New Spring and a New Schedule

Hello Everyone,

      A number of folks have been contacting me trying to book trips recently and I thought it would be best to explain how I'll be booking this year.  I'm still fishing as much as possible but these days I'm working as an Operating Room Nurse here in Jackson.  This is a new position for me, before that I was working as a Hospital PCU nurse.  I will still be guiding as much as possible this summer, seeing as a work 3-12hr shifts I'm hoping to guide 3 days a week, but with the new position I can't be certain of my schedule at the moment.  I would never book a trip I couldn't take so there are two viable options for booking trips at the moment.  The best option would be to contact me, neil.chamberlin@gmail.com, and I can either get you setup (depending on the time of year) or hook you up with some of the other good guides I know in town.  The second option would be to contact Grand Teton Fly Fishing and setup a trip with them, requesting me as your guide.  If you go this route (say you have very specific days in July, August, or September that you need to book) the guys at GTFF will let me know of the trip request and if I can take the trip I will, otherwise we'll set you up with one of their guides.  They have a very good staff and some incredibly experienced guides, you would be in good hands either way.  I'm looking forward to seeing some of you guys again, especially my return clients.  I apologize for the inconvenience this causes but it is necessary at the moment.  As much as I absolutely love guiding, its truly the best job ever, I did need to make this change in profession as a way to continue to live in beautiful, and expensive, Jackson, WY.  Cheers!

Neil Chamberlin                                                          neil.chamberlin@gmail.com, #419-349-1049

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Lake Fishing is Hot!

Hi Everyone!  I haven't had much time to write a blog post recently, guide season has been busy already.  I would encourage everyone to check out my good friend and fellow fishing guide, Josh Gallivan's, blog for a great report he put up concerning some of our recent fishing.  The summary for our area would come down to this, any rivers are going to be tougher fishing at the moment but the lakes are on fire!  Check out Josh's blog at www.joshgallivan.com and I will try to update you as the conditions change.  Here are a couple pictures from the past few weeks including my dorado trip down to Argentina (post to come).

4/28/17 Bring on Spring!

                We’ve had some excellent spring fishing out here.  I personally started my spring fishing in early February this year and we’ve managed to put some really nice fish in the boat since then.   I’ve been fishing both the local rivers and traveling all around our area chasing the best fishing.  Locally the Snake, South Fork, Henry’s Fork, Green River, and many of the lakes have been fishing very well.

                  Spring started off as usual with low clear flows that required primarily nymphing and streamer fishing.  In the spring, the best fishing tends to be on the best weather days.  Nice warm sunny days tend to wake the fish up and get them in a feeding mood.  This doesn’t mean you can’t have good fishing on cloudy day, it’s just more pleasant for the fisherman to be in sunny warm weather than cloudy cool weather.  The one plus of cloudy spring days is that you can have excellent streamer fishing at times with extra-large fish looking to eat your streamer.  When fishing with us this time of year expect to be fishing primarily sub-surface.  Streamer patterns and nymphs are the name of the game.  The best nymphs vary but, I like to fish midges in primarily red and black, stonefly patterns in large sizes, scuds (where they’re present), prince nymphs, rainbow warriors, black and red copper john’s, and egg patterns where rainbow trout are present.  For streamers I like to fish slightly smaller patterns, 2-3 inch, in white, brown, black, and extra flashy.  I like streamers with lots of weight that get down quickly and get into the strike zone, true “chuck and duck” fly fishing.  There’s been a recent trend in fly fishing to throw HUGE streamers, 5-8 inches, with multiple large hooks.  I don’t like this for a few reasons.  One is that the large hooks, especially if they’re barbed, kill and damage a lot of fish and when doing this you limit yourself to only some of the largest fish in the river and exclude all the other good sized fish you should be catching.  I assure you, big fish eat far more 2-3 inch baitfish than they do 7-8 inch baitfish.  An example of this is the large lake trout that is pictures with this post.  This is a 15 lb fish and it ate a 4 inch long pattern, not an 8 inch long pattern.  The person who is fishing a 3 inch long streamer will catch exponentially more fish than someone who is throwing an 8 inch long, triple articulated streamer.

                Even with our primary tactics being based around nymphing and streamer fishing, you can get into some excellent dry fly fishing in the spring.  I personally just caught my first dry fly fish of the year, a beautifully colored 16 inch brown last week on a little black ant pattern.  The Snake River in particular has some excellent dry fly fishing in the spring.  We see great hatches of midges, blue winged olives, and skawalas which are a small (size 12-14) brown or olive stonefly.  I like to fish parachute patterns, small spinner and emerger patterns, small Chernobyl ants in a variety of colors, black ant patterns, and small parachute adams.  It never hurts to hang a small nymph below one of these dry flies either.   At time you can find large groups of fish podded up in slower water gorging themselves on these first good hatches of the year.  If you find yourself in this sort of situation you’re going to have a day that you’ll remember for quite some time.

