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!?)

Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming

Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming is a more intimate fly fishing experience than other Jackson Hole area waters. The Salt River begins its 84 mile course above 10,500 feet on the slopes of Mount Wagner in the Salt River range. It flows south briefly before veering north through the pastoral ranches of Star Valley, WY on its way to Palisades Reservoir.  Along the way it picks up several springs and creeks that add to the flow and keep this smaller river cool all Summer long. Below Afton, WY is where it really takes shape as a trout fishery and floating the Salt River becomes a reality.

Fly fishing on the Salt River in Wyoming is best from mid to late June all the way into November. The Salt River often clears before some other major rivers in the area. Salmonflies and Golden Stones are the first insects to pop and the Cutthroat and Brown trout take notice. Gray Drakes, Yellow Sallies, Caddis and Pale Morning Duns are also on the menu through July. August is terrestrial time on the Salt River where Grasshoppers, Ants, and Beetles bring the river’s best trout to the surface. September continues with terrestrial action, but Mahogany Duns and Blue Winged Olives dominate as October nears.  Nymph and streamer fishing are the ticket towards the end of October and through November as the trophy Brown trout from the Palisades swim upstream on their spawning run.

Techniques

Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming is known for big bug fishing, due to its stoneflies and hoppers. Nymphs are often dropped 1-2’ below these larger flies in a “hopper-dropper” system. Mayfly hatches, especially early and late in the season, offer match the hatch conditions.

The best way to fish the Salt River is from a drift boat since it flows through mostly private land and is lined with Willows. The low flows of late Summer can mean that floats are best with one angler in the boat.

Fish Species

Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat, Brown trout, Mountain Whitefish. Cutthroat and Brown trout up to 20”; average size is 10-14”, with a healthy population of trout 16-18”. The Fall Run Brown trout can reach 5-6 lbs.

Best Time

Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming is best after runoff from late June – mid November. June and July bring good river flows and Stonefly and PMD hatches. August and September are terrestrial season. Fall sees prolific Baetis hatches prior to full on streamer season through the end of the year.

Dry Flies

Parachute Adams #10-20, Elk Hair Caddis #14-18, Turck Tarantulas #8-12, Parahoppers #10-14, Chernobyl Ants #6-12, Ants and Beetles #14-16, Stimulators #10-16, PMX’s #12-16

Nymphs

Pheasant Tail #10-20, Hare’s Ear #10-18, Copper Johns #12-18, Rubberlegs #6-10, Prince Nymph #10-16, Zebra Midge #18-20

Streamers

Black Leeches #4-10, Tan or Olive Sculpins #4-6, JJ’s Special #4-8, Zonkers #6-8, Wooly Buggers #4-10

 

Snake River fly fishing report Jackson Hole, WY 7.12.17

The Snake River here in Jackson Hole, WY is still running fast and muddy. Current flows are 4230 cfs out of the Jackson Lake Dam and 9360 cfs at Moose, WY. The good news is that the major tributaries such as Pacific Creek, Buffalo Fork, and the Gros Ventre River look to have peaked and are beginning to trend down. This is great news after a long runoff season!

At this point, any guided fishing trips on the Snake River have been more of a scenic float with a casting lesson. There are a few small trout to be caught in the slowest of water types, but the best fly fishing of the season is yet to come for sure.

We look forward to running more guided fishing trips on the Snake River by the end of the month. Stay tuned for more details….

 

 

Hooking Bonefish

Bonefish: The Retrieve, Hookup, and Fight THE FLY LANDED in the right place. You let the small shrimp imitation sink to the proper level, and the bonefish seems to have noticed it. It’s time to start acting like a shrimp. You begin a series of very short strips, trying to make the fly imitate the slow progress of a small shrimp that hasn’t yet spotted the predator closing in on it. But the bonefish loses interest and turns away as if he never saw the fly. What happened? My guess is that the fly never moved. In trying to impart action to a fly, you must think of several factors besides the movements of your line hand. If you have any slack in the line while trying to give life to the fly, the movements of your line hand will only take up some of the slack. The fly, meanwhile, is sitting still; you think that you are moving it, but you’re not. By the time you take up all the slack and the fly finally starts to move, the bonefish is long gone. Read on… [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=9qa5g8n6&et=1103996097403&s=9198&e=001y7nv0Wmq645–IXck63-ejowDnae1k8fRc2YUydr9Zhgp9_pFJG-WxgAB0rXzJ0RuMBDuNYr01ca7gntsz9OpbpB0ZeyBRtt_UCFckDAddhbRpYePprd5GwnQFOMAY6lrkYkKXqMtefIwZYKbXD8gNj3TcASZjCzq6DTtXOz16uxrfFI4scklTdmX-p8pu1z]

Casting in the Wind

Dealing With Wind THE TWO WAYS to beat the wind (i.e. cast directly into it or across it) are to increase your line speed and to keep your line low, closer to the water. The only effective method for increasing your line speed is to double-haul. I know, I know: if you don’t already know how to do this, it sounds difficult. It’s really not. Find someone who is a good caster, and have him or her teach you. It’s a lot easier to learn from a person than from a book or magazine article. To keep your line low, either cast sidearm (which limits distance) or crouch during the cast. Wind is usually less intense close to the ground or water, so you can sometimes cast “under” it. More comfortable than crouching is casting from your knees, if it’s possible. Read on… [http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=9qa5g8n6&et=1103894237971&s=9198&e=0018R_kloZercj7UZyjNBY-Fapn1q0Z3fWn9sTuEBoGVpXADi2e4NhG6qme8M1PXslEU6dv5IBZfMUjGJAA_a5OUZP0i611xg6EKUj3al3VvvB_W5KB0kvH_ZFoNCsRNKkE_2ZtQ6EF8yLR-fjQuHlQyn3Tzdo2msD2]

Hydrilla

Hydrilla horrors: Invasive plant causes bird deaths   Hydrilla is an aggressive invasive aquatic weed that can quickly choke a lake or stream. For years anglers and boaters have have cursed hydrilla as it interferes with their ability to access their favorite waters. However, few have focused on the ecological problems the weeds can cause.      There are a number of ecological problems created by hydrilla. The dense monoculture stands of the plant choke out other native plant species. Waters with heavy infestations experience shifts in oxygen saturation and pH. The physical characteristics of dense weeds concentrations can lead to reduced fish populations as ambush predators initially find great habitat that reduces forage fish numbers. Eventually the plants get so thick that the ambush predators cannot find their way through and there is an overall decline in fish numbers.    One aspect of the ecological damage that is generally little recognized is that dense infestations of Hydrilla actually lead to the direct deaths of a number of bird species, including Bald Eagles. It is not the Hydrilla itself that causes the bird deaths. Rather, the water chemistry changes the plant produces lead to massive blooms of toxic blue-green algae. When coots and other waterfowl eat the Hydrilla they also consume large amounts of the algae. This causes serious health problems for the coots and the eagles who in turn prey on them. [http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CenterforAquaticNuis/19f74fd298/f9ddf70f4a/867d842b0a]

Photo

Turck's Compowerdun

Turck's Compowerdun

asdfasdf

DSCN1806