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!?)

Summit on the Snake 6.2.12

The Snake River Fund hosted the 14th annual Summit on the Snake yesterday at the Teton Science School.  This is a very informative day on local and regional issues and trends.  Highlights included talks on Birds of Prey, Pack rafting, and Flat Creek restoration in town.  This event is held for all river people, commercial and private, and hosts some interesting speakers from around the West. Looking forward to next year!

Jason Jones of the Teton Raptor Center with a Golden Eagle

Summit on the Snake tomorrow

The annual Summit on the Snake takes place tomorrow Saturday June 4, 2011 at the Teton Science Schools Jackson Campus.  This year there are a variety of excellent speakers from organizations such as American Rivers, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Teton Raptor Center, Trout Unlimited, Grand Teton National Park, NOLS, and Aerie Wilderness Medicine.  See you there!

Fish the Fly in the news

I had the opportunity to take Robert Bundy, Editor for the Third Coast Digest out of Milwaukee, out for an afternoon of fly fishing this past fall on the Snake River.  See what he has to say about his Jackson Hole fly fishing guide  and the rest of his trip to Wyoming.

Jackson Hole Rated Most Romantic Ski Resort

American Express Travel recently named Jackson Hole it’s #1 Ski Destination for romantic couples.  Typically the resort town gets accolades for it’s terrain or snow quality, but this time the amenities are shining the brightest. We like to think it’s pretty special during the summer as well…….

Honoring Our Veterans

I was fortunate to spend a day fishing with veterans of the Iraq Wars yesterday.  They are part of the Honoring Our Veterans group that is visiting Jackson Hole currently.  These guys were all injured in combat and have fulfilled their service to our country.  Most have endured multiple surgeries over the past years and are piecing their lives back together.  Despite all of that, they were the most upbeat crew I’ve fished with all summer! We spent the day at the Jackson Fork Lodge near Bondurant, WY learning to cast a fly and then fishing their lake for cutthroat.  After a quick lesson on the lodge’s lawn, we moved to the lake and caught some nice fish! It was truly an honor to fish with these Vets and I look forward to doing it again next year. Thanks to Sandra Bockman of the Jackson Hole Chamber, Nick Strelchuk of Reel Life Recoveries, and Becky Lucina of the Jackson Fork Lodge for making this special day happen.

Sgt. Morris Williams Sr. and his first cutthroat trout.


Sgt. Chris Middleton holds a pig!

WY Senator Mike Enzi comes to town

Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi held his annual fund raiser yesterday and Fish the Fly was proud to host the fishing portion of the event.  We had 14 boats spread out through the entire length of the Snake river from Grand Teton National Park all the way down to the whitewater section south of town.  This is our 4th year hosting this event and we look forward to next year! Everyone had great time and fishing reports came back very solid for all stretches.  Our fall Claasenia Stonefly has begun its hatch on the whole river and this has the cutthroat chasing big bugs on the surface.  Localized PMD and Yellow Sally hatches are still important and fish will focus on them in certain areas where they are hatching.  A few pickier fish are eating Caddis and Beetles as well. Look for a more detailed report soon….

WY Senator Mike Enzi enjoys his fly fishing event in Jackson Hole!

Snake River is busy; Proposition 8 vote coming August 17th

There has been alot going on on the Snake River recently!  We are in the height of the summer season and have had a few accidents.  Lives have been saved by quick actions from both guides and River Rangers.  Check out the Snake River Fund blog for specific information.  While there, please read about Proposition 8 and if you’re local- vote for it!  This is a great way to get a hold on the busiest section of river in the valley, Wilson-South Park. The list of reasons to vote for this Proposition is long and varied, not only for fly fishing interests but the general public as well.  Absentee ballots can be picked up at the County offices and returned at anytime before August 17th. The Wild Trout Symposium will be held in West Yellowstone September 28-30, 2010. Session topics include: Climate Change and Wild Trout; Economic and Cultural Values of Wild Trout; Genetic Considerations for Managing Wild Trout; Wild Trout in the face of Invasive Species and Diseases; Management and Conservation of Wild Trout; and Resource Extraction and Wild Trout Restoration Efforts.  This is a great to excuse to visit the area and learn about the latest conservation efforts.