Grand Teton and Yellowstone Announce Phased Re-opening Plan 5.13.20

Soon we will be able to go fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park!

In a joint teleconference, Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail announced plans for a phased re-opening of both Parks to begin at 12pm Monday May 18th. This limited opening allows Yellowstone and Grand Teton staff the ability to refine Covid mitigation practices. Governor Mark Gordon of Wyoming requested the earliest possible opening date for the Wyoming entrances to the Park after lifting a mandatory 14 day quarantine for out of state visitors on May 8th.

Even though approximately 90% of Yellowstone Park lies with in the Wyoming state borders, 75% of the Park’s visitors enter via the Montana entrance stations (West Yellowstone, Gardiner). It is not anticipated that the Montana and Idaho entrances will remain closed for very much longer past May 18th, but it depends on state Health Ordinances of each individual state.

Yellowstone National Park  has  a “good supply” of Personal Protective Equipment (face masks, gloves) for staff.  Teton and Park Counties in Wyoming will receive additional funding for PPE from the state of Wyoming with federal support. Public has to be responsible – NP officials ask sick visitors to stay home. Visitors must their have own facial coverings. Fees will be collected at gates. Masks will be required in public facilities, the number of  visitors will be metered inside of buildings, and additional  cleaning measures for restrooms will be implemented.

Some of the conditions of each Phase are included below. For the official Covid-19 Reopening Plan click here. For a map of Yellowstone National Park click here.

Yellowstone Fishing season will open as originally planned on Saturday May 23rd, but guided fishing trips in Yellowstone National Park will not be allowed until Phase 2 of the plan begins.

Yellowstone National Park 

Phase 1– Monday May 18th 12pm open South Entrance & East Entrance (Wyoming entrances) – visitation limited to Lower Loop only. Day use only

25% of staff hired (~1000 employees), social distancing at housing facilities was the biggest determining factor

Restrooms, trails & boardwalks, gas stations, and 2 of 3 Medical clinics will be open

No overnight accommodations, No commercial tour buses

Phase 2(last well into June) – Limited Visitor Centers and campgrounds will be opened along with Visitor Cabins and a few stores. Backcountry permits will be sold. Takeout food service will be offered.

Additional tours including Boating and Fishing will be allowed in Phase 2 (late May/early June)

Phase 3– full commercial lodging and restaurants. States and CDC have to lift restrictions on large gatherings & public health officials have to give the shared housing the green light

 

Grand Teton National Park 

Beginning Monday, May 18, Grand Teton National Park will have recreational access with limited services available to the public. As in Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP asks visitors to assume personal health responsibility.
Phase 1
  • Primary road access (Teton Park Road, Moose-Wilson Road and North Park Road)
  • Public restrooms in some areas
  • Day-use hiking on seasonally-accessible trails
  • Riverbank and lakeshore fishing
  • Multi-use pathway system (where free from snow)
  • Several viewpoints continue to be accessible along US Highway 89/26/191
With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed or services are unavailable at this time-
  • Park visitor centers
  • Overnight lodging
  • Food service
  • Boating/floating on river and lakes
  • Marinas
  • Backcountry permits
  • Special-use permits
  • Campgrounds
  • No tour buses
It is anticipated that expanded recreational access and visitor services will be available as the park continues with a phased opening approach, conditions permitting.

Phase 2– Visitor cabins, river and lake access, secondary road access, lodging, backcountry

Phase 3– Summer modified services- increased commercial tourism. Jackson and Jenny Lake Lodges to remain closed for the season

The park is implementing a number of preventive measures to reduce the spread of infectious disease, including prioritizing the hiring of seasonal custodial workers and increased contracted services for cleaning and disinfecting high use areas, and the use of plexiglass panels in locations of high visitor/public interaction such as entrance stations, visitor centers, and permit desks, and providing visitor guidance.
Grand Teton National Park will examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance and will be regularly monitored. The park continues to work closely with the National Park Service Office of Public Health using CDC guidance to ensure public and workspaces are safe and clean for visitors, employees, partners, and volunteers.

 

 

 

National Park Week Love on Earth Day 2020

Happy Earth Day!

It’s a beautiful day here in Jackson Hole and even though I can still see the Tetons, I miss them. This made me think of all the other people across the country and world that feel the same way. I know that the days are coming soon when we will all be able to relish in the power of some of nature’s finest landscapes again.  Until then, I thought I’d share a few photos from three of my favorites for National Park Week.

