Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 10.19.10

The Snake River in Jackson Hole is in its fall mode and is fishing well.  The cutthroat are podded up in slower riffles or the ends of long deep runs and are munching BWO’s, October Caddis, Midges and a variety of streamer patterns.  Often fish are in very shallow water on the edges of thes runs that warms up first after our cold mornings.  Be patient and watch rise forms to determine which fish are trout and which are whitefish.  We are having a beautiful Indian Summer still with high’s in the mid 60’s in the afternoons.  Dry fly fishing gets going just before noon and lasts until the sun hits the mountains about 6pm.  What a great time to be on the river!  Best Flies: #16-20 Para Adams, #12 Orange Stimmi, #10 Melon Belly, #18-20 Griffith’s Gnat, #18-20 Zebra Midge, #18-20 BWO Micro Mayfly, #6 Olive Monkey, #4 Olive/White Clouser, #6 Black Leech

October fly fishing on the Snake River

Mary Ann and Darrell Ragan enjoy an 18" cutthroat recently.

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 10.1.10

Indian summer weather has a hold on Jackson Hole and we’re loving it!   Sunny skies and day time highs in the upper 70’s are as good as it gets this time of year. What about the fly fishing you say?  The Snake River is still solid with dry fly action from Deadman’s Bar down into the canyon, especially from noon until dusk.  Claasenia Stoneflies, Hecubas, Mahogany Duns, and even some October Caddis are on the menu. Double dry fly or dry/dropper rigs have been producing well in riffles, seams, and bank structure.  Don’t stare too hard at that fly on the water as the fall colors are amazing currently! Best Flies: #10 Tan Chubby Chernobyl, #10-12 Para Hare’s Ear, #12 Purple Haze, #12-14 Ausable Wulffs, #14 Red Quill, #10 Orange Stimmie, #10 Red Fox Squirrel, #14-16 Lightening Bug

Beautiful Indian Summer weather in Jackson Hole!

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 9.15.10

Snake River Now is the time to be fly fishing on the Snake River in Jackson Hole!  Cutthroat are looking up and eating off the surface in a variety of water types – riffles, seams, and along bank structure.  Our fall Drake hatch, Timpanoga Hecuba, is in full swing, along with Mahoganies, Flying Ants, Stoneflies, and Blue Winged Olive’s.  Check out the Drake photo below taken by fly fishing guide Tim Smith during a lunch break last week.  Cold nights have meant that early starts are not important.  It seems the earliest fish are eating off the surface is 10am and on some days it’s more like noon. The good news is that the action lasts until 6pm or later.   The streamer bite has picked up as well and are best early and late in the day. The Jackson Hole One Fly was a blast this past weekend!  Fish the Fly owner Jason Balogh and guide Tim Smith both guided on the Snake.  Hecuba Drake patterns produced the best along with some Stonefly patterns.  All the monies generated by this event go to funding stream conservation projects in the region. 

Timpanoga Hecuba

A Hecuba Drake says he's hungry for lunch too!

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 9.07.10

Fall weather has arrived in Jackson Hole since our last fly fishing report.  We have had a few frosts already and this has really woken up our mayflies on both the Snake River and Fish Creek.  Hecuba Drakes, Mahogany Duns, and Baetis are all hatching currently and hatch times vary depending on the weather.  On cool sunny days, bugs arrive around 11am and on cloudy days it’s more of an afternoon affair.  It’s been worth it to fish in the rain as this is when every fish in the river is on the surface feeding.  The Hecubas pour off the water, especially side channels, on these gray days.  I’m surprised that any of these bugs survive after watching them hatch one afternoon and seeing how voraciously the cutthroat feed on them! Flying ants started swarming last week in the afternoons and this is a great option for picky fish that refuse other flies presented to them….

A beautiful fall day in Jackson Hole.

Earl Downs holds a nice cuttie that ate a Mahogany Dun.

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 8.21.10

Snake River The Snake River through the Jackson Hole valley has remained consistent dry fly fishing since our last report.  Our fall stonefly, Claasenia Sabulosa, has begun to emerge in all sections and has kept the cutthroat looking up for big bugs, especially early and late in the day. Look for these to continue into September and twitch those flies!  PMD’s and Little Yellow Stones are still popping around 11am and fish key in on them in those riffles where they are present in good numbers. Grasshoppers, Beetles, and Flying Ants are becoming more important on our warmer afternoons.  Rhyacophilia Caddis are out and about and give you another option for dry flies.  We will start looking for Timponoga Hecuba mayflies to emerge in the last part of this month on our cloudy days… Best Flies: #8-10 Olive, Tan, Purple Water Walkers, #10-12 Red Fat Alberts, #16 Q’s Sparkle Stacker, #12-14 Lime PMX, #12 Yellow Stimmies, #12 Tan, Green Grand Hopper

Mmmmm, I love stoneflies!

Backcountry Creeks Some of our larger, and therefore colder, backcountry creeks are still fishing well.  We are still seeing Grey Drakes on these creeks and the cutthroat dig them!  If you look closely, you will see a few Claasenia Sabulosa shucks on the more oxygenated riffles, so larger Stonefly patterns are in play and have been productive early in the mornings.  Grasshoppers are coming into play more each day…..  The smaller creeks are a bit too warm in their lower reaches to be very productive, but if you like to hike they can be very rewarding higher up where the water temps are cooler…
Wyoming backcountry cutthroat

Ro Thompson holds a nice backcountry cuttie.

