Are you planning a trip to fish in Jackson Hole, but are unsure where to start? You’re not alone! Our Jackson Hole fishing guides put together a few tips and tricks to consider for your fly fishing vacation that will make your trip smooth and unforgettable.
While fishing may be the focus of your journey, it is also important to have comfortable accommodations to relax after a long day on the water. The Town Square Inns including The 49er Inn, Cowboy Village, and Elk Country Inn are all located in the heart of downtown. These hotels are walking distance from Jackson Hole’s restaurants, bars, and shops.
If you are looking to escape the downtown buzz, Teton Mountain Lodge and Hotel Terra are located at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village. This area is just south of the entrance to Grand Teton National Park and affords plenty of open country while still offering several close-by dining options.
2. Spring Runoff
While some opt to visit Jackson Hole in the spring because there are less crowds, here are some key factors to consider when it comes to spring fishing!
The Snake River is generally not fishable by early May as the snow melt begins to come down out of the mountains. This makes the rivers muddy which makes it hard for the trout to see your fly in the water.
Despite the Snake River being muddy, we head to the Green River near Pinedale, Wyoming to get a chance at some large rainbow and brown trout. Even when the water flows are low, the nymph and streamer bit is good. Choosing warmer days can help as the fish are more apt to eat in warmer conditions.
Towards the end of May and early June we also fish Lewis Lake in Southern Yellowstone. This is a great option for guests who are staying at lodging in Yellowstone or those who are looking to fish within the National Park boundaries.
3. Summer Snake River Fishing
The historic Snake River is what truly makes Jackson Hole a top fly fishing destination. This river flows from the headwaters in Grand Teton National Park directly through Wilson and heads south to Alpine through a canyon. From there it travels through several states all the way to the Pacific Ocean!
Early season, starting in late June, is great for smaller cutthroat trout. July, August, and September tend to be the best months to fish the Snake River because the mountain water is crystal clear and various bug hatches occur. This is also when you will see larger cutthroat trout. If you want to escape the crowds, fall fly fishing in Wyoming is one of our favorites as well.
Fly fishing tips and tricks for the Snake River: use large foam dry flies that imitate stoneflies or grasshoppers. A dropper works well as the trout do tend to be in the upper part of the water column. Fishing deep nymphs works well for whitefish, which can be fun for kids and beginners.
4. Look into the Weather!
The weather on your fly fishing vacation can be unpredictable, make sure to bring extra layers! May and June can be colder months, so we recommend fleece, wool, and down material layers. July and August are the warmest months in Jackson so breathable clothing, sunglasses, and hats are a must. Mountain towns are known for their afternoon rainstorms, usually for a few weeks in August, so make sure to bring a raincoat just in case! September and October can be warm months but at the high elevation of 6,000 ft, it is not uncommon to see snow on the mountain tops.
Our best advice regarding weather: it never hurts to bring more cold weather, sun protection, and water than you think you need!
5. Book a Guided Trip!
Planning your own Jackson Hole fly fishing trip can certainly be rewarding. However, we recommend booking at least one day of guided fly fishing to really spend time with a local expert on the water! Our guides are proficient working with any ability level and have great tips on what rivers are fishing best that time of year. We also provide the necessary gear!
Your guide lives and breathes Jackson Hole! We encourage you to pick their brain about all this area has to offer. Some of our favorite activities (besides fishing, of course) include horseback rides, hot air balloon rides, paragliding, whitewater rafting, ATV and side by side trips, and multiple Snow King Mountain Activities.
Jackson Hole is truly a Fly Fishing mecca and those big trout are awaiting your perfect cast! Give us a call for any questions about your fly fishing vacation or to book a Jackson Hole fishing trip!