8/11/17 Everything around here in Jackson Hole is fishing well. Now, through October is primetime with the fly rod. The Snake is in great shape with clear water and hungry cutthroat trout. A lot of the fish right now are on the small side, but the bigger ones are starting to show themselves. Hoppers, beetles, ants, PMDs, parachute adams and hare’s ears are all working. Still good fishing on the Green, hoppers, dry droppers, streamers and nymphs are the ticket here. All our tributaries are fishing great as well. Any attractor type dry fly should work. If you get refusals, go a size or two smaller. Flat Creek on the Refuge is now open too. This is a great place to test your skills against wary cutthroat trout. Take some Grey Drakes, PMDs, small hoppers and caddis with you and look for feeding trout.
7/7/17 Waters around here continue to pick up fly fishing- wise. The upper Green is now in good shape and floating makes for a fun day. Hatches of Grey Drakes, yellow sallies, golden stones, PMDs, and caddis are all hatching in the morning/early afternoon. Nymphs seem to produce the best right now. Take your bug spray, the mosquitos are out in force! The Lewis and upper Snake in Yellowstone are fishing well. Again, good hatches are coming off and the clariety on the Snake improves daily. Pacific creek up north is in good shape, as is Lower Flat Creek. The Snake continues to be high and dirty, but is improving. There is good fishing on the tailwater stretch below the Dam and as soon as the Buffalo fork clears, the Snake should turn on.
6/29/17 As we roll into July, the fly fishing here in Jackson Hole continues to pick up. Waters in Yellowstone are fishing well. PMDs, white Miller caddis, BWO, Yellow sallies and golden stones are all making appearences. When nothing’s hatching, swing soft hackles and drift stonefly and PMD nymphs. Area lakes are fishing well. Damselflies are hatching mid morning and some lakes also have drakes and caddis hatching. Stripping leeches and wooly bugger patterns is also effective. If the lake has cutthroat trout, also try egg patterns. The upper Green river is coming down and starting to fish. While still off color, bugs are hatching and fish will begin looking up. Lots of Drakes, stoneflies and PMDs. Rubber leg stonefly nymphs and san juan worms work below the surface.
6/19/17 Yellowstone National Park is the place to be right now. Conditions on the Firehole are great and fish are hungry. PMDs and some BWOs are hatching on a daily basis (cloudy weather= better hatches). When all else fails, swinging wet flies and pheasant tail nymph will take fish. Lewis and Yellowstone lake are also fishing well. Most other waters around Jackson are still really high with runoff.
6/4/17 Runoff’s in full swing around here making most of the waters in Jackson Hole unfishable. I’m spending most of my time with clients on the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park. Look for BWOs, PMDs and caddis up there. When nothing’s rising, soft hackle wet flies in riffles are always a great choice. Area lakes can also fish well right now with wooly buggers, leeches and flying ants. In the weeks to come, waters in southwest Yellowstone will be best.
5/7/17 A recent warm up has begun the snow runoff around here. Most streams and rivers are now muddy and not fishing that well. The Snake below the dam is clear and fishable. Ice is coming off Jackson Lake and it’s worth heading up there for cruising Lake trout. Leeches are always a good way to go up there. There are a few clear streams in the neighborhood and they’re fishing pretty well (but i’m not naming them). Good news is that Yellowstone National Park opens in a few weeks for the 2017 fishing season and that’ll make for some fun trips. Tie up some BWOs, PMDs, Caddis and soft hackle wet flies for up there.
3/13/17 Starting to feel like spring here in Jackson Hole. Fishing’s picking up on the Snake and you’d be best to fish midges to rising cutthroat trout. Most days trout can be found rising in slow back eddies and in seams along faster runs. I like fishing small parachute adams, griffith’s gnats and renagades. Also keep in eye out for small black stoneflies. These guys will start emerging as temperatures warm. When nothings feeding on top, stripping streamers work well too…
2/8/17 The Snow continues. Just about every other day has been a winter storm and it looks like this pattern will continue. The good news is that daily temperatures are rising and days in the 30s and 40s will make for some decent fishing in the weeks to come. Midges will be the name of the game for the rest of the month. Be sure to take your snow shoes if you strike out. There is A TON of snow and access is difficult. Basic nymphs in sizes 14-20 should work. On warmer gray days, look for fish sipping in slow backwaters and off of faster seams. Streamers can also work. I like yellow ones…
1/15/17 A new year and a new report… It’s been full on winter in the Hole lately. Lots of snow and temperatures well below zero are making fishing difficult at the moment. Fear not though. As soon as we start get some days of consistant 30 degree temps, things’ll pick up. When this happens, grab your favorite box of nymphs and midges and hit the Snake. Favorite flies of mine for winter include: zebra midges (black, red, brown), brassies (copper and red), pheasant tails and larger prince nymphs. Take your snowshoes as there is DEEP snow along the river bottom.
