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.
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!
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2022-04-25 14:09:492022-04-25 14:09:50April fishing on the Snake River
I returned recently from spending 4 days fly fishing in Belize. Permit were the target of our trip and they lived up to their reputation; moody, elusive and frustrating. I had fished for Permit before in the years that Jamie and I frequented Xcalak, MX and even caught one, but this was the first time I ever went fishing exclusively for Permit. We stayed at the Blue Horizon Lodge, a fantastic, small fly fishing lodge located on an island off the southern coast of Belize. Each day we set out fishing the many, many Permit flats in the area. For whatever reason, fish didn’t cooperate. Despite being known as the “Permit Highway”, fish were hard to come by. Each day out, the six of us saw a few Permit, both from the bow of the boat and also while wading on foot. Most of these fish were moving quickly though and not keen on giving us many opportunities. Fortunately in addition to searching for Permit, there were other game fish to cast to; various Jacks, bonefish, triggerfish, snapper, bonita, etc. These other fish helped put the occasional bend in the rod while searching for the main target. Guides seemed frustrated by the lack of fish and we did our best to put out good casts when shots presented themselves.
While I had 2 or 3 solid chances, getting a few casts at feeding Permit (who ignored my flies) the Gods smiled on me the last day on the water when Ivan and I made a long run north to some turtlegrass flats along the reef. After motoring for over an hour, we reached our destination. Within ten minutes of wading shallow coral we spotted a big Permit feeding in the shallows. I made a few casts at it with an olive Bauer crab and the fish aggressively turned on my fly and ate it. I strip set and watched as my line went tight and the fish bolted for the reef. A few seconds later my line went slack and the biggest Permit of my life was gone, it’s big black fins disappearing into a cut in the reef and out into open ocean. He had broken me off in the shallow, rocky coral. Heartbreaking! Since it was early in the day, I tried to shake it off and tell myself we’d find another one. Unfortunately that’s all she wrote and I consoled myself with rum and hand-rolled cigarettes that night at the lodge.
While we didn’t catch any Permit, we had a great time in Belize. Permit fishing is notoriously difficult, frustrating, etc. and we all agreed we would happily do it again. I can’t say enough about the quality of the guides we fished with, the staff that put up with us and beauty of Belize. Time to start saving my pennies for a future trip!
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2021-12-24 07:10:292021-12-24 07:10:30Back from Belize
Since it’s the first of December, I thought it necessary to do an end of season wrap up and talk about the fly fishing opportunities for the winter season. This past fishing season was a busy one. It was great to fish with new folks as well as returning clients. Water levels in the valley proved challenging at times. Most of our tributaries were low all season while the Snake flowed above average all season to satisfy irrigation demands in Idaho. Despite all this, the fishing remained pretty good and we had a great time.
I recently put the drift boat away for the season and am now doing afternoon wade fishing trips. With temperatures dropping and daylight fading, it’s best to focus on the warmest part of the day for fishing success. Dennis and Son, Ace joined me recently for some wade fishing and we found some willing fish to help celebrate Thanksgiving.
With the season slowing, Jamie and I made an escape to Florida where we spent a week with good friends. While it wasn’t a proper fishing trip, I was able to spend some time targeting Snook along the beaches. These fish proved difficult but there were some hook-ups and I finally managed to get one to hand! Next week I’m off to Belize for 5 days of fishing. I’ll be sure to post a report when I return.
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2021-12-01 12:32:172021-12-01 12:32:18End of season and the beginning of winter
Had the pleasure of taking some new folks fly fishing this past week. The winter fishing here in Jackson Hole has been pretty good. As some of you know, the Snake is the go-to place for casting a fly in the winter. Days can vary from tough to great. Because of snow depth, access can be difficult. Fortunately several bridges over the Snake allows wade fishing anglers the ability to find productive water. My client today, Leslie, caught a lot of fish and was blown away by the number of heads poking through the surface gorging on midges. Definitely a fun time and since temperatures are warming and days getting longer, the fishing will just get better!
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2021-03-01 21:41:052021-03-01 21:41:33Some good days on the water!
I’ve been tying a lot flies recently. Any day not substitute teaching has been spent at the fly tying desk cranking out various patterns. I like to tie in the mornings with a fresh cup of coffee and podcast on the radio. As many know, I supply my clients with my own hand tied flies during the course of the season. I try to do most of my tying this time of year rather than during the busy fishing season. Naturally though some early mornings or late evenings, pre and post trips, require me to bang out patterns that are working well and I’m running low on. Over the years of guiding I’ve paid attention to patterns I use a lot, focusing on them rather than everything under the sun. Sure, I like to experiment too; creating my own patterns and tweaking existing flies to suit my needs better. I want flies that are durable and are quick to tie. And since most of the water I fish out here around Jackson Hole is fast flowing, freestone streams and rivers, the flies need to float well and be easy for clients to see!
Fly fisherman are inundated with tons of new patterns every year. I think most of them are made to “catch” fisherman’s attention more than fish. Sure every few years there are some innovative things to come off the vise, but more often then not “new” patterns are just slightly tweaked old ones. When clients ask me about fly patterns to have on hand, I often recommend many of the classic patterns. While they might not be as sexy as new ones with flash and bubble eyes, they work and there is a reason they’re classics. Examples include: Parachute Adams, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulffs, Double Humpies, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Prince Nymphs and Wooly buggers to name a few. I’m fairly confident that these patterns in various sizes will work 90% of the time.
Of Course there are newer pattens that are fantastic, both because they catch fish and because they bring something new to the table. Kelly Gallop’s articulated streamers come to mind as do any number of Chubby Chernobyl variations and hopper patterns.
At the end of the day flies are part of what makes fly fishing fun. Whether you’re creating at your vise or stocking you boxes, it’s fun to try and think what fly will outsmart a fish.
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.
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.
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.
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/STC_0019.jpg14402560Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2021-01-19 11:55:582021-01-19 11:56:00Visitor at the Fishing Cabin
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.
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2020-06-26 06:37:452020-06-26 06:37:47Back in the Saddle
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.
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2020-05-28 12:54:592020-05-28 12:55:01Fly Fishing again around here!