Fish the Fly Guide Service Open for Business 5.18.20

A mangy Bull Moose browses alongside the Gros Ventre River recently. Bullwinkle is ready to see you!

Jackson Hole Cautiously Re-opens

We are excited to announce that Fish the Fly Guide Service located here in beautiful Jackson Hole, WY is open for business!  Wyoming’s abundant wide open spaces couldn’t be more appreciated in this time for easy social distancing. Our community believes that we can safely operate by consciously staying Clean, Careful and Connected.

Fish the Fly wanted to share with you what our guided fishing trips and scenic float trips will look like going forward. As situations and guidelines change, we too will adapt our practices with the safety of our clients, guides, and community being the primary goal.

New precautionary measures address operating in a Covid environment. We are following the Phased Health Guidelines put forth by the Teton County Health Department. These guidelines were designed with CDC Health Recommendations  and WY State Health Orders in mind. Guidelines are broken down into Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green phase designations based on current risk.

Therefore, your guided fishing day will look slightly different. If you would like to see more specifics for Outfitters and Guides, click here.  This document also contains policies for other services pertinent to your vacation.

Prior to Your Guided Day

We understand that the following may sound like a lot. But, with some conscious action, your day can be a stress free and  fun time enjoying nature and our waterways.

Single household groups are encouraged. However, we are not restricted to them. Appropriate social distancing will be required if groups are not from the same household. Our scenic float trips will be restricted to single household groups of six people or less.

Fish the Fly will email you 72 hours prior to your scheduled trip. This email asks if you have been exhibiting any flu-like symptoms and to stay home if so.

As always, your guide will reach out to you the afternoon or evening before your trip the next day, either by phone or text. This is to insure that everyone is on the same page with logistics. These include meeting time and place, lunch requests on full day trips or scenic float trips, skill level, necessary gear, expectations for the day, and Covid mitigation practices.

We ask that you self-check for possible Covid-19 symptoms such as, fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. If you are experiencing any of these, we will cancel your trip with safety for all in mind. Your guide will briefly check again upon meeting on the day of your trip.

Let the fun begin!

The day of your trip

Finally, your relaxing day on the water is here!

Please bring your buff or cloth face covering with you. Use the bathroom at your lodging prior to leaving for your day. Arrive clean and ready to have some fun!

Business sponsored transportation is discouraged during the current Orange Phase. This means that you will be asked to follow/meet your guide at the day’s fishing destination.  If necessary, you can ride with your guide in his vehicle, although cloth face coverings will be required since 6 feet of social distancing can’t be maintained.

Your guide will have a clean and sanitized vehicle and boat upon arrival. He will also have hand sanitizer readily available during the day. If lunch is provided with your trip, then you will be asked to wash your hands with bio-degradable soap that your guide provides before and after eating. Lunches will be pre-packaged single servings, i.e. no communal make your own style deli bar or water cooler.

Our guides are removing the rear knee brace in their drift boats. This means you will fish while sitting on a float fishing trip to help maximize distancing. The Current Orange Phase requires face coverings while in a boat where six feet distances cannot be maintained. Hopefully, we will be in a Yellow Phase soon where this is not required.

Again, we know that this can sound overwhelming, but with a few simple conscious actions, you’ll have a relaxing, fun day on the water! Call us at 307-690-1139 with any questions or to book a trip. You can also book via the Fish the Fly website.


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!?)

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Report 3.24.20

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing Conditions

The fly fishing season here in Jackson Hole has begun! Warmer March air temperatures have the bugs in the Snake River moving about. As a result, our Cutthroat trout have taken notice. This week’s weather calls for intermittent snow and colder temps than the beginning of the month. Sunshine and the Spring we all wait for looks to be on the horizon next week.

The Snake River is low and slow out of Jackson Lake Dam. Winter releases continue at 300 cfs. The gauge at Moran is currently reading 385 cfs due to some daily snow melt however. Trough the Jackson Hole valley, the Snake is at 701 cfs and 1330 cfs for Moose and South Park respectively.  Currently Moose, Wilson, and South Park boat ramps are clear. Pritchard should open in the next week.

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing

Tracy Yannelli and a Snake River Cutthroat that ate a Zebra Midge

Jackson Hole Fly Fishing techniques

Both Midges and Capnia Stoneflies continue to be the bugs of choice on the Snake River in Jackson Hole. Nymphing has been the most consistent way of finding fish. Surface action can be found in slower water at the ends of riffles and current margins. If you find actively rising trout, then it is best to stay put and fly fish. #16-20 Furimsky BDE’s in black or Olive are a great choice since they are visible on the water. However, your favorite Midge pattern should do the trick.

We don’t often nymph in Jackson Hole, but Spring is the time that most anglers will dig for their strike indicators. Skwala nymphs are becoming active, especially on bright, sunny days. #10-12 Tan/Brown Rubberlegs are a great point fly option. Red, Black, or Purple #16-20 Zebra Midges are excellent Midge patterns. In addition, #14-16 Black Copper Johns are consistent producers.

The Cutthroat in Jackson Hole are not known to be leader shy. Spring is no exception. Nine foot leaders tapered down to 4x are fine for dry fly fishing. Nymph rigs can be fished at 6-7  feet with 3x to the point fly and a 4x dropper off the bend of the hook.

Give us a call at 307-690-1139 to talk fly fishing in Jackson Hole. We are currently open from 8am – 6pm daily. We’d love to hear from you!

Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited meeting 12.11.12

Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited

The Jackson Hole chapter of Trout Unlimited met last night to hear a presentation on the latest improvements for Flat Creek.  Ryan Collier of Biota Research and Consulting spoke about improvements to be made over the next 3 years to the tune of $300,000. JH TU was involved in bank stabilization projects and an effort to increase stream velocity back in the 80’s.  The construction of the South Park ditch in the 60’s for irrigation purposes had left an inordinate amount of sediment in the stream that was slowing and widening the creek.  “You couldn’t go to Flat Creek without losing a set of hip waders back then”, stated Paul Bruun. The improvements from the 80’s served to move alot of sediment down through the Snake River system, but needed to be updated as bank tree revetments were no longer useful.  Longer riffles are needed to slow the Creek and reduce bank scouring from the increased velocities.  The National Elk Refuge is considering keeping winter Elk feeding from certain sections of the creek to promote Willow regrowth. Thousands of wintering Elk currently keep the native Willows from growing to more than a couple of inches in height. Also, Brook and Brown trout are taking up lies that won’t hold Snake River Cutthroat. WY Game and Fish removes these non-native trout via creek shocking every fall. Flat Creek is known to hold the largest Cutthroat in the valley already and is popular with dry fly enthusiasts for it’s challenging fly fishing.  Combine these efforts with those of the Teton County Conservation District to remove winter Frazil Ice and the recent removal of tons of sediment from behind the Rustic Inn, and the future looks bright for Flat Creek!