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….
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….
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….
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2023-04-17 15:34:522023-04-17 15:34:53Good Spring Fly Fishing!
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…
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.
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2023-04-08 14:28:292023-04-08 14:28:29Half vs. Full Day Fly Fishing Trips
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!
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.png00Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2023-04-01 12:58:292023-04-01 12:58:29Spring's off to a fishy start
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…
https://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/154ECF7E-20F0-425B-BDD3-647FDA9B4E36.jpg670900Nathan Bennetthttps://tetonflyfishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/tenton-fish-logo.pngNathan Bennett2022-12-09 09:33:102022-12-09 09:33:12Wrap on the Teton Fly Fishing 2022 season
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!