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 7.28.10

Snake River Fly fishing on the Snake has been very good since our last report.  The Goldens have made their way upstream and can still be found between Pacific Creek and Moose.  PMD and Yellow Sallies hatches remain solid and keep the fish rising throughout the system.  Caddis have been important, especially early in the morning on our guided trips.  The nymphs of all three of these bugs have been the droppers (2′) under bugs like the #10 Chubby Chernobyl or Melon Belly. Check out this nice 18″ brown trout (rare for the Snake) that Aaron Hollern caught on a recent trip…

Snake River brown trout

Aaron Hollern and guide Tim Smith celebrate a nice 18" brown trout from the lower Snake.

  Backcountry All of our backcountry creeks are in fne shape currently.  On a couple of them, the water temperaures on the lower end of the creek are high enough that some fish have dropped out of the system.  This means the upper reaches are the place to be!  The farther you go the better it is…. On our larger creeks, the water level have dropped and the bigger cutthroat are still easily found.  These creeks will be in prime fly fishing shape for the next month or so.  I had a great day with Allison and John Pacifico recently. These two “city slickers” were new to fly fishing and had never been in a designated wilderness before.  So beyond the Wilderness boundary we went and caught over two dozen fish! #12 Yellow PMX’s and Humpies were the ticket on this day, but we will be looking for hoppers soon. 
Hiking in the Jackson Hole backcountry

Allison and John Pacifico cross a beaver dam on the way to the promised land.

Fish Creek Fly Fishing Report 7.19.10

Fish Creek in the Jackson Hole valley is fly fishing very well!  The upper end of the creek between Wilson and Teton Village has seen many trophy cutthroat move into it and take up lies. Fish are not in every hole, so it is necessary to keep moving until you find them.  PMD hatches are getting started around 10am and fish will stack up into the best feeding lanes.  Imagine 8-10 Snake River Cutts 18-22″ feeding simaltaneously in one hole…. Golden Stones, Caddis, and Yellow Sallies keep the fish looking up after the PMD hatch ends around1:30pm.  Cast flies tight to the banks to get these wary cutthroat to eat!  Best Flies:#16-18 Lawson’s PMD Cripple, #16 CDC PMD Sparkle Dun, #16-18 Thorax PMD, #16-18 Elk Hair Caddis, #8 Water Walker Golden, #14-16 Yellow Stimmie

Flyfishing Fish Creek

Rick Johnson with a hefty fish on during a recent PMD hatch.

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 7.12.10

After a very wet spring that seemed like it would never end, we have finally reached the summer fly fishing season!  All the local Jackson Hole streams and rivers have finally subsided and cleared and are fishing well.  Backcountry Creeks There are numerous small creeks worth of  fly fishing in the Jackson Hole area.  These are the first fishable waters besides any lakes in the area after runoff.  These creeks require some effort to get to, but are well worth it!  The fly fishing on these creeks really took off last week and cutthroat began eating dry flies off the surface.  Best flies were #12 Parachute Adams, #12 Yellow PMX, #14 Yellow Humpy, #10-12 Yellow Turck’s Tarantula. Fish in these creeks average 8-12″ with some “surprises” to 18″.  Rarely you see another angler…. Snake River Fly fishing on the lower Snake River turned on last week as well, although spin fishing produced the highest numbers of fish.   Below South Park Bridge is the place to be floating currently.  Cutthroat can be found in the riffles on inside turns, in the side channels, and in any back eddies.  Best flies have been #8-12 Chubby Chernobyls, #10-12 Parachute Adams,  #10-12 Flashback PT’s, #8-12 Rubberlegs, and flashy Caddis or Yellow Sally nymphs. The BuRec has said they will not work on Jackson Lake Dam this fall and won’t have to run higher than average releases this summer to do so. Flows out of the dam are at 2370 cfs and will be held around 2000 cfs for the summer.  This should mean for great flyfishing all summer long!

Backcountry creek fly fishing

Phil Smaldino enjoys his backcountry creek experience.

Runoff has started; BuRec makes flow predictions

It finally got warm in Jackson Hole!  Well, at least temporarily….   It was enough to get our runoff started on the Snake River.  Consistent warm temperatures will keep the snow pack melting.  This morning we’re adding to the snowpack above 8000′ feet… Pre-runoff fishing on the Snake was phenomenal!  Skwalla stoneflies, Caddis, and BWO’s had the cutthroat in a surface feeding frenzy.  The streamer bite was solid too, especially in GTNP. Check out the photos…

Sanke River brown trout

21″ brown trout – a rare catch on the Snake River

The Bureau of Reclamation held their annual meeting to discuss water flows and storage issues in the Snake River basin.  Due to the above average wet weather in April, irrigators in the Idaho Snake River plains did not need to call for water to be moved downstream.  The spring freshet flows below Palisades Reservoir were completed last week.  This is done to trigger the Cutthroat spawn in this part of the system.

20" Snake River Cutthroat

FTF guide Tim Smith enjoys a beautiful cutthroat from the Snake.

Flows out of Jackson Lake Dam are still at winter levels of 400 cfs and will be held there until June 7th. Between the 7th and 15th, flows will be ramped up to 5000 cfs out of the dam.  By July 1st flows will be down to 2800 cfs and held there until the end of September.  This means we won’t be fishing the Snake as early as we had thought, but should be on the lower river by the last week of June.

Snowpack still minimal; Fishing remains solid

Well, our wet spring pattern has arrived and did give our snowpack a brief boost, but a few really warm days has melted out the rest of the snow in the Jackson Hole valley.  The Snake did get some color especially below the Hoback River confluence, but is back  to a nice green currently.  Fly fishing has remained consistent with midge, BWO, and Skwala stonefly hatches.  Streamer fishing has picked up as well…

Looks like we’ll be running float trips on the Snake and Green Rivers in June with our current snow levels, most likely before the 15th….