A blue sky overhead hosts a few cumulous clouds, the towering Snake River Range overwhelms you on the right but the majestic Wyoming Range balances it on the left, an osprey plucks an unsuspecting trout from its watery home with a quick swoop from the sky and some handy work with it's talons. You can count your blessings when you're floating down the mighty Snake River that divides these two mountain ranges here in the bottom of Wyoming's Snake River Canyon. The Snake River is a gorgeous ribbon of blue, green and white that comes alive and deposits itself in you face on a regular basis in this imposing canyon where towering spruce, pine and fir trees wear rags of moss and bald eagles perch watching the parade of kayakers, fishermen and rafters float by.
French trappers who were the earliest
travelers to the Snake River Canyon had a different opinion
of the place, "La maudite riviœre enrag¹e. The accursed mad river".
An 1800's perspective of Wyoming's Snake River back when
mountains and rivers were obstacles instead of resorts
The swift running whitewater of the Snake, where it squeezes
through this canyon, was a major obstacle in the traverse
of these mountains. Today the Snake is still ornery, but
visitors see it a blessing for its recreational opportunities.
Whitewater wreck at Lunch Counter Rapid
This picturesque river section from Pritchard Creek to Sheep Gulch also provides some awesome fishing if you dare to fish it. Although the river is right below the highway the cliffs limit access enough to keep the fishing good and the difficulty of the whitewater keeps many float fisherman fishing elsewhere.
The Pritchard Creek to West Table Creek access section of the river is rather mellow and is comprised of many braided channels log jams, and shallow, rocky channels to negotiate. Boaters should know how to maneuver around such obstacles prior to floating this section. The average float time for this section is two and one half-hours unless you are a fisherman. There are many riffles, gravel bars, side channels for the fisherman as well as nesting sites of bald eagles and great blue herons.
For those thirsty for whitewater, West Table to Sheep Gulch is your stretch of river; A narrower channel, faster flow and a series of rock ledges produce Class II and III rapids. Class III rapids are the perfect size, on class IV rivers you have to wear a helmet because of the added danger. The spring runoff makes our class III rapids fearsome but later in the summer, when the river settles into a spring creek like clarity that seems to magnify the green rocky depths it becomes a tamer ride but still is plenty of fun and still maintains several class III waves.
River camp at Lunch Counter Rapid
West Table is the most popular put in for whitewater trips in the Snake River Canyon. Although there is plenty of fun water in the first half of the trip the real excitement for boaters begins just below Blind Canyon, where boats say hello to Big Kahuna, a hole that's nonexistent at high water but later in the season becomes a 6-foot wall of water. Lunch Counter Rapids is a wave train of 5- and 6-foot swells, including one so massive that locals ride surfboards on it. Lunch Counter is best early in the season before Kahuna comes up.
Boaters that float this 8 mile section from West Table Boat Launch to Sheep Gulch
Boat Launch should know how to navigate rapids and have experience on high
volume rivers. Kayakers should be able to execute an Eskimo roll. There
is a class V reversal located at Three Oar Deal Rapid, stay river right!
The average float time is one and one half hours unless you are a fisherman.
Regardless of the water level, kayakers always have
Running the Rapids in a Dory
something to surf in
this stretch. If your floating a $6,000 Clackacraft driftboat you might
want to make sure it is insured.
The following descriptions cover highlights of the stretch
of river known as the "Grand Canyon of the Snake River" which runs from the
West Table River Access almost 8 miles to the Sheep Gulch boat ramp.
0.8 Station Creek Ledges (II-) The river flows over
outcrops of Aspen sandstone creating a series of ledge hydraulics. At lower water,
there can be fun surfing here, and there are several small holes to play in.
At high water, most of the rapid is washed out. Most of the eddy lines and pools
will produce nice trout.
Kayaker Steve Horn doing ender at Taco Hole
1.6 S-Turns/Taco Hole (II+) Sandstone and limestone
ledges of the Gannett Group create a sinuous series of small haystacks in
a pool-drop pattern for the next 0.3 miles. At high flows, the currents become
with very strong eddylines, ideal for squirt boats, and even strong enough
to flip some plastic boats end over end. At lower water levels, various small
and holes appear, providing good play spots for side-surfing and pop-ups.
There is a large turnout on the highway high above here for kayaker and fishing
2.1 Cut Bank Waves (II) A landslide has constricted
the river here, forming a nice set of haystacks, providing good surfing. As the
flow increases, so does wave size. The slide has created some big deep pools
(along with mile 2.7) followed by easy playful rapids. At high water, one can
find very strong eddy-lines, some, which can literally throw kayaks and canoes
through the air.
