My oh my, has it been a snowy Winter here in Jackson Hole! February brought us significant moisture and we have the deepest snowpack to date ever!

Jackson Hole Feb 2017

Is there a Van underneath there?

We currently sit at 152% of water content in our snow pack. This is great news for our fisheries since we’ve seen a few dry years in a row as it will replenish our aquifers for this year and next. It will bring some Spring flooding and we will have to wait a bit longer to fish our rivers, but it will be worth it.

The Bureau of Reclamation has already begun raising flows on the South Fork to 6750 cfs to make room for runoff. Flows for the Upper Snake here through Jackson will most likely be raised this coming week to roughly 1000 cfs from 300cfs.

Our fly fishing season has picked up some as of late with warmer air temperatures above freezing and reaching 40 degrees. This has sparked our Spring midge hatch and a few Little Black Stones and our Cutthroat are looking for them. Mostly this is sub-surface activity with #14-18 Red or Black Copper Johns, #16-18 Zebra Midges, and smaller Stonefly imitations, but there are a few trout looking up to eat off the surface mid-afternoon. The streamer bite is slow, but might pick up a few trout if they are just swung through the current and not stripped.

The best news is that we are running guided fly fishing trips! Give us a call at 307-690-1139 or shoot an email to jb@fishthefly.com to get a date with one of our guides.

 

 

It has been an incredibly snowy Winter in Jackson Hole! There was some good fly fishing on both the Upper Snake River and the South Fork this past November after our last fishing report. Warm weather persisted through Thanksgiving and provided for some of the best late season fly fishing that I can remember. Plenty of trout were up on the surface eating BWO’s and Midges and the occasional October Caddis. The streamer bite was really on and brought the best trout to hand all day long.

Fly fishing Jackson Hole November

Brooke Walles enjoys the late season streamer bite on the Upper Snake River

South Fork Snake River November

Katie Kavanagh in the Canyon of the South Fork

As soon as December arrived, the snow started flying and it has just kept coming! In between storms we have had cold temperatures that have preserved our snowpack and we currently sit at 128% of normal for water content. This is a great sign for our trout and the fly fishing for the upcoming Summer!

We are currently booking guided fly fishing trips for the 2017 Spring and Summer Season. Please call us at 307-690-1139 to get out on the river!

 

The fishing season in Yellowstone Park closed with a bang!! The weather since our last fishing report has mostly been wet, which is truly a blessing after one of the driest Summer seasons on record here in Wyoming. A lot of this moisture came slow and steady, which kept the rivers around here fishable before they all blew out in last week of the month. The fly fishing on the Upper Snake River as it dropped was off the chart!

Yellowstone Snake River

Pumpkin brown trout from the Snake River in Yellowstone

I had the pleasure of spending a day with Bob and Adler Mercier chasing browns as the Snake dropped mid-month. Bob was a former hunting guide near Torrington and wanted to show Adler what the great state of Wyoming was all about. We arrived to the perfect storm of conditions for big brown trout- dropping flows, scuzzy weather, and a fresh run of browns up from Jackson Lake. We put several trout in the 20″ class in the net that day and I overheard Adler telling Bob, “Dad, I don’t want to leave Wyoming!”

The skies cleared and it warmed up considerably in to the first week of November. We were reaching daytime highs close to 60 degrees as the Park was closing for the year, which is rare to say the least. I had a free day to run up to Lewis Lake with a couple of buddies and we had a blast. We launched into the fog and perfectly still conditions which I had never experienced there before, what a treat!

Lewis Lake fog Yellowstone

Where does the fog end and Lewis Lake begin?

We rigged up as the fog cleared and sight fished a handful of spooky Lake trout and even a few nice Browns that had not yet begun to spawn. Our best action was at the inlet to the Lake to cruising trout. The Lake trout near Mac Point were not to be found and the outlet bay held more brown trout.

Lewis Lake Yellowstone brown trout

Fish the Fly owner Jason Balogh is all smiles!

Needless to say we can’t wait until opening day of fishing season in Yellowstone Park next year! Mark your calendars for May 27, 2017 and come join us!

 

Yellowstone fly fishing

Gorgeous October brown trout from Yellowstone!

Our thoughts have turned to chasing brown trout in Yellowstone with all this snow we have had recently! We’ve received alot of moisture this month already and above 8000 feet it has been snow. Good news for early snowpack numbers and putting out any remaining fires in the area.

It’s also great news for chasing Brown trout as they make their way to spawn in November. You can find aggressive Browns in the Upper Snake River, Lewis Lake system, or the Madison River system in Yellowstone National Park. The Madison receives a great run of Browns and Rainbows that follow them up from Hebgen Lake. These trout get a good amount of pressure from anglers out of West Yellowstone, but fly fishing to them is still productive and fun especially with streamers or soft hackles. The Firehole River also sees epic Baetis and Midge hatches in October and is rarely crowded this time of year…

We tend to focus our attention on the Upper Snake and Lewis Rivers since they are closer to Jackson Hole, WY. The Browns in the Snake River run up from Jackson Lake and are healthy trout that don’t see much pressure. These fish are trying to find their way back to Lewis Lake where their ancestors originated, but are blocked by a series of waterfalls on the Lewis River. We love to throw JJ’s Specials, Black/Copper Zonkers, Dungeons, or even Stonefly nymphs with PT droppers to these Browns.

