Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report- July 9, 2015

Our summer season has come into full swing over the past month and with that a busy time for local guides and anglers chasing down their experience of a lifetime. To recap May was a very wet month, then June was more seasonal until the last week when a heat wave moved into the region and afternoon temps loomed around 95degrees, rare in Jackson Hole. This accelerated some favorite hatches in both Idaho and Wyoming, often slowing the action late in the day due to warm water. Just this past week the weather broke and nice afternoon rain showers have cooled the region considerably, yet the best hatches have waned on the Green and Snake for the moment. The South Fork is hot with PMD's and sulfurs and a few sallies and golden stones.
Our guides are reporting excellent action on the Snake here in Jackson Hole and the Green is still flowing nicely and river traffic has been low due to some other regional rivers turning on earlier than normal. Locally we are fishing large attractors and a few droppers. Lastly, the hoppers have hatched early due to the heat late last month and it looks to be good very soon!
Have a great season and pay attention to water temps!
June cutthroats on Yellowstone Lake were exciting!
Bob Smith with a fine YNP native.
Earlier in June as the rivers were beginning to heat up and before the crowds.
Thanks to Blair(above) and Martin Murphy for experiencing our region, love to see big smiles!

Rio Verde's typical brownie, a stunning trout.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report- June 17, 2015

The wet and cool weather the past 6 weeks in Western Wyoming has transitioned to a more seasonable warming trend. All the reservoirs in the region are at or just below full capacity and most rivers are still running high. The great news is that some rivers and tribs are starting the long drop and within a week or two much of the region will be bursting with fishing opportunities. 
For now the fly fishing report is more of the same but daily conditions are improving. Lakes are a big part of the best June options, several nice hatches of callibaetis, damsels, brown drakes and flying ants keep the trout looking toward the surface on all the lakes, especially Lewis and Yellowstone. The Upper Snake river below Jackson Lake has dropped to a nice flow around 2900cfs, here we are seeing some caddis, sallies and small ants. The trout are nymphing in the faster lies but looking up in the slow runs.
Nice early June rainbow from the South Fork.
In Idaho, the South Fork saw a rapid rise to 16000cfs last week after search and rescue efforts ended, primarily due to the reservoir filling upstream. The word is that the fishing is holding up but it very well could slow the big bug hatch a week or more. Once the salmon flies move through the summer is in full swing and it can be tough to beat the South Fork in early July. Bring your patience, the crowds are as big as the hatches.

This brown did not get away!
Meanwhile, in lonely Sublette County the flows are high but beginning to drop. The area is marginally fishable with streamers and worms making up the normal high water fare. Also a few salmon flies and golden stones moving on the warmer days, you never know until you go!
Hot weather bring hot fly fishing to the lakes in the Tetons.
2015 Kids Fly Fishing day camp, the grass is growing quick here in JH!

An excellent and happy student.

Love June for the time spent on the area lakes, breathtaking!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report- June 2, 2015

Wow, what a wet May we just wrapped up! The weather is somewhat improved but still a bit unsettled, this is overall good for our water needs and bodes well for an outstanding mid-late summer season. Our runoff is going strong in the Jackson Hole valley and with Jackson Lake at 100% the flows from the dam are 4500cfs for a few weeks I imagine. Lakes are the best target for early June in JH but the best fishing in the region is out of the valley on the Idaho side. 
Here the South Fork and Henry's Fork are in fine condition with healthy crowds daily. The SF is not at all in its prime season, that too happens in a few weeks but the river is running fairly low for early June(10,000cfs), we expect it to rise back to 13,000 soon after an unfortunate recovery is over--missing 38 yr old angler from Ogden, UT... remember these rivers are very dangerous, use extra caution always!
The SF is mostly a wet fly show but the Henry's Fork has some great hatches going on now, golden stones, drakes and PMD's. Check in with our friends at Worldcast or TroutHunter for the latest reports.

Jackson Lake love!

May fish tacos and smoked trout dip, the best!

Sublette County before the runoff hits






Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report: May 19, 2015

The report for the past week and the next week is RAIN! Wow, what a much needed wet Spring we are having, who would have thought after such a warm and fairly dry winter. In any case, we are still fishing and some drainages are reporting great action! Here in Jackson Hole the best conditions are found on Jackson and the other lakes along the Tetons. The upper Snake River below Jackson Lake Dam is fishing well with streamers and nymphs but if you are not familiar with this water it can be daunting, much like fishing a lake. Until we see the bugs wake up the trout are quite happy patrolling the deeper runs. Anticipating higher flows on that upper reach in the next week or so as the lake fills.
Jackson Lake has been outstanding! The brown trout fishery there is really coming around, some days you catch more browns than macs and cutthroats combined. In my eyes it is still the best lake trout fishery in the region. Work ledges, points and large flats with moderate depth(8'-15'), our best flies have been minnow jig streamers and large marabou leeches on type IV sinking lines.
Gorgeous cutthroat from the Upper Snake River (early May).

My daughter, Sydney with an after school, neighborhood cutthroat.
Outside our valley the fishing has been very good on the Henry's Fork and decent on the South Fork. The HF is in the middle of salmon fly mania, lots of bugs and anglers but the trout are holding up, brave the crowds and you might have the best day of the year! The SF is in flush mode but past peak and is beginning to drop, currently 15,000cfs. Here try worms and streamers up on flooded grass and quite backwaters... water is cold so slow your retrieve a bit.
Lastly, the Blackfoot Carp Tournament was held last weekend. This year the event is in a transition moving to different organizers and paired with terrible weather the turnout was low but the die hards that showed had a great time camping, fishing and catching up with old guide friends. The following is a quick photo re-cap.
Tight Lines before Summer hits!