3.1 Three Oar-Deal (II,V)At high flows (12,000 cfs), the
hole at Three Oar-deal is possibly the most dangerous on the river. As the
river turns to the right, the main current flows over a sandstone ledge protruding
from the left, creating a huge and potentially deadly reversal. This unassuming
ledge has been the scene of a few horror stories and drowning incidents.
The reversal can be easily avoided by maintaining an inside line on the right
throughout the turn. At low flows, the danger diminishes as the hole disappears
and an innocent looking, partially submerged ledge takes its place.
5.3 Blind Canyon Rapid (II) At the entrance to blind
canyon is a nice set of surfing waves, increasing in size with an increase in
flow. At most flows, a hole exists at the top of
the rapid near the right bank, and becomes sticky as levels drop. Big fish
have been known to frequent here.
5.5 Big Kahuna (II-III) At high flows (10,000 cfs)
this rapid is washed out. At lower flows, a river wide ledge forms a nice big
curler followed by a wave hole in the center. The optimum and elusive flow for
the ideal surf on the glassy green curl is somewhere around 7,200 cfs. The curler
can be surfed by drifting in from above, and the wave hole can be played in from
the eddies below. Easy sneak routes exist on both sides of the curler.
River Surfer cutting it up at Lunch Counter Rapid
Lunch Counter (II, IV) You've heard about it here it comes! Although it does
take higher flows to get the Lunch Counter going,
hold on. This is the biggest rapid in the Snake
River Canyon. Over about 16,000 cfs, wave height may exceed 10 feet.
At over 25,000 cfs, they may actually recede. The turbulence is incredible
at this level, and at the tail of the haystacks is a cycling shear
that can flip rafts and engulf kayakers. Adjacent to the tongue of
the rapid are two huge eddies, ideal for pulling over people, boats, coolers,
It is also a good fishing hole as is the rock ledge 100 feet down river
There is a parking area on the highway and many people come here just to watch the action, get some sun or to fish.
6.2 Rope (II-III-)After the deep pools below Lunch Counter,
a series of haystacks suitable for surfing and pop-ups are formed and are
a fun little roller-coaster ride. As the flow decreases a conspicuous breaking
7.4 Cottonwood (II, III)
The rapid is a series of waves and small ledge-holes scattered across the river,
culminating in a set of haystacks a half mile downstream where the river
constricts. At very high flows, the wave size can exceed 10 feet, good for
playing, surfing, or just staring at in amazement. Caution should be used
here as the rapids here are from submerged rocks instead of canyon constrictions
as most of the rest of the river.
Sheep Gulch this is the take for this section of river for the whitewater enthusiasts. The fishing here is surprisingly good for smaller fish considering the easy access from the highway and the hundreds of boats that take out here.
Fishing the Snake River
Fly-fisherman tries his luck right above Blind Canyon
The Snake River is home to a unique subspecies of cutthroat trout known as the Fine-spotted Snake River Cutthroat Trout. This outstanding game fish is indigenous to the Snake River drainage and relies totally on natural reproduction. Having a wild trout fishery with indigenous trout is not something we take for granted and we highly encourage catch and release fishing to protect this valuable resource.
One of the Fine-spotted Snake River Cutthroat most endearing qualities is its fondness for feeding on top sipping mayflies flies or attacking stoneflies, drakes and hoppers. Large dry flies like size 8 Turck Tarantulas, Royal Wulffs, Club Sandwiches, and hoppers are all popular and good choices. Size 6 and even 4 stone fly patterns sometimes are also effective.
The Snake River is a large and swift river and can be dangerous. While wade fishing is certainly possible, and done all the time, the preferred method for fly-fishing is with a driftboat or raft. Canoes, rafts, and driftboats provide access to much more of the river than would otherwise be possible on foot but if you are in a canoe make sure you know what you are doing.
The key to fishing the banks of this river while floating
is getting your fly as tight to the bank as possible and allowing it to drift
just inches form the bank in most spots unless there is no current there.
When fishing from a gravel bar its possible to hook and land a several fish
in a row. These spots often provide good mayfly action. Whenever you see
an obstruction like a root system of a fallen tree in the river drift your
fly close to it as those are good fish lies and often provide large fish.
typical Snake River Cuthroat Trout
Trout season on the Snake opens on April 1 and extends through October 31. Runoff typically starts around early to mid-May and can last well into July and even August in high snowpack years. That allows about a month and a half of fishing prior to spring runoff. Early season fishing can be very good, but is not as consistent and productive as the fishing after spring runoff. Streamers are good choice this time of year. September is considered the best month for fishing the Snake but often times the good fishing will begin in August and last till the season ends in October.
You will find sporadic hatches of stoneflies from April through September, midges all year round. Summer brings hatches of evening caddis and mayflies usually around midday.