Grand Teton National Park

Snake River Cutthroat troutjackson hole fly fishing

Teton fall color

Flying duck in front of Mount Moran

Grand Teton National Park is the closest Park to Jackson, WY and the one I most visit. My memories here are endless-  stalking Cutthroat under the Tetons, walk-wading in the Spring at low flows, and fall colors and the birds and wildlife that are getting ready for Winter.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Cutthroat troutYellowstone brown trout

Yellowstone Grand Prismatic SpringYellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is a close second to being my home Park. This landscape is truly like no other and holds opportunities to catch large trout both Spring and Fall. The lava flows made for fantastic waterfalls when they were geologically uplifted, and the hot springs that may hold cures to mysterious diseases will baffle you.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon floating the Colorado RiverGrand Canyon Nankoweap

Camping in the Grand CanyonGrand Canyon Elves Chasm

Camping in the Grand CanyonVulcan's Anvil Grand Canyon

Lava Falls RapidBig Kahuna wave Lava Falls rapid

Getting served by Big KahunaI saved my beer!!

It’s true. Floating the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is an adventure of a lifetime. 23 days and 12 guys from Wyoming, California, New Zealand, and Tanzania that hardly knew each other at the beginning left as friends for life.

Mind blowing vistas, warm weather, great campsites, 7000 cfs to 37,000 cfs flow increase overnight, buffed out beaches after the flush, and no cell reception. I’ll never forget the the look of disappointment on my boat mates faces after I had taken a conservative line through The Roaring 20’s rapid. After that I promised to go for the meat of every rapid going forward. So much so, that I earned the nickname “The Butcher” by the time we reached Lava Falls. Yes, confidence was high. I lined up our boat for the heart of the Big Kahuna wave and rowed forward as hard as I could. Lava promptly served us and I was tossed. Rightfully so the power of nature trumps that of man. (but somehow our resident Kiwi still managed to save his beer!?)

Yellowstone fly fishing report 5.28.17

Firehole River Yellowstone National park

The Firehole River on day one of the 2017 Yellowstone fly fishing season

Yellowstone Fly fishing report – Firehole River

The Yellowstone fly fishing season opened yesterday! Opening day typically means dry flies on the Firehole River, but this year nymphs and wet flies were the best. We began our day in the Firehole Canyon with flows around 500 cfs. Flows had dropped from 1000 cfs a few days earlier with cooler weather and some light rain. Word was that the Stonefly nymphs were already on the banks, so we had to see for ourselves.

Yellowstone fly fishing - Firehole canyon

Salmonfly and Golden Stone nymphs in the Firehole Canyon

The Stonefly nymphs were there and the trout were looking for them! We fished #4-10 Rubberlegs with varying droppers – #12 Prince nymph, #16 Pheasant Tails and Red Copper Johns. We found several willing trout in the slower moving runs close to the Gibbon confluence. A few Brown trout even ate big foam dry flies in the pocket water closer to the falls.

Fish on Firehole River

Fish on!

After lunch we moved upstream to look for some more dry fly fishing. We were deterred by the crowds at Fountain Flat. We kept going to the Mallard Creek area and found fewer people. The long runs in this area looked promising for finding trout rising to dry flies, but we only found a few fish looking up. They were willing trout and smashed a #16 Yellow Film Critic on first pass.

Upper Firehole River

Good dry fly water

Yellowstone brown trout

Yes, I do like dry flies!

 

The water was still a bit high, and as a result nymphs and wet flies were more consistent. Red Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails were really all you needed. Swinging small yellow soft hackles through the riffles was also very productive.

All in all, it was a solid day on the Firehole. The flow drop definitely helped the fly fishing. Weather for the next week is forecast to remain in the 50’s, so it looks like flows will remain consistent in the 500-600 cfs range. We will be run guided Yellowstone fishing trips here for at least the next three weeks.

 

Yellowstone fly fishing – Lewis Lake

Lewis Lake Yellowstone

Is that a boat ramp?

I drove through the Lewis River drainage on my way up to the Firehole and stopped to see how Lewis Lake looked. It looked great, if you were going to ski across it! The parking lot was plowed, but the boat ramp and lake itself were still under a couple feet of snow and ice.

Frozen Lewis Lake

Got skis?

What a difference a year makes! On Opening Day in 2016,we motored all the way to the Lewis Channel and caught numerous trout. Lewis Lake should thaw out by June 10th, but it all depends on the weather!

Call us at 307-690-1139 for the latest Yellowstone fly fishing report and to book your trip!

Yellowstone brown trout

Yellowstone National Park fly fishing report 11.17.16

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 brown trout October

Yellowstone National Park Fishing Report 10.20.16

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!

Yellowstone Fishing Report 6.9.15

Fly fishing in Yellowstone Park has been pretty fun lately! There are a few venues worth visiting at this point – Firehole River – All of this rain has produced great BWO and PMD hatches on the Firehole recently. Good fly fishing begins around 9am with Spinner Falls and lasts into the early afternoon or possibly later if it’s cloudy.  Your favorite PMD or BWO cripple pattern with a traditional presentation should produce trout. If it’s warm and sunny, think Caddis. Swinging soft hackles is a fun way to catch trout on these days.  Remember that if you see splashy rises or trout jumping out of the water for something, they are looking for Caddis.  Tan X-Caddis are always good here, but don’t forget about White Miller Caddis patterns as well… Madison River – there are Salmonflies flying here! As always, the Madison in Yellowstone can be a fickle fishery, so be prepared to fish the big dries, nymph, or swing soft hackles/streamers.  Don’t forget to cover some ground, the determined fisher is rewarded here.. Lewis Lake- this has been a very consistent fishery for us recently with both spin and fly gear. Best fly tactics on the lake consist of sink-tip and full-sink lines with leech patterns and streamers that imitate brown trout fry.  Try ledges/drop-offs, and the inlet and outlet areas for the most consistent fishing for Brown and Lake trout 14″-22″. Hatches are starting up here and the Browns are following the bugs to shallower water, making them more visible and bringing the sight-fishing game more into play. Stay tuned for further details.

