The spring weather is upon us here in Western Wyoming and the fishing is starting to pick up. Water temps are on the rise and ice is breaking up along the river banks and bends. Our lakes and local ponds are still solid and will stay there for a few more weeks, but the rivers and small streams are fishable. The weather forecast looks promising for the next few weeks here and we should see water temps start to get above 40 degrees soon. This means more bugs on the water and more fish moving around and starting to relocate from their deep dark winter hide outs. In our local rivers, fish seem to migrate depending upon seasons, water levels, and water temps. Early in the season you mostly likely will find fish stacking up in deeper, slower moving water, where food is abundant and little energy is needed to hold. The summer is fast approaching and some great fishing will take place between then and now. Don’t wait till mid July before breaking out the fly rod and casting on a wyoming water flow! Beat the crowds and come see what fishing the pre-run-off is all about, it is one of the biggest and best kept secrets among trout bums!
Over the past weekend our weather turned right-side up and the old drift boat got pulled out of winter storage for the first float trip of the year. Late March seems to always drag me to the rivers open water in search of hungry trout and hoping to dust off the winter blues. We had great fishing action all week last week and even had to bust out the ol’ sunscreen, which is a plus! Fishing this pre-run-off season is a mixed bag of realities. The fishing can be hit or miss and the weather can change quickly. We managed to net a few nice fish, but more importantly we were just out fishing the river in MARCH! With the winters snow-pack levels and the dry spring we are having, the best fishing this summer may be June– with August being a limited due to water levels. I hope to see you this summer with the Lodge at Jackson Fork for some great fishing. Book soon as things are really filling up for the summer. Till next time, Reel um IN! Eric Oram
The cold weather has made a bold statement this winter here in Western Wyoming and the snow levels seem to be sufficient for this time of the year. Here in Pinedale, we have not broke above 20 degrees for almost 2 weeks. I hope that you have enjoyed the holiday season with family and friends. I love this time of year–a time that seems to re-energize the soul–just as the snow provides the life-source for many things in our mountains and rivers. The new year is a great time to reflect on many great things that happened over the past 365 days and an even better time to set new goals that motivate and bring excitement to our days.
One of my great fishing buddies once gave me some great new years advice that I would like to share with everyone. He told me that in an effort to stay young and inspired by life, we should set 2 new goals, skills, or achievements for ourselves each year. Something new that you have never done before but have always wanted too. If you just add 2 new skills or achievements each year– overtime you will have a much deeper source of knowledge and ability then those we dont. You will not find yourself stagnant– living life without continuous improvement. For example, last year my two goals were to read 4 books throughout the year on leadership and self-improvement and the other goal was to learn how to build a fly rod. So I challenge you all to set out for accomplish 2 brand new things during the 2013 year. Just some food for thought as we embrace the new year. May the year be a fish-filled year of smiles and laughter.
As far as the fishing around Western Wyoming goes– You will need to bring your ICE-FISHING gear. There have been good reports on the Snake River, but the weather is the biggest factor to determine before setting out for s day of fishing. Most of the fishing is walk and wade and I would highly recommend a guide this time of the year. As for many of the guides around here, we spend this time of the year tying flies and cleaning out all of our fishing gear and reels. Make sure you give you fly lines a once over before the spring fever hits to hard and you find yourself on an open river fishing with crappy fly line that needs
Guide Eric Oram with annual Fishing Buddy
to be replaced. If you run your hands down the fly line and you can feel grit, bumps, or even worse cuts in the line—Change it out!! If it just seems to be dirty, you can use warm water and a wash cloth. This is a great time to buy 2012 models of fly line and if you keep looking around you can find some great deals. I am a big fan of the Rio fly lines out there!
This is also a great time of the year to start planning your fishing trips for the 2013 season. The lodge is fast becoming a popular destination for Western Fly-Fisherman and offers Top-of-the-Line lodging, food, and fishing. Make sure to keep checking back on the blog for up-to-date fishing reports this spring. I will be updating the site as soon as the hoback fishing opens up enough to fish.