Once the river begins to clear in late July or early August, dry fly season begins in earnest. Wulffs, Stimulators, Humpys, Trudes, Royal Coachmans, Power Ants, Jay-Dave's Hopper and Turck Tarantulas are standard fare. Good streamers to use are JJ Specials, Woolly Buggers, Muddlers, Zonkers, Double Bunnies and Kiwi Muddlers. For nymphs, Hare's Ear, Pheasant Tails, Anderson's Golden Stone's, Halfbacks, Yuk Bugs, and Prince's Nymphs.
River Boat Trips • (Jackson Hole) When you head down the Snake River with
Mad River, you're traveling with more than 100 years of river guide
experience. Guides are knowledgeable in local lore, Wyoming's rugged
and beautiful waters, and advanced rafting safety. You'll find our
entire crew prides themselves in providing the very best, most exciting
trip you can take in the Jackson area. Come, grab
a paddle and take a trip with Mad River. We guarantee it will be one
you remember for a long time.
Jackson Hole Whitewater • (Jackson Hole) Voted The #1rafting company in Jackson
Hole by our local newspaper the "Jackson Hole Guide." That says
it all. We have been in business for 35 years and were the first
company to have permits on the Snake River. We are a small company
by choice. We have had the chance to expand but feel that "small
is better"! Visit our website to find out why...
Deal Anglers • Reel
Deal Anglers is Jackson Hole’s Premier
fishing guide service, don’t wait in a
fly-fishing shop (we provide all the flies),
we pick you up and take you right to the river.
We guide on the Snake River, Green River, Henry’s
Fork River, South Fork River, Madison River,
New Fork River, Salt River, Gros Ventre River
and the Teton River as well as numerous backcountry
streams, popular spring creeks, and exclusive
private water opportunities, so we can put you
on the hottest water available at any given time.
Our guides are superb and are experts on the
water they specialize in. With Reel Deal Anglers,
you’ll float and wade fish on beautiful
rivers, encounter surprised wildlife, catch native
trout while entertaining chance encounters with
elk, moose, bison osprey and bald eagles fishing
the same waters as you.
Jackson Hole Outdoors • Don Wackerman offers anglers the fishing adventure of a lifetime with half-day and full-day float trips on one of North America's top trout streams, the legendary Snake River in the shadow of the breathtaking Grand Teton mountain range.
Teton Valley Lodge • (Teton Valley ID) Matt and Brian Berry's families have ownership of the lodge. Once you visit Teton Valley Lodge you are part of our family. That is not a statement, this is how we really feel. You are the most important part of what Teton Valley Lodge is all about. We want you to love fly fishing as much as we do and as much as all those that came before us. Idaho fly fishing guiding is what we do. It's really what we've always done. The heart of Teton Valley Lodge has always been its guides. We learned how to guide from a very young age from our father. Many of our guides have been fishing for decades and some have been guiding for decades. Our goal is simple, catch as many fish as possible. We have the guides to make that goal a reality. Our home is on the Teton River but we also guide on the South Fork of the Snake River and and on the Henrys Fork.
Deal Anglers • (Jackson Hole Wyoming) Reel Deal Anglers is Jackson
Premier fishing guide service, don’t wait in a fly-fishing shop (we
provide all the flies), we pick you up and take you right to the river.
on the Snake River, Green
River, Henry’s Fork River, South Fork River, Madison River, New Fork
River, Salt River, Gros Ventre River and the Teton River as well as numerous
backcountry streams, popular spring creeks, and exclusive private water
opportunities, so we can put you on the hottest water available at any
given time. Our guides are superb and are experts onthe water they specialize
in. With Reel Deal Anglers, you’ll float and wade fish on beautiful
rivers, encounter surprised wildlife, catch native trout while entertaining
chance encounters with elk, moose, bison osprey and bald eagles fishing
the same waters as you.
East Slope Outdoors • (Big Sky Montana) East Slope Outdoors provides three types of guided trips, all based out of Big Sky, Montana, your Blue Ribbon River fly fishing headquarters. Whether you want to introduce yourself to the sport, hone your skills with fly fishing professional, or simply enjoy a great day on the river, you're sure to appreciate the company of our friendly expert guides.
Jackson Hole Outdoors • (Jackson Hole Wyoming) Don Wackerman offers anglers the fishing adventure of a lifetime with half-day and full-day float trips on one of North America's top trout streams, the legendary Snake River in the shadow of the breathtaking Grand Teton mountain range.
Henrys Fork Anglers • (Island
Park Idaho) Henry's Fork Anglers is located on the banks of the Henry's
Fork of the Snake River in Last Chance, Idaho. The Henry's Fork is
one of the most famous and diverse fly fishing rivers in the world,
with plenty to offer the advanced fly fisher as well as the beginner.