11/29/16 And all of a sudden it’s winter. Snow is falling around here and most folks have traded their fly rods for skis. Rest assured though that fishing is possible and can be pretty good in the winter, you just have to change your tactics a bit. I’d focus on nymphing and swinging streamers. The Snake’s going to be the best water around for the next few months. More to come…
10/9/16 Fall keeps the fishing interesting here in Jackson Hole. Weather changes quickly; one day it’s warm and sunny, the next it’s full on winter. Be prepared. The Snake flows are at winter levels. Fish have moved and are poding up. Look for them to feed heavily in riffles and seams. BWOs, parachute adams, hare’s ears and purple hazes’ are al good patterns to use. October caddis should also be carried and on warm days, a hopper may be just the ticket. Streamers are a good choice when nothing else is happening. Flat Creek on the refuge is offering up challenging but rewarding fishing. I like sight fishing to feeders, so don’t be afraid to cover some water. October is a great time to fish Yellowstone National Park before it closes next month. The Firehole, Madison, Lewis and Upper Snake are all worth the drive. Browns are starting to move, so take your streamer box….
9/18/16 Things continue to fish well around here thanks in large part to hatches of various mayflies. Hecubas, mahoganys, PMDs, BWOs, etc. are all out and the fish take notice. Conditions couldn’t be better on the Snake with the best fishing happening from noon- 4ish. Look for fish to come up for a fly in all types of water, from shallow riffles to deep seams. Flat Creek is also a good place to stalk risers. The same bugs mentioned above will be active out on the refuge. No need to get out early and the cloudy, wet days should produce bigger hatches. Fall fishing in Yellowstone is coming into its own too. From here on out, the Firehole and Madision should fish well. Expect BWOs to play an important role as weather turns lousy. Soft hackle wet flies are always a sure bet in the riffles.
The Snake’s been fishing really well thanks to a smorgasbord of mayflies. The big player is the Hecuba drakes. Large (size 10) parachute hare’s ears, adams, etc. are working well, as is royal wulffs. In addition to the Hecubas, mahogany duns and BWOs are also hatching. Best activity is around noon through 4. Streamers are working well too but in my opinion, dry flies are the way to go. Other waters are also fishing well. Cover some ground and fish the green water.
8/14/16 Dry Flies
After some hot weather in July, August has cooled down to seasonal averages and water temperatures have followed. Everything around here is fishing well and you’d be a fool not to fish dry flies. Carry (and fish) an assortment of fish-pleasing patterns- PMDs (i like sparkle duns), parachute adams, tricos, caddis, royal wulffs, stimulators etc. Hoppers are clicking, so chernobyl variations and hoppers in a variety of sizes are good to have. Lots of mutant stones are hatching at night; anglers can find the big shells on river side rocks. A Pat’s rubber legs is a good nymph pattern to fish below a chubby chernobyl. Double Humpies do a nice job mimicking this skitering stonefly. As tributaries get low, look for “green” water. That’s where the fish should be Flat Creek on the refuge is fishing well- morning and evenings are best. While mornings are still producing more action on the Snake, look for afternoon fishing to pick up as night temperatures drop.
8/1/16 Hot, Dry and grasshoppers
Boy it’s been hot lately and fish are taking note. With temperatures approaching 90 here in Jackson Hole, it’s best to get on the water early or late, leaving the fish alone during the warmest part of the day. The Snake has been fishing pretty well despite the heat, with the best action happening from 7am-1pm. Standard dries like PMDs, parachute adams, royal trudes, chernobyl ants, hoppers and terrestrials are all working well. Fish are holding tight against banks and structure, eddy lines and often in shallow riffles (when bugs are emerging). Once afternoon comes, expect things to slow. The Green river has water temps hitting 70 and I would leave it alone. No need to stress the fish down there. The Salt is fishing well with dries- PMDs, Tricos, caddis and terrestrials. Flat creek on the elk refuge is now open. This is a great place to try for a trophy cutthroat. Terrestrials as well as PMDs, tricos and grey drakes work well. Also carry some caddis for the evenings. Remember to give other anglers space out there. (if you’ve got the itch to fish out there but want some help, i’m permitted to guide on the refuge, so give a shout and we’ll set something up. Otherwise, everything else in the region is fishing pretty well. Look for the “green” water and you should do well.