Lewis Lake is also a great fishery for both Browns and Lake trout. The Lewis Channel, inlet/outlet and Brookie Bay are great places to find these bruisers. We use our driftboats to access all of these hot spots.

Give us a call to book a Yellowstone guided fishing trip to any of these fisheries!

I’m sitting here reminiscing about the amazing Fall weather we had here in Jackson Hole during September. Today it’s snowing above 8000 feet and chilly. No complaints, we need the moisture in a bad way!

September Grand Teton National Park

Is that where the pot of gold is?

The fishing report form the Snake this weekend was very good! Lots of Mayflies hatching and Cutthroat feeding on the surface. The rain missed the stretches south of Jackson, but pounded up in the Park. We are seeing the start of some mud in the Snake and it will likely continue through tomorrow after the rain we had today. The forecast looks good for the end of the week through the weekend and the Snake will have settled by then. We expect to see prolific hatches and lots of feeding trout!

Fly fishing Jackson Hole September

This Snake River Finespot ate a #12 Para Hare’s Ear

 

Whoa, it’s been a little bit since our last fishing report on the Snake River! Our apologies, it’s been busy around here…

The Snake River fished very well in September, as it typically does. Cooler overnight temperatures brought the aquatic bugs back to life, especially our Mayfly population. Hecuba Drakes, Mahogany Duns, PMD’s, Tricos(earlier in the month), and Blue-winged Olives were all on the menu for our Cutthroat trout. We have been fishing Para Adams #12-18, #12-16 Purple Hazes, #10-12 Para Hare’s Ears, #16-18  Yellow and Pink Film Critic PMD’s, #16-18 CDC Para Spinners. It’s still been warm enough to keep our terrestrial population busy in the afternoons. Honey Ants and Beetles have been effective in the riffles along with the flies listed above.

The Bureau of Reclamation began their flow drop on the Snake River this past Wednesday September 28th and the river will settle at it’s winter flow of 281 cfs on Tuesday October 4th. This flow drop affects the braided sections of the Snake in GTNP the most as our Cutthroat move out of the side channels and reposition themselves in the deeper holes of the main flow.

From South Park downstream sees little effects of this flow drop and fishes well. Our guided fly fishing trips on these stretches have been productive the past few days as the final Mutant Stones hatch for the season. This has brought back the big bug action on foam attractors. Berrett’s Stone in red, Purple Chubbies, or your favorite home tie. I enjoy spinning a few flies that the trout have not been looking at all season and watch them crush it!

We will be running guided fly fishing trips on the Snake River into November and are running a full day special until the end of the season! Feel free to call us at 307-690-1139 to book yours today.

Tetons in September

Beautiful September weather!

 

Fly fishing Jackson Hole September

September fly fishing in Jackson Hole

 

Flat Creek winds its way through the National Elk Refuge just north of the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Flat Creek is an excellent fishery and will challenge you to take your trout stalking game to the next level.  Flat Creek is home to some of the largest Snake River Cutthroat Trout in the Jackson Valley.

These Cutthroat are very spooky and are always on the lookout for anglers. There is very little above water cover in the way of trees or shrubs to hide these trout in this slow moving water. Undercut banks in the bends of the oxbows are where you will find these elusive fish.When fly fishing Flat Creek, it is important to take a step back and really think about how you are going to fish a specific section, and also what your are going to put on the end of your line.

Grey Drakes (size 12-14), PMD’s (size 14-16), Mahogany Duns (size 16) all make for a tasty treat for the trout of Flat Creek. Try your favorite cripple pattern of these mayflies, although it seems that I often come back to a Rusty Spinner.  We are almost at the end of the terrestrial season here in Jackson Hole, but ants or beetles are still on the menu on warm sunny afternoons.

Fish The Fly Guide Service, National Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Snake River Cutthroat Trout

A beautiful Cutthroat Trout caught along the banks of Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge!

Get out and fish Flat Creek because in about a month and a half thousands of elk will be making their winter homes along the river’s bend.  Even though Flat Creek is close to town it is still a fulfilling natural experience to get out there and stroll through its tall grass. The slow moving water is crystal clear and full of fish. During sundown the National Elk Refuge offers a great view of the sun setting on the Sleeping Indian!

Our guides have been fly fishing Flat Creek in the afternoons after their guided trips, and have all the details of where the fish are and what they are eating!

Fish The Fly Guide Service, National Elk Refuge, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Snake River Cutthroat Trout

Releasing a Snake River Cutthroat Trout back into Flat Creek!

Fall has hit the Jackson Hole backcountry early this year, so get out there because it will only be fishing well for the next 3-4 weeks!  The backcountry is a great place to get away for the day and enjoy catching Cutthroat Trout at the base of some of Jackson Hole’s most beautiful mountains.  Do not be surprised if you do not see another angler all day when fly fishing the backcountry.  The water level is low but the fish are still eating and holding in the pools they can find.