Its prolific aquatic insect hatches draw fly fishers from around
the globe to test their skills against highly selective rainbow trout.
Angler's West Flyfishing Outfitters • (Paradise Valley Montana) Big Sky Flies and Guides Outfitting Co. has merged with Angler's West Flyfishing Outfitters! We continue to offer the same fantastic guide service you've come to know and trust, and the finest selection of flyfishing equipment and quality outdoor apparrel at our Emigrant flyshop location. We are the premier Paradise Valley flyfishing outfitter. Come visit us and do so often!
Actress Heather Thomas fly-fising on the Snake River in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The River’s Edge • ( Bozeman Montana) Bozeman Montana’s premier fly fishing outfitter and fly shop. With the Gallatin, Madison, Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers a short drive away and a store that carries only the finest in fly fishing products including Simms, Winston, Sage, Ross and Galvan, we’re confident we will provide the very best Montana trout fishing experience. Come see for yourself...
Madison River Outfitters • (West Yellowstone MT) Native cutthroats rising for hoppers along a grassy cut bank on the Yellowstone… Big brown trout slashing at emerging caddis in a broad riffle on Montana’s Madison… Wild rainbows sipping tiny blue winged olives in a setting of incomparable beauty on the Firehole… This is just a sample of the action that takes place somewhere in our ‘backyard’ each day of the season! Madison River Outfitters, featuring an impressive selection of quality fly fishing tackle, custom flies, rugged outdoor clothing and hiking and backpacking equipment, is one of the finest fly shops in the Rocky Mountain West. We offer guide service in Montana and Yellowstone National Park and our friendly guides are committed to providing you with a great fly fishing experience on the world class fisheries surrounding West Yellowstone.
Tim Wade's North Fork Anglers • (Cody Wyoming) Tim Wade's North Fork Anglers is the premier Greater Yellowstone Fly Fishing Headquarters! Seen on ESPN, TNN Outdoor and other outdoors fly fishing programs, this fly shop is always a must stop destination for all anglers wanting the latest information on hatches, conditions, and the right equipment before they head out to explore the waters of the region. Tim Wade, owner and outfitter, has been guiding and instructing anglers in the Cody Wyoming / Yellowstone region for more than 20 years. During those years he has taught or written about fly fishing, fly tying, fly casting and entomology, sharing his knowledge of water and fish behavior with thousands of during that time. He still lovesto see one of his guests on a guided trip get hooked up with a wily brown, or untangle knots when needed, because it is all part of the job as guide or outfitter. "This is a job that is a privilege for me," Tim says. "My office is not bad either.
Two Rivers Emporium • (Pinedale Wyoming) Two Rivers Emporium offers some of the finest rainbow and brown trout fishing in the state of Wyoming. Our guides are extremely efficient and up to date on hatches and which flies and lures are working. We are here to help you in any way to make your fishing vacation more memorable. If there is any thing we can do, please contact us at our E-Mail address, or call our toll free number.
Wind River Canyon Whitewater & Fly Fishing • (Thermopolis, Wyoming) Experience an exclusive fly fishing adventure in the Wind River Canyon, or on the Upper Big Wind River near Crowheart, Wyoming. There are no crowds as Wind River Canyon Whitewater & Fly Fishing is the only licensed outfitter on the entire river! The Wind River Canyon is trophy style water with many of the catches well over 20 inches. The predominate species in Wind River Canyon are Brown and Rainbow with Cutthroat also being present. Guided fishing trips are also available on the Big Horn River north of the Wind River Canyon, which flows into Thermopolis, Wyoming.
A Few Thoughts On Fishing
Fly-fishing Tower Creek below Tower Falls in Yellowstone
"But when I am alone in the half light of the canyon
all existence seems to fade to a being with my soul, and memories. And
the sounds of the Big Black Foot River, and a four count rhythm, and the
hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and
a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and
runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless
raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs.
I am haunted by waters."
Sound-bite from a River Runs Through it.
The Yellowstone Teton Region fly-fishing is blessed with
a plethora of blue ribbon trout waters that host prolific hatches of Mayflies,
Caddis Flies and Stone Flies. Dozens of rivers and hundreds of lakes and
streams, all world-class fisheries that attract anglers from around the world.
The Henry’s Fork, the Snake, the Madison, and the Yellowstone Rivers have
been elevated to legendary status by the movies made about them and the books
and articles that have been written about them.
If you believe what you read, fly-fishing requires the
touch of a surgeon and the spirit of a Zen master. Well, it might help but
it certainly isn’t required around here. Forget about what you’ve heard about
fly-fishing in the past, if you really want to fly-fish all you need are
the right tools, proper technique, and a positive attitude. With these essential
elements, you can begin to enjoy the sport of fly-fishing in no time.