7/9/16 Dry fly fishing!!
As we approach mid July, everything in the area is fishing well. I’ve been fishing the Snake with clients, having a great time fishing big dry flies. Our cutthroat are keying in on golden stones, yellow sallies, PMDs and caddis. I’ve found that chubby chernobyls, red ants and small hoppers all work. In the early afternoon when temps warm, PMDs emerge in shallow riffles and fish can be found feeding on emergers in inches of fast water. The Green and Salt are also fishing well. Best to get on the Green early in the morning as surface action slows a bit in the afternoon. Area tributaries are all fishing well too with medium size attractor flies. It’s not uncommon for the action to slow in the afternoon, particularly on the Snake.
It’s a great time to be fishing in and around Jackson Hole. Summer’s here and all waters in the area have come down and are in good shape for fishing. Perhaps the hardest decision is where to fish; small stream, hike-in lake, big water like the Snake, etc. Fortunately i don’t think you can really go wrong. Some favorites to check out right now are the Snake, Pacific creek, Hoback and Green rivers. All these waters are fishing well with a variety of flies- yellow stones, PMDs, caddis, Royal Wulffs, stimulators, chernobyls/ chubby’s, parachute adams, etc. Grey Drakes are starting to pop on the Green. Bottom line, take a box of big, easy- to-see flies and hit the water. If surface actions slows, add a copper john as a dropper. Have a great 4th of July weekend.
Yellowstone continues to be a great fishing option for those wanting to wave the long rod. Waters up there are seeing good hatches of PMDS, BWOs, Stoneflies and Drakes. If you’re fishing lakes (lewis, yellowstone) leeches and a variety of streamers will do. Also keep an eye out for Callibaetis. The Green river has come down a bit and even though it’s off color, it’ll fish. The Snake is still running really big and I would hold off fishing it. If you have to do it, big stonefly nymphs tight along the bank will fool a few fine spotted cutthroat. Tributaries in the northern part of Teton Park are looking decent. Pacific creek, Pilgrim, etc. might just be worth a look….
Oh man, I can see summer coming! All of a sudden it’s hot here in Jackson Hole. Runoff from the high country has accelerated and it shouldn’t be too long before our big rivers clear. Right now is the time to fly fish Yellowstone’s famous Firehole and Madison rivers! Expect good dry fly fishing with BWOs, PMDs and Caddis. If the surface activity slows, put on a small pheasant tail, caddis pupa or peacock soft hackle and fish the riffles…. At the moment, the Snake’s blown out as is the Green, Salt and New Fork rivers. Don’t worry though, the way the snow’s melting, it won’t be long before these turn on. Lakes are fishing well with leeches, midges and flying ants. Definately some great fishing to be had, you just have to be flexible with your destination.
Memorial Day weekend marks the opening of the Yellowstone fishing season; an important date for us fly fishing folk. Waters like the Firehole River are a great place to spend a day fly fishing right now. Make sure your box has PMDs, Caddis, BWOs and Soft hackles. Small Nymphs like phesant tails and princes are great too. The Snake is in runoff; between snowmelt and damn releases, it’s really not a viable option right now. The Green river has had some good days. Much depends on flow. Even when muddy, nymphs and streamers along the bank can provoke aggressive strikes from brown trout. Otherwise, area lakes are a good bet and it’s hard to go wrong with small leeches. As days get warmer, also consider a flying ant pattern… If i were you, I’d fish Jellystone or that secret small stream that stays in good shape.
It’s spring in the Rockies and to be successful, you got to be flexible. Most of our rivers and streams here in Jackson Hole are now muddy with runoff. Water levels are rising, but cooler weather the past few days has slowed things. I was on the Green today with a client and it fished pretty well with nymphs. Saw lots of BWOs but no fish rising. The Green will be day-to-day; if it’s cold at night and cool during the day it’ll fish, if it warms up and rises, not so much. The nice things is that even when off color, the Green fishes well. Stones and worms are my favorites, as are streamers. Many lakes are now free of ice. Using a sinking line and stripping leeches is a good tactic. Keep an eye out for Griz. They’re out and about…. Certain small streams can also fish well now if you know where to look….
