You could say Jackson Hole makes the ideal fly fishing destination: our unforgettable mountain backdrop, calming natural solitude, and of course, our unique native trout. Not to mention, you’ve got vast choices of waterways to explore. Some local anglers say your best bet is to spend a day in a drift boat casting in the endless nooks and crannies of the Snake River. Others swear by the smaller creeks and tributaries where the waters are swift, shallow, and clear as glass. Even our myriad alpine lakes are shrouded in the exciting secrecy of fishing lore.
The only consensus in a sport where the options for locations are as endless as the choices for flies and hooks? Get the best information possible before you go. If you've made the trip to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem--some of the most beautiful and prolific fishing waters in North America--you owe yourself at least a passing knowledge of how to fish with success. Fortunately, with the immeasurable experience of Jackson Hole fly fishing guides, that knowledge is close at hand. With an attentive ear and an afternoon on the water, you can reap the wealth of their knowledge yourself.
To wet the fly a little, so to speak, Jackson Hole Traveler went straight to the folks who spend the most time fishing our waters to compile their thoughts in advance. After all, you and I can talk all day, but nothing compares to hearing directly from the best fishing guides in the region.
Why is fishing for our native cutthroat trout so thrilling?
Jason Balogh, Fish The Fly
"There are very few places where you can fish to native trout, let alone cutthroat trout. To catch one of these trout in its natural environment, whether on the Snake River or in the solitude of one of our backcountry creeks, is a truly special experience.
Did I mention that these cutthroat love to eat big dry flies? Even better. You can let your creativity flow at the tying vise and then hit the river to see if they will eat it!"
Where will I experience the pinnacle of Jackson Hole fly fishing?
Scott Smith, Grand Teton Fly Fishing
"I do feel the best of this valley is on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park from the [Jackson Lake] dam to Wilson. The fishing and views are breathtaking and even if the fishing is slow, the power and serenity of the Snake River underneath the Tetons is magical. You never get tired of looking at those huge mountains.
With a little work you can fish dry flies March through November. Flows can be fast on some sections of the Snake, but these areas also hold some of the best trout habitat. Therefore, folks have to learn reach casts and line management. The fish are not as naive as we hope they are, so good presentation wins out."
Thinking about going fly fishing? Here's everything you need to know!