Some time spent with a guide can enhance your skills exponentially in a very short time, as they are all trained to be teachers. A day discovering the best techniques for fly-fishing with a guide on one of our regional rivers or legendary spring creeks gives you the foundation for many years of productive fly-fishing enjoyment of the future. Many regional guides have spent a lifetime fly-fishing the rivers and streams of Yellowstone Teton Region. Their instruction of the best flies, how to read the water, presentation, and all aspects of fishing the Yellowstone region can greatly enhance your fly-fishing experience.
For those of you who already know how to fly-fish, or
do not want to hire a fly-fishing guide, all you need is a map, the proper
seasonal fly selection, and some current fly-fishing advice, all which can
be found for the price of a handful of flies at a local fly shop.
Most rental shops of the Yellowstone Teton region have drift boats rafts and float tubes for rent for those of you that wish to escape the confines of the bank of your river, lake, or stream, because as we all know, the big one is in the eddy on the far side of the river.
Cody and Scott Hunter fly-fishing the Gardiner River in Yellowstone National Park
Spin-cast fishing is popular around the area also and
is a very productive way to wet a line. Although spin fishing doesn’t require
the finesse and learning curve of fly-fishing, a guided trip with a guide
that knows spin-fishing can really improve our catch rate. Remember to keep
in mind to de-barb your hooks to improve your catches chance of survival
upon release. We also encourage lure fisherman to cut their treble hooks
down to a single hook.
The Snake River Drainage is home to a unique subspecies of cutthroat trout known
as the Fine-spotted Snake River Cutthroat Trout. This outstanding game fish
is indigenous to the Snake River drainage and relies totally on natural reproduction.
Having a wild trout fishery with indigenous trout is not something we take
for granted and we highly encourage catch and release fishing to protect this
The Yellowstone Cutthroat, as the name implies, are native to the Yellowstone River drainage of southwest and south-central Montana and northwest Wyoming. In general, The relation of Yellowstone cutthroat trout to Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout is problematic. Early genetic analyses could not distinguish these subspecies, but recent attempts have been more successful.
Whether you are fishing for one of the Fine-spotted Snake River Cutthroat our Yellowstone Cutthroat you will find their most endearing qualities is their fondness for feeding on top sipping mayflies flies or attacking stoneflies, drakes, and hoppers. Large dry flies like size eight Turck Tarantulas, Royal Wulffs, Club Sandwiches, and hoppers are all popular and good choices. Size six and even four stone fly patterns sometimes are also effective.
Rainbow and Brown Trout can be found throughout the area as well a few sub-species of cutthroat trout, and some of our lakes are home to Kokanee Salmon.
Fly-fisherman fishing the dead calm water of Green River Lake in the Wind River Mountains. Squaretop mountain is casting a reflection
Many of our lakes are gifted with giant Lake Trout, but you usually need to be an expert or lucky to get one in the 20 to 50 pound category. Most are taken by trolling with spoons or minnow-like plugs attached to wire-line rigs or downriggers. They can also be taken by bottom fishing with whole or cut fish. In summer they often move to depths of 50 to 100 feet, but in spring and fall you can find them at depths of 20 feet or less. When ice fishing you can catch Lake Trout in hardly any water at all.
Many of our lakes are put and take fisheries and are planted by the Idaho, Montana or Wyoming Game and Fish, but most of our rivers and streams are wild trout fisheries and do not receive planted fish.
Our wild trout fisheries, due to the law of survival of
the fittest, produce a hardier, smarter game fish, and is a resource worthy
of protection. Catch and release although not mandatory on many waters is
often the practice. Many of the fish of the region are caught and released
40 times per year and if everyone kept their fish there wouldn’t be any here
except inferior hatchery fish.
I used to keep my big ones because they were such trophies, and I used to keep some to eat until I realized that I can buy a trout for two dollars in the store and that fish in the river provides has a much greater value than two dollars as a recreational resource.
Chuck Yeager & Guide
Mike Lawson - One Fly Fishing Contest
Hole One Fly Fishing Contest • Each year
in September, flyfisherman from around the world gather in Jackson
Hole Wyoming to participate in one of fly fishing's most unique events.
is a weekend filled with fun, challenges, adventures and of course,
Snake River Cutthroat trout.
the Cutt-slam a try. • If you want to see some breathtaking
country, do a little camping and accomplish something that only around
300 people have done, you might
want to give Wyoming’s Cutt-Slam program a try. This year
marks the 10th anniversary of the program that recognizes anglers for
catching Wyoming’s four subspecies of cutthroats in their native
range. Back in the mid-90s, Wyoming fisheries coordinator, the late Ron
Remmick, had an idea to try to bring more public awareness to Wyoming’s
cutthroat trout and the management efforts benefitting these fish. The
Cutt-Slam was hatched and a program was developed to recognize anglers
for making the effort to catch the Snake River, Bonneville, Colorado
River and Yellowstone cutthroat subspecies.