The weather has been holding nice in the Western Wyoming area this Fall. Temps have been reaching mid to low 20′s on the cool nights and this week we are still hitting 50′s mid-day. The fishing has been great this fall. The upper green river is producing some BIG trout on nymphs and streamers. With the Browns spawning – make sure to be careful when wading to ensure our future in fly fishing. The natural process can be greatly disrupted be aggressive fisherman. The smaller streams are almost no-fishable at this time of the year. The ranch provides some great winter season fishing opportunites to catch some snake river cutty’s and you will most likely not see anyone else. Fishing in the silence of the rocky mountains can be -life changing- for sure! Look to book a fishing trip early in the summer before the run-off and you could see some of the best fishing all year. Looking back over this past fishing season, the most consistent and all-around-best fishing would have had to been the month of JUNE! Lots of fish, Big fish, and great weather. Posted below is a short video clip of a Bonneville Cutty caught on the Smith Fork. These fish are located in western wyoming and are one of the 4 cutty types needed to complete the cutt-slam. Hopefully mother nature brings us good snow fall up high this winter to ensure good flows this next summer. Happy Halloween to All and may the cast fall straight!
A few days ago I had some time off from work and headed up to the ranch to spend the afternoon. The first thing that you will notice this time of the year on the ranch is the wildlife. The mule-deer and antelope seem to be everywhere. If the open grass-field meadows that surround the river-bottom on the upper hoback canyon are not filled with hunger antelope grazing before heading south for the winter, the fields are occupied by the ranch buffalo. These buffalo are absolutely beautiful. Jackson Fork Lodge is home to many buffalo and one of the most unique experiences that you can enjoy while fishing here is the opportunity to see the mysteries “WHITE BUFFALO”.
One of the white buffalo from Jackson Fork Lodge
This is a picture of one of the white buffalo from the lodge. This small herd of white buffalo is a must see if you are in the area. Another great part about the ranch this part of the year is the solitude. Many locals have hung up the fishing poles for the fall and grabbed the old hunting rifle in search of bagging a trophy big game animal.
This is great news for the avid fishermen who can handle a little Wyoming wind and cold weather. As far as the fishing report– the water is clear and low. The water is easy to read and the deep pockets are holding the fish. Fishing can be tough– you may only get one chance at them before they go into hiding. Be ready to set the hook on the first cast, because most often– the fish will try to eat on the first serving! Check back in next month for some more great photos and fishing report!
- Native Colorado Cutty
The fishing this summer was great. Some of the best in years in our area. Fish started eating consistently in June and it is still on!! All of the rivers and tribs that we focus our time on for the Cutt-Slam are lower then normal for this time of the year (water level), however fish are still looking up, and the best action is early morning and evening time. The afternoon fishing as been slower, however still productive if your willing to try a few color patterns and fish the dry-dropper rig. If you have been thinking about coming out to fish Wyoming— This year would be a great time to pull the trigger. The fall weather is just starting to creep into our mornings and evening temps and the leaves are turing on a few trees. The fishing this fall should be very productive as the cooler nights will help lower our water temps and spark the winter-feeding mood of our Cutt’s.
The Cutt-Slam is a great way to challenege the advanced angler as well as a great way to beginning anglers to learn about the sport. The cutt-slam teaches the angler about native fish and rivers and builds a deeper appreciation for angling conservation. The four major cutty’s that must be caught to complete the cutt-slam are: The Colorado, which is a native fish for the Green River drainage. The Snake River, which is a native fish for the Snake River drainage. The Bonneville River, which is a native fish for the Bear River drainage, and the Yellowstone, which is the native fish for the Missouri River drainage. If your looking for a angling adventure or challenge– try the Wyoming Cutt-Slam.
Fishing Report for the Lodge at Jackson Fork
The fishing has been great in the early morning. If you are up before the sunrise, you can have some really exciting action on the surface. The silentence of the mountains and the waking of the sun to the valley at the Lodge is one of the most peaceful places in the world and well worth the few hours of missed sleep. If you perfer to fish later in the day, be ready to work a little harder for the fish and your best bet is fishing a dry-dropper rig. The water is low—really low and the fish are holding to the deeper pools. Hoppers are turing fish and the best color seems to be red. The best method for fishing the lodge is to wade into the river. The water is low enough to allow easy access to wade across the river. The key to success is being able to cover a little mileage on the wading boots and fish the deeper pools with a dry-dropper rig or a small streamer.
Fish love RED Flies!
During January and February the fishing action centers on connecting with big hungry trout by jigging some type of bait or lure through the ice on one of the many fine lakes we have in the Pinedale area. The less hardy fishers who prefer to wait until there is some open water on our local streams stay indoors and talk about the two big “W’s” weather and water.
