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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.

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.

Half vs. Full Day Fly Fishing Trips

Recently I’ve had a number of email inquiries about half day fishing trips. I thought I’d take a minute to discuss half vs. full day fly fishing trips to help potential guests understand the differences. In a quick nutshell, I recommend full day trips when possible and do not do half day float trips. More thoughts below to help you decide…

Angler hooked up in the bow of my boat. Full day float trips allow us to stop and fish, targeting much more water along the way

Here in Jackson Hole over the years, half day fishing trips have become quite popular; a great way for folks to get a taste of fly fishing while on vacation. While I understand why these are appealing, I prefer to take guests out for full day fly fishing trips. Sure it’s easier for guides to fly down the river, hit a spot or two and be back in time for lunch, allowing guests to check fly fishing off their activities list and tell folks they went fly fishing. Full day fly fishing trips allow me to work with guests though, helping them learn, improve their fly fishing skills and hook more fish. I’ve realized over the years that in most cases, this is hard to do in a half day. Possible, yes. Enjoyable, maybe? When I’m committing my day to a fishing trip, I’d like to go fishing with clients and not be encumbered by the clock, rushing through the motions without giving respect to the quality of the experience. Plus, quite a few of the places I and my guests like to fish require some windshield time, making a half day unrealistic. The few half day trips I do are wade fishing trips and are best during the following: May/ early June- folks looking to get out this time of year and learn about fly fishing while potentially hooking a fish or two enjoy wade fishing smaller water. Because our bigger rivers are muddy with snow melt, a half day on smaller water is a good option. Late October/ November- with days getting shorter and temperatures dropping, sometimes it makes sense to fish a shorter amount of time to target prime hours of fish activity. Winter- temperatures are cold and the best fishing occurs only during the warmest part of the day, making 3-4 hours perfect for targeting fish.

I totally understand the demand and rational for half day fishing trips. But I think that if you’re interested in fly fishing around here you’re going to get much more out of a full day fishing trip.

Half day wade fishing trips are certainly productive and perfect for certain times of the year. Here Randy got into some rising cutthroat trout on a cool late October afternoon.
Full day float fishing trips allow anglers time to share stories during a streamside lunch. These guys also got out of the boat and wade fished the productive water we were anchored beside
Full day trips also allow for exploration and off the beaten path waters.

Spring’s off to a fishy start

Releasing a dry fly eater… great way to end March on the Snake River

Despite winter never ending, spring fishing has begun here in Jackson Hole. Temperatures are cracking freezing during the day and midges are hatching. It’s great to see fish of all sizes gorging on these small bugs. Additionally, small black stoneflies are making an appearance and as April gets going and the weather improves, we should start seeing larger Skwala stoneflies emerging. All this means it’s a great time to get out on the water! Looking forward to dusting off the drift boat in next week and getting in some stellar float fishing.

Ben and his father in law, Todd joined me for an afternoon on the Snake. We had a great time fishing dry flies and nymphs to hungry fish!

Ben with a beautiful Snake river finespotted cutthroat trout
Todd was the whitefish king!- nymphs, dries, it didn’t matter. He was into them!

Wrap on the Teton Fly Fishing 2022 season

Another great fly fishing season here at Teton Fly Fishing has come to a close.

What a year it was. Waters I fish treated us well and provided excitement to visiting anglers. The boat has been put away for a few months and I’m beginning to tie flies for next season. Despite the winter, I expect to do quite a few walk in winter wade fishing trips with folks looking to experience winter fly fishing in the valley. If you’re coming out and want to sneak some fishing in, give me a shout and if the weather isn’t too cold, I’m happy to take you out. Also happy to host guests in the winter at the fishing cabin in Dubois. Winter can be a fun time to fish the Wind River.

Since I was a slacker this season and didn’t post much (when the fish are biting, my attention to this blog wanes) I though I’d share a few pictures from the season…

Not much finer than a wild Yellowstone Cutthroat trout caught in its’ home water. I love fishing folks in Yellowstone Park, particularly when the Green Drakes and Salmonflies are hatching!
Upper Snake Birthday fun. Good friends Rich and Duncan joined me on my birthday for a rare day off. Couldn’t have asked for a better day
Derek, a longtime regular, caught this beast of a rainbow while fishing the Green with me.
Hooked up on the Salt River! I love fishing this intimate little river an hour south of Jackson. While the fish aren’t big, the hatches and slow currents make for a fun, challenging day.
Who says lake fly fishing isn’t fun? We had some great days twitching hoppers for aggressive browns and rainbows!
Father Son Double on the Snake River
Catherine with a nice Cutthroat trout on the Snake. Always fun fishing her and her dad, Bill each September.
Me and some of my favorites! Craig, Bob and Mark have been fishing with me for years. What a crew!
Western Fly fishing at its finest; Randy experience a great late fall day on Flat Creek with me.

April fishing on the Snake River

I love April here in Jackson Hole. The fly fishing can be some of the best of the year for those willing to put up with weather conditions that range from sunny and warm to blizzards. I’ve been out on the Snake over the past week doing a few guided trips and fun days and man has the fishing been good! Fish are eating midges, small black stoneflies and the large Skwala stones, etc. Yesterday we fished size 8 chubby chernobyl’s all day long. Big, chunky Snake River Cutthroat trout came to the net from start to finish.

Had the pleasure of fishing newly weds Dana and Connor on the Snake last week. They didn’t mind the cold temps, especially when they had fish on their lines

Connor shows off his first ever cutthroat trout.

Friend Rich casts to risers at Astoria. Rich and I waded down from the bridge for a few hours hooking numerous trout of midges and stoneflies. Then we met Jamie across the river for a soak in the hot springs. Now that’s how you spend a Saturday!!
When the wife wants to fish, you fish. So great to float the Snake with Jamie and our good friend Rich. Here’s Jamie showing off one of many…

Looking forward to guiding the next two weeks to try and capitalize on the great pre runoff fishing. This time of year is tough to predict how long the window will be but I think things will be good well into next week at least. Looks like the Dam gods are about to up the flows out of Jackson Lake Dam. Hopefully this means that water levels will be consistent throughout the summer. See you on the water!

One of the many “doubles” these two put together.
And I even managed to throw a few casts.