Daryl L. Hunter trying his luck on the Wind River south of Dubois Wyoming. The Wind River carves a beautiful path through the badlans of Dubois.
Fly-Fish-Hooky On The Henry’s Fork • By Reyn Bowman
Growing up, my Dad wasn’t into fishing so in the years before heavy chores began I hid my old hand-me-down fly-fishing rod near the low-lying Ora Bridge between our ranch and where I went to school in the town of Ashton, Idaho. .....................The tiny bridge crosses the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River in the shallow tailwaters, just below the century-old Ashton Power Dam and Reservoir as that North Fork winds its way from the mountains down to a rendezvous on plain 50 miles south and a bit west with the South Fork flowing out of Wyoming.............................I’ve learned as an adult that the the Henry’s Fork including the half mile of riffles and runs just above the Ora Bridge down through the deeper, spring-fed portion a couple of miles downriver to the Vernon Bridge (and even a bit further to the Chester Bridge) reportedly yields some of the best for trout fly-fishing in the world. There is even a lodge now a short distance from there.......................To me it was just convenient...................rest of story
Hole's Flat Creek • By Scott
of us have waters that have made a special connection
to us. Wyoming's Flat Creek is one of mine. Part
of the attraction is nostalgic, since this is where I
learned the intricacies of spring creek fishing.
This stream was my schoolroom for spotting subtle rises,
sneaking up on the fish, picking a good imitation,
and then presenting a drag-free drift. Flat Creek
also special because its scenic location a few miles
north of Jackson, Wyoming, on the National
go crazy saving flies • By D Dave Strege
One fly-fisher stripped his clothes off and swam naked into the river
to retrieve his fly that got snagged. Another stood on the shoulders
guide and used pruning shears to cut down the branch where his fly was
lodged. A lucky one hooked a big fish that snapped his line, losing fish
and fly, only to wait five minutes before the fly somehow dislodged from
mouth and popped to the surface. He netted it — the fly, that is. What
would lead a fly-fisher to go to such extremes to save a fly caught
in a tree limb or a log in the riverh.................More
Jack Lee of Swan Valley floats and fishes his way through section two of the South Fork of the Snake River.
Henry's Heaven •
By Jack Ballard
Lake or river -- take your pick. The world-renowned Henry's Fork
country of eastern Idaho boasts some of the finest trout fishing
in the nation. Who's Henry? That's the question that kept buzzing
through my head the first time I motored through a mesmerizing
mountain valley just southwest
of Yellowstone National Park. The name seems to be ubiquitous in
eastern Idaho, with landmarks such as Henry's Lake and the Henry's
Fork of the Snake River...............................more
Henry's Fork of Island Park • By Ben Arellano
Fly Fishing the rivers and lakes
around Island Park is an experience that an angler seldom
forgets. The spring fed tributaries, creates an ideal situation
enjoyable and unparalleled fly fishing. Not only will you
experience the exceptional fly fishing of this area, but you
with the beauty of the Targhee National Forest, the wildlife
and history of people and the life they lived. ...........................more
Fishing The Famous South Fork of the Snake River • By Ben Arellano
is between the Henry's Fork confluence and Palisades Dam that
the South Fork is known as one of the finest dry fly rivers
in North America. All of the Fish in the South Fork are wild
and fish between eight and sixteen inches must be released
because they are the prime breeders. The South Fork typically
becomes fishable for the fly fisher sometime between the first
week of July and the middle of July, depending on the spring
run off. This year (2001) the run off was for a very
short period, thus fly fishing was productive in the middle
Al the former CEO of Woolrich and his wife Dotty trying their luck on the Snake River in Grand Teton National Park
Yellowstone National Park and surrounding waters offer world-class
fly-fishing- a fly-fisher's nirvana • By Dave Strege
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONT. – A bartender in town gave a hint
as to the essence of West Yellowstone on the fishing landscape."
There's as many fly shops here as bars, and we're a hard-drinking
town," quipped Thor from behind the bar at The Gusher.
West Yellowstone is a town of fewer than 1,000 residents yet
six fly-fishing shops, evidence supporting the claim
this is the mecca of fly-fishing. Each year, more than 50,000 anglers drop a line in 220 lakes
and 1,000 streams that make up 2,650 miles of running water
- and that's just in Yellowstone National Park.........more
Follow the bugs to a good day of fishing for trout • by
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — The
noon sun blasted down and through the gin-clear water of the
meadow stream.Long strands of water weeds twisted
like big, green snakes in the gentle current, and you could
see every pebble and rock on the bottom. Not one trout was
in sight. But they were there —..........................more
Fishing Yellowstone • By Daniel D. Lamoreux
With a bit of research and boot leather, you can escape
the crowds that invade Yellowstone National Park each
summer and catch trout that rarely ever see humans.....................................Roughly
3 million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year.