4/22/16 Late April and fishing options are increasing. The Snake’s been pretty good lately with both dry flies, nymphs and streamers. Smaller parachute adams, dark stoneflies, etc. will get the job done with fish feeding in shallower riffles, while a size 10 or 12 skwala type patter (or chernobyl) along the bank can be deadly. With temps on the rise, so are our rivers. The Snake can go from clear to green overnight so be prepared. Streamers are a good idea if you reach the water and find it murky. I expect over the next few weeks the clariety will decrease and we’ll soon be in runoff mode. Then it’ll be time to turn attention to area lakes and the waters that flow out of them. I love fishing our lakes in the springtime. Drifiting by boat slowly along the shore and sight fishing to cruising trout is a blast!- think leeches…
4/5/16 We’re slowly easing into spring here. Fly fishing is pretty damn good right now; lots of hungry trout and not many folks on the water. Snow is melting from the low country, making it a little easier to get around. The Snake through the Jackson is a great place to fish right now. Expect good dry fly fishing on most days beginning late morning and continuing through the day (11am-3:30ish). Fish can be found slpping in slow backwaters as well as on the edges of seams. Also finding fish up in shallower riffles too. Midges are the primary bug you’ll see, but little black stoneflies are also showing up. Parachute adams, griffiths gnats, renagades and various dark size 16 stoneflies will work. You can nymph and fish streamer too, but why would you do that when the fish are rising? As daily temps continue to warm up, we should start seeing some skwalas appear. An olive body rubberleg creation twitched along the bank can be deadly! Other smaller tributaries are open now too but many are still cold and hard to access due to snow. Fishing should be great for the next month or so depending on when the runoff starts.
3/1/16 Midges, that’s the talk of the town. Local anglers have been fishing various midge patterns to rising fish this past week. With warmer temperatures, dry fly fishing has really picked up on the Snake. Pods of nice cutthroat trout can be found in a variety of waters. A well drifted size 20 parachute adams should get the job done. If you want to get fancy, run a griffith gnat or renagade off the back of it. If it’s windy and the fish aren’t rising, get out the nymphs (simple patterns) and fish the seams…. From now through early May, the Snake should really fish well.
2/23/16 What a difference a month makes. With the worst of winter over, days are warmer and noticably longer. This has improved the fly fishing here in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! The Snake is the best place to pursue trout on the fly right now. Access can be found from Moose down through the Snake river canyon. Nymphing’s the most productive way to fish overall, but these warmer days also mean midges and fish feeding on the surface. I like standard patterns like Griffiths gnats, parachute adams, renagades and small emergers. For nymphing, a larger stonefly pattern with a trailing zebra midge or small prince or pheasant tail should get the job done. Sure, you can fish any number of other newer “cool” patterns, but don’t be afraid to keep it simple with proven flies. Look for fish feeding in slow, deep water and also in shallow water off riffles.
1/18/16 It’s a new year and time for a new Jackson Hole fly fishing report. Best game in town right now is the Snake. Trout and whitefish can be found in deeper pools, runs and seams. Right now I’d say the best fly fishing is with nymphs- pheasant tails, brassies, zebra midges, princes, etc. However, it’s been realitively warm lately (low 30s) and I’ve seen midges on the surface. Keep an eye out for subtle surface activty in slow water. If you find some risers, I like parachute adams’,griffith’s gnats, renegades, zelon midges,etc. Best be on the water 11-3ish.
12/3/15 It’s winter fishing season here in Jackson Hole. Winter can be a fun time to fish around here provided you don’t mind the cold. A few things to keep in mind when going fly fishing; best time is the warmest part of the day (think 11-3). A good assortment of basic nymphs will get the job done. Favorites of mine are red and black zebra midges, prince nymphs and phesant tails. Don’t forget some larger rubber-leg stonefly patterns too. While most action is going to be subsurface, it is possible to catch fish on top. I like Griffiths gnats and tiny parachute adams. Look for slow, deep water, as that’s where most fish will be holding. If you’re coming out to Jackson Hole to ski, but think you might like to sneak in alittle fly fishing, give me a shout; I guide year round and love taking adventurous folks out for some winter fly fishing.