Fly fishing Yellowstone National Park

Cooper gets it done on a recent Yellowstone fishing trip

Yellowstone Park fishing report 5.19.15

Yellowstone opens to fishing this coming Saturday May 23rd! We are excited for the worlds first National Park to open and the fishing to begin. You will find us on Lewis Lake chasing Brown trout and Lake trout with streamers and nymphs. It’s not often we are able to fish Lewis on opening day, but since we had such a warm Spring, the lake iced-off earlier than usual. Since the lake has been ice free for a few weeks now, we expect to see the fish in the shallows. Streamers that imitate Leeches and small brown trout work well here. I’ll also be looking for Brown Drakes and March browns that hatch this time of year. Maybe we’ll get lucky and be able to fish a few dry flies! Give us a shout if you’d like to join us- 307-690-1139.  We will be running fishing trips to Yellowstone Park daily after this Saturday, so check back here for the latest fishing report    

Yellowstone Fly Fishing Report 6.18.14

We have been running numerous fishing trips in Yellowstone recently, mostly to the Firehole River and Lewis Lake.  Both are fishing well and will continue to do so for the next couple of weeks. Firehole River- We are seeing Caddis and PMD hatches daily now.  Sunny, warm days are the most reliable for Caddis action and cooler, cloudy days are best for PMD’s.  There is a PMD Spinner Fall starting by 10am from Muleshoe Bend down to Fountain Flats. A #16 PMD Spinner pattern will get you into plenty of trout.  After that, emergences take over and can last until 5pm on cloudy days. Salmonflies and Yellow Sallies are hatching in the Cnayon near Madison Junction. Flies- #14-16 Prince,#14-16 Peacock Soft Hackles, #16-18 PMD Sparkle Duns,#16-18 PMD Film Critics, #16-18 Quigley Cripples Lewis Lake- It’s been fun out on Lewis! Subsurface Baitfish imitations have produced well when stripped on full sinking lines, try JJ’s Specials, Rubber Buggers, Olive/White Clousers. Scud/Mysis Shrimp, Leech, and Calliebaetis patterns have been good on floating or intermediate lines with a hand-twist retrieve over flats and along drop-offs.  Flies- #12-14 CDC PT’s, #8-10Wooly Buggers, Mohair Leeches, Rickard’s Leeches  

Double from the Firehole River!

Double from the Firehole River!

Yellowstone fly fishing report – 5.31.14

Yellowstone National Park opened to fly fishing a week ago to little fanfare. Abnormally high daytime temperatures melted our dense snowpack and the Firehole River rose to record levels in a matter of a few days making fishing very tough.  Both Yellowstone and Lewis Lakes still had ice on them leaving us dreaming of days to come… This week will be a different story! Flows are dropping on the Firehole to fishable levels and a few rain showers should spark the Mayfly emergences that this river is known for.  Look for PMD’s and BWO’s to pop during inclement weather, especially in the afternoons. The ice is off Yellowstone Lake and there is some decent fishing to be had.  It takes a few weeks for the water here to warm up and the trout to move into the shallows.  Lewis Lake is just now icing off on the edges and should ice-free by the end of the week.  It doesn’t seem to take quite as long for the fishing to get going on Lewis since Brown and Lake trout aren’t afraid of cold water. We’re pumped to be fishing in Yellowstone!! Give us a call at 307-690-1139 to book a trip or check out our  Yellowstone fly fishing page on our website..  

Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park

Firehole River, Yellowstone National Park

     

Fly Fishing Report Yellowstone Park 4.15.14

Fish the Fly is excited to announce that it has received a CUA to operate fishing trips in Yellowstone National Park!  This means that the scope of the trips we will offer in Yellowstone has just grown exponentially from what we were able to do previously through our relationship with Teton Troutfitters. Many thanks to Scott Hocking for this opportunity and we look forward to working with him more in the future. Fish the fly will focus on the southern half of Yellowstone as these fisheries are closest to Jackson Hole. Lewis Lake, Shoshone Lake, the Snake River, Yellowstone Lake, and numerous backcountry streams are all on the radar.  We will be expanding our backcountry program to include overnight offerings to lakes and streams, so stay tuned for more information on these gems! For now check out our website for Yellowstone fishing trips. Snowpack levels are all above 100% of normal currently, so it will be a great year for our trout!