While that number may seem staggering, the reality is that
its piscatorial treasures are often underestimated and usually
overlooked...................................Fewer than three
of every 100 people who enter the park buy a fishing permit,
and not all of those bother to go fishing. And more than
97 percent of the caught fish are released to fight another
fishing Backcountry Yellowstone • By Mark D. Williams
Don't let Yellowstone National Park's 3 million visitors
spoil your idea of high-elevation trout fishing. There's
a virtual fishing paradise just a short hike away from
all those crowds..............................You would think
that with over 2.2 million acres and 1,000 miles of rivers,
there wouldn't be any crowded water. But most anglers fish
near access points, road crossings, parking lots, campgrounds,
bridges, anywhere a river parallels road.........................more
Fisheries Conservation Organizations
Sadee Wheeldon showing off a ten pound cutthroat trout
Hole One Fly Capital Foundation • The
Jackson Hole One Fly Capital Foundation (One Fly) and the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) established a new partnership in 2003
to leverage both organizations’ funding and interest in cold
water fisheries conservation, particularly in the tributaries and mainstem
Snake and Yellowstone
Basins. The One Fly and NFWF have a long history in fisheries conservation
throughout the greater Snake River and Yellowstone region.
Trout Unlimited • Trout
Unlimited’s mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s
trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Trout
Unlimited accomplishes this mission
on local, state and national levels with an extensive and dedicated volunteer
network. TU’s national office,
based just outside of Washington, D.C., and its regional offices employ
professionals who testify before Congress, publish a quarterly magazine,
intervene in federal legal proceedings, and work with the organization’s
125,000 volunteers in 500 chapters nationwide to keep them active and involved
in conservation issues.
Federation of Fly Fishers •The
Federation of Fly Fishers, an international service organization dedicated
to the betterment of the sport of fly fishing
and Education. The FFF and its Councils are the only organized advocate
for fly fishers on the national and regional level. By joining you will
have the opportunity to contribute, with your membership and your voice,
to fishery conservation and restoration for all fish in all waters.
The Blue Water Task Force • The Blue Water Task Force is a lcally-led nonprofit (501c3) watershed group, headquarteredalong the famous Gallatin River in Big Sky, Montana. The Task Force is governed by aboard of community members representing a wide variety of stakeholders, including homeowners, recreational business owners, developers, and local water resource managers.
Greater Yellowstone Region Whitewater Rafting
A happy boat full of Whitewater Rafters
Despite “Deliverance,” the 1972 Academy-award nominated film based on the novel of the same name by James Dickey, carved out a permanent dark corner in the American psyche with its unsettling combination of backwoods menace and masterly banjo playing, Whitewater rafting has become a hugely popular sport, and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has felt the addiction that the whitewater rapids hold that there are more people discovering the thrill of whitewater rafting every year. Dickey’s metaphorical river of concealed evil that no one seems ever to have forgotten: all these years later, you can’t go rafting down a wild river without someone in the group humming a few bars of “Dueling Banjos.” And the cultural resonance shows no sign of fading: T-shirts imprinted with the slogan “Paddle faster, I hear banjo music are a popular souvenir around here. Deliverance has become part of the fun!
All around the perimeter of Yellowstone there is whitewater action. The Gallatin, Yellowstone, Snake, Wind, Still Water, and the Shoshone Rivers all have commercial whitewater trips available. Many more of Yellowstone’s waters provide whitewater action for the private rafter, canoer, or kayaker. There are many whitewater outfitters in the towns of Jackson, West Yellowstone, Red Lodge, Gardiner, Big Sky Riverton, and Cody if you choose to leave the rowing to the experts (a wise decision).
Many of us have reached an age where we think we are too old for such frivolity fraught with perceived dangers. I must remind you that it is adventure that keeps us feeling young. Most river outfitters provide wetsuits mitigating the cold-water argument.
Yellowstone region rivers can provide big whitewater thrills.
For those of you that are do it yourselfers do your homework, know how to read water and cinch tight all live preservers on your passengers, the regions class three whitewater is reasonably safe for the cautious if you are going too tackle class four or five water, wear helmets and know what you are doing.
Many of the regions whitewater enthusiasts combine their whitewater adventure with a fishing adventure as well. The rivers of the Greater Yellowstone Region has superb trout fishing, and the whitewater sections are one of the better sections because many boat fishermen are scarred to float them and the access from the banks is poor for those without a boat.