Hunting down the carp is always fun, Day1.

Decent weather in the mornings but the fish held offshore and were hard to find in numbers.

First carp to hand but just a baby at 10 lbs.

I love these fish more each year, quite interesting and not always easy to catch on a fly.

Blackfoot callibaetis.

Is it a carp?

No, but a dandy rainbow, awesome by-catch!

Driving from spot to spot these rod holders are sweet to have.

Waiting for the storm and wind to pass, beer thirty!



Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report- May 6, 2015

Runoff mode on most area rivers, except tailwater sections, is the main theme this time each year. With that said, if you know what to look for and apply proper streamer techniques for turbid water, you can still catch some trout, often some large brown trout. Some heavy hatches of caddis are the norm in Eastern Idaho along the Henry's Fork, other than that we are still a few weeks away from any major bug happenings in Western Wyoming. Streamers paired with sinking lines are the best along the Green drainage and upper Snake in Teton Park. Perhaps the best action can be found on Jackson Lake locally as ice came off a week ago. Fish are patrolling the shallows(3-8') for now. I like white zonkers and large black buggers again on a sinking line or jig head, work these along drop offs and points. 
Stay tuned, things are about to get good!
Bill is on a 20" roll, 2 for 2... this cutty had a unique snout that I have seen before but not sure of its cause.

1st float from Pacific Creek to Moose, ever! Deadmans still closed so we went for the 17miler, it paid off!

New visitor, Ben Hayes was so stoked he was ready to book next year's dates.

Damn good streamer bite this spring!

Graduate student, Julia did quite well from the back of the boat with a fast sinking line and a basic bugger.

Jim doing what he does best.

GTFF guide, Dave Smith showing off a nice early season brownie.

Colorado Cutthroat from the Green River drainage.



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report- April 15, 2015


Our spring fly fishing is in full swing with an abundance of nice weather and very good angling to be enjoyed. March was the warmest I had experienced since moving to Jackson Hole in 1998, a trend that is alarming on many levels but especially for an avid skier and fisherman. The upside to an early, warm spring is the chance to get out on the river sooner and enjoy a longer season, a season that can often be cut short by harsh spring or fall weather, it is the Rockies after all. Let's hope these trends are  part of the normal cycle(wishful thinking) and we will see a healthy winter again in the next season or so.
For now the fishing could not be better locally on the Snake River. Flows are ideal and the hatches have been solid for nearly a month. Midges are a spring staple and over the past week skwalla stones have taken all the attention; nice to look for a size 12 instead of a size 22 for a change. Streamers are always a good ticket in the spring months(really any month) but working the fly slower has been best.

Finespot from the upper section in GTNP.
Flows on the Snake are slightly above normal but running nice and clear and warming slowly through most afternoons, this perks the trout up a little before noon and peak activity is generally noon to 4pm. 
Snowpack in the Tetons is holding on as one of the best in the west, currently 84% of normal. Just today we received a nice spring storm that dropped several inches in the area and overnight temps will fall into the upper teens. This scenario will buy us at least another 5-6 days of clear running flows on the Snake. The snow pack is ripe above 8000' and two nights above freezing and our runoff should start, however the 10 day forecast looks to be average during the day and somewhat cool at night... we could get two more weeks of great fishing!

Average size looks to be good coming into the season, cookie cutter 16.5" means good numbers of 17-18" by August.

Love freckled face finespots!


The first large invertebrate of the season, Skwalla stones.

View back towards the north from south of Wilson, JHMR hangs on the far right of the image.
Have a great start to your fishing season and be sure to take extra care when handling any trout, thanks for viewing!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report - March 16, 2015

Happy to say our Spring fly fishing is here! By the calendar Spring's official start is still a week away yet weather in Jackson Hole has been springlike for over a month now. As the East coast got hammered by hefty winter storms the West has gone dry and warm, with exception being a few good storms hitting the southern Rockies(good, they could use it). Fly fishing on the Snake River has really picked up in the past few weeks as many afternoons get above 50 degrees, a temperature not so good for skiing unless you like slushy corn.
Local snowpack is hanging strong at 94% of average water content while on the Upper Green it is 106% and on the Wind River 90%. These are good numbers considering how dry it has been since the start of February. Keep your fingers crossed we either get another shot of snow or the summer is not as hot as some are predicting. 
Late winter float on the Snake River, leave the crowds behind!
Our spring cutthroats gorge on midges everyday from 11am-4pm.

A rare float below Deadmans Bar before runoff(2003)

GTFF guide, Ed Dutilly with a stunning Spring rainbow.
The Snake River this time of year is very predictable with midges starting daily in March from 11am to 4pm. Look closely in riffles for noses and fish small(#18-20) black gnats or any visible midge cluster. Surprisingly the fish can be quite picky so down size your tippet some to 5X and lay the flies down as soft as possible. Tiny droppers below the cluster can be deadly for the big cute not coming up. The trout will hang on the rocky tailouts and soft riffles primarily but also look in back water eddies.
It is fun time of the season to practice up your small fly skills, Enjoy!