Friday, April 25, 2014

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report- April 23, 2014- Rivers on the Rise!

A Skwala stonefly adult tries to escape from the camera… a great treat just before runoff!
Thus far into April I can say I am happy with the results so far and hopeful of continuously shrinking the big snowpack in the hills steadily rather than seeing the pack grow, which can often be the case in Western Wyoming. Just this past weekend I got out for another fine float down the Snake before the runoff starts in earnest and by Monday the flows were turning off color and on the rise. That day we brought several really nice trout to hand on both streamers and skwala dries but the heavy dark streamers worked the best overall.
Once again a front has passed through and we are seeing the river drop some and clarity in Wilson was fairly decent this afternoon. Truthfully I wonder if clarity plays a role anymore, I have seen lights out fishing in very marginal water but psychologically you feel good about having a couple feet of vis. Until the Snake pushes above 2k and gets brown I would venture to fishing it, its good! This time of year you net the fat, robust trout that have over wintered well. In fact some of these fish may not be caught again until the fall- once they key in on high protein minnow prey in the deeper lies they may not look up all summer.
Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat
This year in the GTFF Fly Shop we are gearing up much earlier than in the past and are stocking some pretty sweet products from 3Tand Reels, Free Fly, Mystic Fly Rods & a nice assortment of hand tied "Guide Flies". I have obviously been in and around the fly shop industry from my early days with the Jack Dennis Outdoor Shop but for well over a decade have made my office in a drift boat. This Spring I must say its nice to really dig in and see a small but sweet shop come to life. Our aim is to offer unique products that are up and coming and not well represented… yet! We feel a smaller shop gives you the straight answer quickly and gets you on the water sooner, basically are we going to fish or talk about it?
I encourage anyone to stop by our shop, say hello and check out some new products to JH!

GTFF's 3rd Season in the Dave Hansen's Whitewater building…
225 W. Broadway-- across from Bin22.

Freefly apparel is a must have, on or off the river!

Thanks for reading and pleases share and look us up later this summer…
Stay tuned, its going to be a good one!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jackson Hole Spring Fly Fishing Report- April 8, 2014

Before I get into a Fly Fishing report I have to say WOW, what a winter season! The winter started off fairly benign with cold, dry spells that made us skiers twitch, only then to tease us with a storm or two. But then February rolled into action and things changed almost over night. From February through March we received over 250" of moisture goodness and now us fisherman will have to pay-- its tough but a good thing to have plenty of water in the mountains but this year it is a deep base! For now our rivers are running clear and the fishing is HOT! Most areas are seeing very good streamer action and some decent dry fly fishing later in the afternoon, mostly midges but a few BWO's and some tiny black stoneflies. In the next couple weeks we should begin to see skwalla nymphs and adults on the prowl, this hatch often coincides with early runoff-- stained but fishable water.
Guide, Dave Smith somewhere on JHMR, scenes like this were common in the 2013-14 ski season that just wrapped up last weekend.
Skis are all waxed and put away… now we organize flies, clean lines, test rods, gear up boats, purchase permits and yes, of course, go fishing! Some guiding is happening but for the most part this early season bite is for the locals to enjoy and boy is it a good one. Today temps were the warmest of the year topping out around 60 and the next few days look similar so the boat hatch will be in full swing by the weekend.
A true Bugger barn ready for the boat!
Flows on the Snake are still very low, currently around 600cfs @ Moose but you can begin to see a wavy pattern developing in the hydro-graph as afternoon temps climb. This signals a saturation in the low elevation snowpack and once it goes it will take a strong cold front to seize that moisture in the pack from flowing. Inevitably, the river is going to blow out sooner than later(predicting April 24) so now I play the guessing game and study weather patterns, much like a skier freak staring at the radar, waiting on a storm. Your guess is as good as mine but then the next question is when will the rivers clear(predicting July 24)? Currently we are holding a 144% of normal pack, therefore at a minimum I would expect the Snake to clear no earlier than mid-July. This will only happen if we have a nice warm May-June and not too wet, fingers are crossed!
Sculpzilla crushing cutthroats, these are awesome fish!
 The Green River drainage has an even larger snow pack, nearing 170% of normal. This area however drains cleaner sooner and can fish quite well in high water, much like the Big Hole or Beaverhead. I still do not expect to float post runoff here until mid-July, but then the fishing will be insane with hatches and a waining, late runoff… the best will be late summer into the fall. High water years are great, you just have to get your mind around what is about to happen now and get over it. Remember we do guide some awesome lakes as well as the Firehole River in YNP if you find yourself in JH in June, look us up!