White water rafting can be a dangerous sport, especially if basic safety precautions are not observed. Both commercial and private trips have seen their share of injuries and fatalities, though private travel has typically been associated with greater risk. Legislated safety measures exist for rafting operators. These range from certification of outfitters, rafts, and raft leaders, to more stringent regulations about equipment and procedures.
Whitewater rafting has become safer over the years. Expertise in the sport has increased, and equipment has become more specialized and increased in quality, hence, the difficulty rating of most river runs has changed.
Yellowstone region rivers can provide big whitewater thrills but it can also provide danger for the unprepared or reckless.
Risks in white water rafting stem from both environmental dangers and from improper behavior. Certain features on rivers are inherently unsafe and have remained consistently so despite the passage of time. These would include "keeper holes (hydraulics)," "strainers" (e.g. fallen trees), dams (especially low-head dams, which tend to produce river-wide keeper hydraulics), undercut rocks, and waterfalls. Rafting with experienced guides is the safest way to avoid such features. Even in safe areas, however, moving water can always present risks, such as when swimmers attempt to stand up on a rocky riverbed in strong current, risking foot entrapment. Irresponsible behavior related to rafting while intoxicated has also contributed to many accidents. The flat-water sections of our rivers have killed many more people than the whitewater sections because people often don’t take proper precautions of flat-water sections as they underestimate their dangers.
The risk level of a rafting trip with experienced guides using proper precautions is very low at normal river flows but increase during peak runoff. Thousands of people safely enjoy raft trips every year in the Yellowstone Region.
Rafting contributes to the economy of many regions which in turn may contribute to the protection of rivers from hydroelectric power generation, diversion for irrigation, and other development. Additionally, white water rafting trips can promote environmentalism. By experiencing firsthand the beauty of a river, individuals who would otherwise be indifferent to environmental issues may gain a strong desire to protect and preserve that area because of their positive outdoor experience.
Another thing to consider is no summer trip to the Yellowstone Region is complete without either a Whitewater trip or a scenic float through this glorious crown of the Rocky Mountains.
Yellowstone Region Whitewater Rafting Companies
Whitewaters getting wet on the Gallatin River in Big Sky Montana
River Boat Trips • (Jackson Hole) Mad River Boat Trips is a river outfitter in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Offering whitewater trips and scenic floats daily during the summer since 1977, Mad River is your ticket to exploring the wild and scenic Snake River. The Mad River guides are well versed in the area's flora, fauna and geology. They'll also teach you about the rich history of the region and you'll understand why Jackson Hole is the "Last of the Old West". The boats may have changed over the years, but the passion for adventure remains the same. Come join us for a day on the river. We look forward to seeing you here.
Jackson Hole Whitewater • (Jackson Hole) Voted The #1rafting company in Jackson
Hole by our local newspaper the "Jackson Hole Guide." That says
it all. We have been in business for 35 years and were the first
company to have permits on the Snake River. We are a small company
by choice. We have had the chance to expand but feel that "small
is better"! Visit our website to find out why...
Wyoming River Trips • (Cody Wyoming) Wyoming River Trips was founded in 1978 with Rick and Ron Blanchard personally escorting trips; a practice that is still carried on today. Our Company has been featured on ESPN and Outdoor Life television network; along with national publications such as Travel and Leisure, Better Homes and Gardens, and Mature Outlook Magazines. Wyoming River Trips is the only continually owned and operated company in the historic Cody Area running the Shoshone river. The Shoshone river is the main eastern drainage of Yellowstone National Park. It reads like a flowing history book with almost as many scenic vistas as the colorful people and cultures who explored it. This river was used as a trade route during the fur-trading era for the mountain men and Native Americans who entered the "Yellow Rock" country in pursuit of its abundance of wildlife. This pursuit of adventure continues today.
Flying Pig Adventure Company • (Gardiner Montana) Ride the river with us! If you're looking for raft trip with exciting whitewater, breathtaking scenery, and safe and knowledgeable guides - our raft trips are for you. The longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states, the Yellowstone River, offers fun and exciting white water rafting for all ages and experience levels. Slam through the waves of the Gardiner Town Stretch while helping to navigate your raft through the notorious rapids; Man Eater, Pickets Wave, Creighton's Hole, and Sleeping Giant in your white water rafting adventure near Yellowstone National Park.
Gallatin River Rafting • (Big Sky Montana) We offer canoe, kayak and rafting trips on rivers, creeks, streams and lakes near Gallatin River. You can experience rafting trips ranging from a brief two hour tour to a wilderness adventure lasting several days. Our guides are fully licenced and are carefully chosen on the basis of their skill and experience, their ability to make sound decisions and their ability to communicate and identify with our clients. We're experts in organizing family and group-travel! If you have any questions that are not addressed on this website, please call one of our friendly and knowledgeable whitewater rafting agents today!