11/8/15 Early winter is upon us here in Jackson Hole and it’s time to transition to winter fly fishing. November marks the closure of some rivers around here but there are still plenty of fishy options around. The best local water to fish is going to be the Snake. Wade fishing access is good at any number of boat ramps. Right now nymphing and tiny dries are your best options. Carry a good selection of mideges and BWO patterns. Look for fish feeding in slow runs of water and usually if you find one fish, you can expect others in the same area. Best fishing is going to be from around noon to three. Streamer junkies can cast patterns too. Also, head down to the Salt. Browns should be moving up the river from Palisades. Stay warm.
10/22/15 Late October fishing has been pretty good lately. The weather’s stayed pretty consistant and fish are feeding. On the Snake, the best fishing is around noon-3. You can certainly catch fish before and after these times, but I think you’ll find the best action in the middle of the day. Look for fish holding and feeding in shallow riffles and tight to banks and structure. Typically now that flows are low, if you find one fish, you will find more… parachute adams, small purple haze, BWOs in various stages, midges, october caddis and stimulators. Same flies for the last few days Flat creek is open. Remember to get above the work TU is doing on the stream. Waters in Yellowstone are fishing well. The Madison has some large fish in it and the Firehole offers up some good dry fly fishing, particularly on cloudy, cool days. Brown trout are on the move at Lewis lake and the upper Snake. Diddo on the Green. The Salt river varies day to day. Small parachute adams and BWOs should work on risers. Otherwise, larger hopper/dropper setups will get you some fish. Streamers fished tight to structure might entice the larger fish…
10/12/15 Flows on the Snake have dropped to winter levels. Fishings still good but the fish can be a bit more selective. Target riffles, long runs and banks. The best action will be 10-3ish. BWOs, October caddis, parachute adams and smaller chernobyls and chubbies should work for you. If you’re determined to fish subsurface, smaller sculpin streamers and white/grey streamers should fool fish. Floating will take extra time due to flows, so don’t be afraid to push down river to better water…
While low, many of our smaller tributaries are still fishing fairly well. Target the green water and cover lots of ground. Keep an eye out for sippers tight along slow banks. Flat Creek on the refuge is getting some work done on it. If you’re fishing it, fish it above the hatchery to avoid muddy water, etc.
Yellowstone Park is a great place to be right now. Anglers are targeting fish on the Madison and the Firehole has cooled down. Best fishing is on overcast (lousy weather) days. Expect BWOs and white miller caddis. Swinging soft hackles is always a good bet when nothing else is happening. Brown trout are becoming active in the Lewis lake area.
9/19/15 Fall fishing is in full swing around here. Overall the Snake continues to fish really well with dry flies, although patterns vary. Riffles are fishing well from 11-2 everyday, with abundant bugs hatching and fish rising. When the fish stop rising so eagerly to PMDs, Hecubas, Mahogany Duns, etc. Try an attractor pattern like a royal or black trude… Fishing in the southwest part of Yellowstone are picking back up. From here on out, the Firehole and Madison are great option for those looking for great dry fly and streamer fishing. And don’t forgot the upper Snake; it’s a fun place to fish too! Other area rivers are also fishing about as good as they can with various dry flies.
8/25/15 Great fishing right now. Get out there! Cold nights have made fishing really good on the Snake. Look for feeding fish in shallow riffles (PMDs, some caddis, Mahogany duns and Hecubas). Hopper type patterns are getting it done along the banks- tan, purple red foam-rubber leg type flies should fool some nice fish. If all else fails put on a parachute hare’s ear… The Salt’s fishing good. The morning into afternoon offers anglers some good dry fly fishing. Look for fish sipping in slow runs and seams. Crowds are thinning out on Flat Creek. September and October are great times to fish the Refuge. Fishing’s best in the morning and evening. Expect to see some PMDs, Tricos, Grey Drakes and Mahogany duns. Caddis in the afternoon. Stalk feeding fish there; sight fishing is the best way to be successful. All tributaries are in good shape. Look for color changes and green water and you’ll find fish.
8/8/15 The hardest part about fishing in Wyoming during the summer is deciding which waters to fish. Overall just about everything is fishing well. Lately the Snake’s been pretty good. A mix of flies and tactics will work depending on the weather. I like to fish big attractors in the morning, switching to a parachute adams or PMD in the late morning. There are some hoppers around and twitching a smaller hopper pattern along the bank can get some aggresive takes. Tributaries of the Snake fish well with just about anything- hoppers, attractors, stimulators, PMDs, etc. The Green’s hit or miss now that the flows are lower. I still think it’s a viable option for folks looking to head hunt, but don’t expect big numbers…. The Salt is fishing well in the am with PMDs, small parachute adams and BWO emergers. Flat Creek on the refuge is now open and fishing well in it’s usual challenging way. Look for rising fish and match the hatch. Sparkle duns (PMDs, Grey drakes, Tricos) as well as caddis and terrestrials are all good to carry.