I am frequently asked by prospective clients to give them an idea of what the fishing water conditions will be like during their visit. My standard response is that “normally” (a weather guesser’s hedge word) the best water for fly fishing occurs from the second week in July through the second week in September. This is when we have the best water, weather and hatch conditions. We usually have a couple of weeks in late April and early May, before the run-off, when the weather and water conditions give us excellent fishing opportunities on some of our streams. There are also top-notch fishing conditions to be found on our local lakes in May and June as the ice recedes.
Taking a look at this year, weather experts say we are still under the influence of La Nina, a weather pattern created by cooler ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific which usually brings more moisture and cooler temperatures to our part of the country. So why was much of the Rocky Mountain area bereft of snow until late January? There is another phenomenon that enters our weather equation known as arctic oscillation, where strong surface air pressure traps the moist air that would bring snow to our region up near the Arctic, leaving the Rocky Mountains with low moisture levels. During the La Nina cycle it is just a matter of time before the arctic oscillation pressure weakens, allowing moist air to escape southward which will then bring snow for our mountains in Sublette County.
It is easy to participate in weather science particularly with the advent of the internet, but individuals who are planning a trip to our area like to communicate with someone who has extensive experience with the local weather and water conditions. In this regard I feel comfortable in projecting that we will have decent fishing water here in Sublette County again this season. I base this projection, in part, on the fact that being born and raised in Wyoming I know we will have snow fall in the mountains, albeit sometimes more, sometimes less; sometimes early in the winter, sometimes late. I have been chasing trout in our local streams for well over a half century and have found there has always been enough water to maintain a good trout population. We are very fortunate to live next to the Wind River Mountains where elevation and a unique permanent glacier system contribute to a good supply of fishing water.
One thing is certain, the weather and water conditions will periodically change throughout the next several months.
We have had a lot of surface moisture the past few days and the snow pack in the mountains looks a lot like December. The weather alternates between warm and cool temperatures, which have kept the flows consistent on the major streams. Walk/wade fishing opportunities are excellent on all our streams since the lower fall water flows have isolated the good holes and runs where the trout usually congregate. The water temperatures remain moderate and the fish have stayed active in their feeding habits. The Brown trout have become more active as they prepare to commence their spawning activities and the Rainbows are feeding voraciously.
We are getting some action on the New Fork and Green Rivers by offering the trout large mouthfuls of various colored woolly buggers and other large streamer patterns. These patterns also seem to work well in some of our local lakes. The trout will respond well to smaller nymph and egg patterns if they are dead drifted deep in front of their noses. If the temperature warms up to the mid forties in the afternoon and the wind and cloud cover is right we experience a BWO and Caddis hatch. This brings feeding trout to the surface, giving the surface anglers a great thrill.
Fly fishing remains generally good, but the angler must be prepared to practice a little winter survival on occasion when a front moves into the area. This will occur more frequently as winter approaches.
Our prime fly fishing season started a lot later this year due to a very cold spring which led to a later run-off. We were unable to fish many of our streams until the third week in July. Early August found us still waiting for some of the smaller streams coming out of the Wyoming Mountain Range to moderate. This late start gave us good water flows throughout September and well into October so we had a few extra weeks of excellent fishing at the end of the season. The fish we caught late in the season were fat and feisty since they had gorged themselves on worms, grubs and mites that were dislodged from the stream banks during several weeks of abnormally high water. This coupled with the lighter than normal fishing pressure early in the season bodes well for our fishing prospect next season.
Our float trips were very productive this season, but the good walk/wade opportunities did not develop until later in the season. It is difficult to predict the water situation for next year, but I would say the best time to visit us for all round prime fly fishing opportunities will be from the second week in July to the second week in September. Those interested in fishing during this period should make reservations early.
There were large numbers of clients who came to participate in the Wyoming Cutt-Slam which has become a very popular fly fishing challenge. Remember we can provide you with an opportunity to fish for three of the four sub-species of cutthroat required to complete your Slam.
We have conducted high quality fly fishing expeditions for years on the many outstanding streams in the Pinedale area. These waterways are not only a great home for wild trout, but provide a wonderful venue for birds, raptors, waterfowl and other wildlife. Many of our clients who fish our private waters enjoy viewing the feathered and hoofed wildlife as well as the fishing. This prompted us to develop a bird watching expedition for this next season.
Post your favorite Wyoming winter stories.