Jackson Hole Fishing
Tired of sitting quietly aside as your friends embark on their best fish tales? Or maybe your comrades begin to roll their eyes when you begin to reminisce about the “one that got away” for the 101st time. Either way, it’s time to create some new fishing memories and the best place to do so is Jackson Hole. After all, Jackson Hole isn’t known for the best fly-fishing in the country for nothing. Here’s a look at a few favorite local watering holes.
Snake River runs straight through the middle of Jackson Hole and is where you can cast your line to catch wild cutthroat trout. The river was put on the map when it hosted the 1997 World Fly-Fishing Championship. Some of the best fly-fishermen put their angling skills to the test at one of the greatest rivers in the West. Pack up your tackle box and get those flies ready because fly-fishing is at its finest in the upper reaches of river, beginning at the headwaters in Yellowstone National Park and flowing 70 miles south to empty into Palisades Reservoir.
Hoback River is the place every fisherman dreams of with its easy accessibility, majestic scenery, and excellent fishing. Hoback River begins in the Gros Ventres mountain range about 40 miles south of Jackson and heads north west before flowing into the Snake River at Hoback Junction 10 miles south of Jackson. Hit the Hoback anytime from late June through October for the best catch. An 8-13 inch catch is average, but you may just find a cutthroat trout over 16 inches at the end of your line since the Hoback River flows into the Snake River and these big boys swim up the Hoback in search of cooler waters and spawning areas.
Green River starts in the Wind River Mountains and flows into the Colorado River. Just below Flaming Gorge Dam is the infamous fly-fishing stream. Green River is one of the few rivers where fishermen can find six species of trout including the native cutthroat trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, lake trout, and the mysterious golden trout. But these aren’t the only fish in the river; anglers can also find grayling in the headwater lakes, largemouth and smallmouth bass, kokanee, and catfish in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, and last but not least- northern pike down around the Colorado and Utah border. Chances are your catch will be between 15-17 inches long, but who knows, you may just be the one to break the record if you catch a brown trout over 29 pounds. But you’ll have to do it using only artificial flies or lures because anything else is restricted.
Jackson Lake is the place to be if you want to be in the right place at the right time for an extraordinary fishing experience. But don’t go in October because the lake is closed to protect spawning mackinaws that month. During the other 11 months of the year, plan to show up at dawn and stay till lunch. Then head back again in the evening to continue fishing for trophy lake trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout and brown trout. Jackson Lake lies at the base of the Tetons. Cold and glacial, it offers excellent ice fishing beginning in January and any ice fishing addict will tell you that this is the best time to catch the “big one”. If ice fishing sounds as exciting as watching paint dry to you, then wait until the ice thaws, usually in mid- May or early June, when the fish come up looking for baitfish.
Fishing At Yellowstone National Park
If you think you’ve been there, done that, and seen it all, have we got a place to reignite your passion for fishing adventure. Yellowstone is truly a unique place as we humans take a back seat to the bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, otters, grizzly bears and other wildlife. The park’s rules and regulations ensure that the area’s habitat isn’t overshadowed by our humanly ways. It’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with these rules, as the park rangers are strict and the fines hefty.
Within Yellowstone, there are several lakes to choose from and all have their own distinct charms. Yellowstone Lake is 89,000 acres with an average depth of 140 feet. Trout fishermen find the cutthroat trout action here hot since these fish feed near the shore. Shoshone Lake is well over 80,000 acres and draws trout fishermen in the fall. The only way to access Shoshone Lake is via watercraft or trail. Travel south of Shoshone Lake to Lewis Lake for more trout fishing. This lake is more easily accessible from a road complete with a boat launch. Hiking around the park, you’ll come across smaller lakes like Trout Lake, Grebe Lake, Wolf Lake, Blacktail Lake, and Heart Lake.
Serious trout fishermen head to Yellowstone’s famous rivers- the Firehole, Madison, Lamar, and the Yellowstone Rivers. However you define a great fishing trip, you’re sure to live it here. Yellowstone Park’s rivers host fishermen of every skill level, but ignorance doesn’t excuse the law so make sure you’re aware of the rivers, their rules and regulations, as well as what type of fish you’ll find there so you won’t be disappointed.
Fishing At Grand Teton National Park
Few places can capture your heart and leave you speechless like Grand Teton National Park. The only thing that rivals the fishing here is the view. Quite a few fish have escaped capture under the watchful eyes of fishermen who have unwilling let the area’s beauty take over. There’s not a spot in the park where the Grand Teton peaks (the tallest stands at 13,770 feet) are invisible.
Why settle for a lake, river, or stream fishing expedition when you can have all three in one place. Grand Teton National Park is home to the Snake River- legendary for its native cutthroat trout and easy accessible via the parking lot at Jackson Dam. Head to the Dam if you’re fishing for Mackinaw trout. You’re sure to find a good fishing hole by simply walking along the river, but finding a spot less fished is as easy as heading off the beaten trail. If you prefer boating to walking, Pacific Creek, Dead Mans Bar, and Moose near the south entrance to the park, all have boat launches.
Add a little foot exploration to your fishing at Grand Teton National Park’s lakes. Jenny Lake has trails that wind around the vast shorelines and provides a perfect excuse to put down the fishing pole and stretch your legs. String and Leigh Lakes are smaller and lie to the north. These two beauties are more secluded because they are only accessible by foot. Jackson Lake offers big lake fishing and lots of large lake trout to test your patience.
Like Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park is very protective of its wildlife. Catch and release is preferred since many of its fish residents are native and wild. Again, familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations to stay out of hot water with the rangers.