7/1/15 Most waters in the greater Jackson Hole area are fishing well. The Snake looks good and is treating anglers to some good dry fly fishing. Most fish are on the smaller side, but every now and then a big comes up our of a deep riffle or seam. Yellow sallies, PMDs, various chernobyl type patterns and caddis are all working well. The Green if offering much the same (add grey drakes to your box). The best fishing on both these waters is early morning to lunch time. Temperatures in the 90s lately have slowed the afternoon fishing. Other waters like the Hoback are also fishing well with big stonefly patterns. It’s a great time to be fly fishing around Jackson Hole. Just be sure to focus on the cooler parts of the day.
6/24/15 A few new things to note on the fishing around here. First off, due to the recent heat, fishing on the Firehole, Madison and Nez Perce is done for the summer. Water temperatures lately have soared. Best to leave the trout alone until the fall. Now for the good news. Float fishing is on! The Green has come down considerably and is in pretty good shape. PMDs, Grey Drakes, caddis, Yellow Sallies, Golden stones; all are hatching and fish are starting to feed on top. Nymphing has been productive- rubber-leg stonefly patterns, worms, etc. The Snake through the Jackson valley too has cleared dramatically and is certainly worth a float. Visability is good along banks and riffles. Expect it to just get better and better. Tributaries like the Gros Ventre ane Hoback are still off color, but should come around sooner rather than later (especially the Hoback). Northern tributaries like Pacific Creek and the upper Snake look fishy and smaller alpine lakes continue to fish well, especially on top (callibaetis and flying ants).
6/18/15 Oh summer how I love thee. Weather’s good, streams are clearing and trout are hungry. Yellowstone waters like the Firehole, Madison, Lewis, etc. are all fishing well and worth the drive north. PMDs, BWOs and Caddis (small dark #18, #14 tan and large #12 miller caddis) can all be found hatching up there. Also starting to see yellowsallies. If nothing’s happening on top, swing a soft hackle or tight-line some smaller nymphs. The Snake’s still out of commission save the stretch below the dam. Tributaries up north like pacific creek have dropped and look pretty good. I’d head up there with some stonefly patterns and green drakes… Looks like the Green has peak and started to fish decent. Large nymphs and worms will get it done… Thats the word around these parts!
6/9/15 Fishing conditions vary greatly depending on where one chooses to fish around Jackson Hole. Right now my top pick for best place to fish is the Firehole, Lewis and other waters in the southwest part of Yellowstone National Park. The Snake and other big tributaries are high with runoff. I expect the Green to start fishing well soon. Lakes are a great place to wet a line right now, both bigger waters like Jenny and smaller, off the beaten path lakes like Bearpaw (beware of mosquitos!) With temperatures in the 80s forecasted, it shouldn’t be long before our runoff ends and great dry fly fishing begins!
5/25/15 I’m gonna keep this short as much of our water is out of commission. Most big waters (ie. Snake, Green, Hoback, Gros Ventre) are high and muddy with runoff. The bright spot right now is the fishing in the south west part of Yellowstone Nation Park. The Firehole river is the place to be this time of year. Great dry fly fishing awaits anglers willing to make the drive north. I’d carry the following flies- BWOs, PMDs (both emergers, cripples and duns) and caddis in various sizes. A peacock soft hackle can be deadly in riffles, especially when fish aren’t rising. Also, remember the bear spray… it’s that time of year. Otherwise, area lakes are keeping anglers happy- Jenny, Phelps, Taggert, etc.
5/16/15 Weather is a fickle thing. The change back to cooler temperatures have opened up a few fly fishing options here in Jackson Hole. Right now, the Green has dropped and is pretty clear allowing anglers, both float and wade fishermen to have pretty good days. Nymphs and streamers are most effective, even when the Green’s off color. Look for caddis and stoneflies on top. The Snake’s cleared a bit but is still high and off color. You could pick up some fish on it, but I’d head elsewhere. The Salmonflies are hatching on the Henry’s Fork right now. The biggest concentration of bugs seems to be below warm river but I expect it to move north. Area lakes are a good bet right now, ensuring clear water and hungry fish. Conditions will change dramatically in the next few weeks depending on weather.
