Trip Report Results from my Jackson Wyoming trip.

cms829

Active Member
#1
First off. Didn't even wind up fishing in Wyoming. The draw to see the legendary Henry's fork won over. The -16 degree morning on Wednesday in Jackson and heavy slush on the snake in Wilson sealed the deal.

Headed out to Ashton first light Thursday morning. By the time I reached Ashton around 9 am it was mid teens and climbing. Stayed cloudy all day until sunset and topped out around 30.

Hit a few different areas. All the same type of water. I never really found exactly the type of water I preferwhat. I would say downstream of the Ora bridge is the closest I came to my ideal water type this time of year.

Got into fish within my first 5-10 casts. Big old whitefish took a worm. Can honestly say that's my first fish I've only caught on a worm. (Red squirmy worm). Never give worm flies much attention. Next got into a bunch of cookie cutter rainbows. Some of the most beautiful bows I've seen aside from those wild fish in my home waters of the upper Delaware. Got a tip to head to a specific spot downstream from a friendly guy who basically lowholed me. Lol.

Figured what the heck. Went for a walk. Really flat low water without much definition. But found a couple seams to work over quick. Got into a nice healthy brown. And then hooked up on the big one. This brown was huge. Had him on long enough for him to roll and surface a few times. His head was much larger than my fist. Of course, he came off after a heavy head shake. Probably my own unidentified mistake. I often lose fish when I get over excited and start trying to move back to the bank while fighting the fish. This one will haunt me for a while.

Moved upstream around Ora and got into a few super nice colorful bows who for the temp still had some good energy. These are healthy fish for sure. Good to see. As I nymphed my way down a big old bald eagle flew over which caused me to stop and look around some. Good thing I did, as between me and the left bank (15-20 ft) I noticed several rises. Whatched for a bit and they kept eating. Being so close I tried to keep my movement to a minimum but snip off my nymph rig and throw on a griffiths gnat. Picked one of the closer targets to not shut the rest down and sure enough second drift fish on. Nice fight and another gorgeous fish. My first winter dry fly fish! Went for one of the further fish and visually missed the take, because I went to pick up to send one over them again and pulled the fly out of one of their mouths. As quick as it began, it was over and they shut down. Gave the area a rest and watched from the riverside and they never resumed. Moved back up river nymphing and ended the day with a bunch of smaller rainbows.

Given the day I had, I cannot begin to imagine what the fishing is like during the regular season. It's an incredible fishery. Was hoping and praying for a true cutty but wasn't to be. Ps- I caught a total of zero fish on anything smaller than a 20. No fish on zebra midges, smoke jumpers, think I got one on a rainbow warrior. Mostly all my fish came on my point fly which is my take on a hotspot pheasant tail at a size 14-16. So you don't HAVE to go small in the winter.

The Henry's fork did not disappoint. I'm so thankful I had the chance to make it there, and I hope to get back someday.


Disclaimer: fish were out of the water for a couple seconds at most.

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Bowbonehead

Active Member
#2
I love that gasoline sheen that the rainbows get in the winter........ it will be a while before you can fish again here in Alberta and ice fishing does not count.....
 
#4
I lived in the Teton valley for almost 10 years in the 70's and 80's. I never tire of that view of the Tetons from the west! Nice report and thanks for the reminder of that view.
 

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