The leaves have started to change color and the temperatures have started to drop signaling the start of the Mahogany Dun hatch. Bring along some Mahogany Cripples (size 14-16), but a Purple Haze might be the only fly you need. Fall BWO’s have started to show on our backcountry creeks and this hatch will get more prolific as water temperatures continue to drop.

Broken riffle water hides most of these trout in the lower flows of Fall. It is a good idea to cast in a riffle above a pool and let the fly float over the drop off in hopes of moving a nice Snake River Cutthroat Trout. Don’t overlook slower bank water though, as some large Cutties have been found sipping bugs and conserving their energy.

Terrestrials are also still producing at a high level; ant patterns, beetles, and hoppers make for a great afternoon of fly fishing in Wyoming’s backcountry.  Mike’s Honey ant (size 12-16) or a Sparkle Ant are always good options as well as a cinnamon flying ant (size 12-16).  Even when it’s windy out these flies should still catch fish.  Cast them close to the bank to imitate an ant or beetle getting blown off a blade of grass.

The backcountry season will soon be over so get out there and fish!  Call us today at (307) 690-1139 or check out our WY backcountry page to book a trip!

Fish The Fly Guide Service, Wyoming Backcountry, Fly Fishing, Snake River Cutthroat Trout

Fish The Fly guide Nat Murphy and Anne Olson with a tight line in Wyoming’s backcountry!

Fall is approaching us quickly here in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming!  Don’t be intimidated by the cool weather, as fall brings some of the best fly fishing Jackson has to offer!  The flows have been stable on the Snake River flowing at 3620 cfs at Moose, Wyoming.

Early Autumn is a great time to get on the Snake! Cool mornings make for nice scenery and a better chance of seeing wildlife, and as the temperatures rise more and more bugs can be seen flying around and landing on the water!  Hecubas are starting to come out in force, especially on days with some cloud cover.  Mahogany Duns are also popping with the drop in water temperatures, while PMDs and Tricos can still be seen.

Target riffles, bank structure, and seam lines where two currents come together.  Another great aspect of the Snake is all the side channels, so get out of the boat and get your feet wet!  Side channels of the Snake offer great structure fishing with small drys and can be the most rewarding adventure of the day.

Call us today at (307) 690-1139 or check out our Snake River page to book a trip!

Fish The Fly Guide Service, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Dry Fly, Fly Fishing

A Hecuba Drake makes a nice meal for a Snake River Cutthroat

Fish The Fly Guide Service, Snake River, Cutthroat Trout, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Fly Fishing

Mary Ann Ragan with a beautiful Snake River Cutthroat!

The streamer bite is only going to get better and better as the mornings get cooler and cooler, cloud coverage with some precipitation is also a great time to throw on a streamer.  The Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat love the olive and white combo, maybe throw a cone head or a pair of eyes on there and you have a tasty meal for a big cutthroat.  Remember when fishing streamers you set the hook with a strip set rather than lifting your rod right away.  Give the fish a nice strip once you feel that bump on your line, then lift your rod once your line is tight.  Floating line with a nine foot leader is a good setup for streamer fly fishing on the Snake River.

The Jackson Hole Valley has seen some cooler weather over the last couple days with the occasional rain shower.  This is great for fly fishing, it resets the Snake River!  This weather gives the fish a chance to rest, but it also creates great moist habitat for bugs!  At Moose, Wyoming the Snake River is 64 degrees fahrenheit while flowing at 3810 CFS, in the canyon stretch above Alpine, Wyoming the Snake is flowing at 3640 CFS.

With this new weather coming in, our Fall hatches have begun. Hecuba Drakes, Mahogany and Blue Duns, and even a few Blue Winged Olives. Add Tricos and terrestrials and you’ve got quite the menu to choose from! The Snake River Cutthroats are still eating Claassenia Stoneflies, especially in the mornings and later in the afternoons.

I like to fish a smaller male Claassenia stonefly attractor such as Circus Peanut (size10-12) in the mornings and twitch them along the surface. Remember that these male bugs don’t have fully formed wings and tend to skitter along the surface(before they get eaten!). In the afternoons, I prefer a Purple Bruce or September Stone (size 8) that lands with a splat! The splat imitates a female returning to the water to lay her eggs and will attract more trout.

The Snake is a great place to nymph, and our best trout are being caught sub-surface.  Blonde Rubber legs, Drake nymphs, Caddis nymphs, Pheasant Tails (size16-18), Copper Johns (size16-18, red or copper) all have been working this week!  When nymphing try to achieve the longest drift possible, this entails mending maybe as many as a dozen times in one drift! Keeping your nymphs at holding depth will raise your odds of catching more Cutthroat trout. Four to six feet is typically deep enough for the Snake River, and can even be shallower depending on water type.

Our guides have been fishing the Snake River all season, and are excited about the new hatches coming into play. Fall fishing is going to be fantastic this year! Feel free to call us at 307-690-1139 or check out our Snake River page online.

 

Fish The Fly Guide Service, Snake River, Cutthroat Trout, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Fly Fishing

The old cooler measuring trick with a nice Snake River Cutthroat!