5/9/15 Warm, spring weather and a decent amount of rain and thunderstorms have made a lot of our water here in Jackson Hole muddy and not worth fishing. The bright spot lately is area lakes. Many, including Jackson lake are free of ice and are fishing pretty well. Lake trout, cutthroat and browns can be found cruising the shallows, feeding after a long winter. I like to to fish with an intermediant sinking line and a variety of streamers. Leeches and small baitfish make up a large part of the lake trout’s diet right now, so stripping a mohair leech in black or brown is a good idea. Yellowstone park’s fishing season opens in a few weeks (Memorial Day weekend) and I expect some fantastic fishing up there on the Firehole. Better stock up on soft hackles, PMDs, BWOs and caddis…
4/26/15 The main take away for the current fishing conditions is that much depends on the weather…. Lately temperatures have been pretty warm causing most of our area rivers to rise and become dirty with runoff. With the forecast caling for sun and temperatures in the 70s this week I expect flow to ramp up. If you end up wetting a line in dirty water, i’d use some bigger dark stonefly nymphs and streamers. Probably the best bet for fishing around here for the next month or two will be area lakes. Ice is coming off them and this can make for some fun fishing.
4/7/15 Fishing on the Snake and surrounding rivers continues to be good. Much depends on the weather right now. As long as temperatures stay cold at night, waters will remain in good shape for fly fishing. Streamers and dry flies are fishing well on the Snake at the moment. Be prepared to carry various fly patterns and don’t be afraid to switch things up. BWOs are popping in the afternoons and a parachute adams or BWO pattern will entice fish. Also keep an eye out for midges, black stone flies and Skwala stones; all of which can make an appearance and get fish rising. When dries aren’t working, don’t be afraid to throw a streamer, particularly in slow, deep pools and seams. If all else fails, put on a double nymph rig and see who’s hungry on the bottom….
3/22/15 Early spring fishing continues to shine around Jackson Hole. A lot of anglers are having success on the Snake with a variety of patterns and techniques. As far as dry fly fishing goes, midges, BWO, small black stoneflies, etc are all fooling fish. Look for risers in riffles, seams and slow foam lines and back eddies. Keep an eye out too for large Skwala stoneflies as we should start seeing them soon. Basic nymphs- hare’s ears, copper johns, princes and pheasant tails are always a good bet for subsurface fishing. Streamer fishing is pretty good right now too; various wooly buggers, articulated beasts and sculpine patterns are moving fish. Conditions should continue to be good for the next few weeks, so don’t hesitate to get out there and cast a line!
3/3/15 We’ve made it to March which means already stellar winter fishing will get better and better as days get longer and warmer. Our local cutthroat trout on the Snake have been active feeding on midges lately. As always, simple patterns like the Griffith’s gnat and parachute adams work well. When fish aren’t feeding on top, put some nymphs on and dead drift them. I’ve found some nice fish lying in shallow(6-12″) side channels who happily take zebra midges subsurface. In addition to the dry and nymph fishing, don’t be afraid to work a streamer. Now that things are warming up, fish will become more likely to chase (and eat) an aggressively fished streamer.
1/23/15 Not much new to report. Temperatures keep fluctuating around here, but overal it’s been on the cold side. Looks like a warming trend is coming though. If temps get into the high 30s look for midges on the surface during the warmest part of the day. Otherwise, I’d fish a tandem nymph rig- think zebra midge and small red chironomid, copper john with zebra midge, etc. Larger rising fish will be found in slow water. Still best to fish between 11ish and 3.
1/3/15 Let’s get the new year off to a good start with a proper fishing report. Fly fishing in and around Jackson Hole has been cold but productive. Slow, deep water is going to be your best bet; find a pool or run and you’ll find fish. #18-22 black zebra midges are always a good bet as are red chironomid patterns. Takes are subtle; I prefer tight-line nymphing, but indicators will work too. Temperatures are expected to warm considerably this next week. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some midges on the surface, so keep an eye out for risers. Normally a simple Griffiths gnat will work in these situations, but if not, try a cdc type emerger pattern or a #20-24 parachute adams or black parachute. Here’s to a new year and new fishing adventures!
12/21/14 The Winter Solstice is upon us. Nymphs and streamers are