                The fishing should continue to be good until full runoff hits our area and muddies up the local rivers.  This will happen sometime in May when we start to get warmer weather and a large amount of snowmelt.  When this happens it will cause some of the rivers in our area to be unfishable but, as always, some rivers will continue to stay clear (particularly the South Fork and the Snake River tailwaters) and some of the lakes will still fish very well.  Give me a call if you’re looking to get out and try to get yourself into some of the quality spring fishing that our area has to offer.  My contact info is as follows: phone #419-349-1049, email nbc4784@gmail.com, website www.jhtrout.com, and follow me for updates and fish pictures at username neil.chamberlin on Instagram.  Good luck out there!

1/5/17

       Its a new year here in Jackson.   We've been getting a ton of snow recently so the skiing and snowmobiling have been excellent.  We had been having some decently warm weather but as I write this the thermometer is reading -18 degrees.  As far as the summer goes its looking busy already.  Its hard to say what will happen with the water levels at this point but I've had a ton of people calling to book so if you have a specific date you're interested in please let me know as soon as possible.  A number of clients had been unsure of whether I was going to be guiding this summer or if I was going to be nursing?  I can say that I will be guiding this summer and plan to start working as a nurse in the fall.

    I hadn't posted a fishing report all summer so I'll summarize the fall here.  If you've been following me on instagram, neil.chamberlin is the name tag, you probably saw some of the pictures and got some brief reports.  This fall was one of the best falls I've ever seen.  I was fortunate enough to find a lot of big beautiful fish.  The water levels were perfect and we were blessed with an extremely warm fall right up until thanksgiving.  We were catching nice cutties in the Snake River on dry flies all the way through November.  Hopefully this warm fall will have extended the growing season and reward us with some larger than average fish this summer!

7/9/16 Fishing Report

Sorry for the delay in reporting, it is my very busy season.  I'll keep it short and sweet.  The overall report is that fishing on all of the rivers that I guide has been extremely good for the past couple of weeks.  The dry fly action has been fantastic, the hatches have been reliable, and the fish have been large and healthy.  As long as the flows continue to stay this way the fishing should remain excellent.

6/12/16 Fishing Report

                Runoff is running at full tilt right now but there has still been some fantastic fishing if you know where to go and are willing to make the drive.  The areas I’ve been fishing include the Firehole in Yellowstone National Park, Lewis Lake, the South Fork of the Snake, and the section of the Snake river below the Dam on Jackson Lake.

                The Firehole is a pretty big drive from Jackson but has been very good with solid dry fly action and nymph droppers working well.  Small caddis, terrestrials, and PMD mayflies seem to be the ticket.  The Firehole doesn’t tend to have a ton of fish over 14 inches but you can usually catch abunch of hot, wild fishing in incredible scenery during a day. 

                Lewis Lake is a good early season option.  You can get into some flats fishing for brown trout and it is also a great option for catching lake trout on a fly.  These fish can be caught in shallow water, not just in the deep depths of the lake.  Small streamers and brown drake dries are the flies of choice this time of year.

                The South Fork has been fishing well recently.  The past week has been a little off because they were spiking the flows for a spring flush of the river.  Flows are now returning to normal, around 12,000 cfs, and the fishing is also returning to normal.  Fishing has been good with streamer and nymph rigs.  Everything ranging from large stonefly patterns to small mayfly nymphs.  We’ve started to see some pretty decent dry fly fishing recently.  It has been mostly a small mayfly sort of game but some of the bigger bugs are starting to show in the lower river.  The dry fly fishing should really start to pickup in the next few weeks.

                The upper Snake has been one of our best fisheries recently.  The flows have been stable and the fish have been reacting positively to that.  This is a pretty amazing float that we’re lucky to have and takes you through the heart of Grand Teton National Park.  The scenery is absolutely stunning and the number of fishermen is limited by a strict commercial guiding permit that we fortunately have access to.  Streamers and nymphs have been working but the dry fly fishing has really been the big draw.  This fishing should continue to improve as we move farther into June and into July.

Neil Chamberlin

The Beginning of Runoff

     Runoff is starting to get rolling in our area.  The Snake is clear and fishable at the moment but the water conditions are starting to vary day to day.  Some days are great this time of year and other can be tough, it all varies based on weather and water conditions.  If you can fish a variety of different techniques, streamers, nymphs, and dries, you can catch good numbers of fish but much of the fishing has to be deep and relatively slow on the Snake.

     As runoff begins in the valley we will start to rive farther to our fishing locations and fish a variety of water.  This time of year we'll start heading over to the South Fork of the Snake, the Firehole River, Lewis Lake, Yellowstone Lake, and the Green River.  There's always some good fishing to be had but you need to be willing to do some driving to get to it. 

      The upper section of the Snake below Jackson Lake Dam is another location that we're lucky to be able to guide early in the season.  This stretch will usually stay clear throughout the early season and offer a good fishing option.  A buddy and I were fishing that section yesterday and had some great streamer fishing with lots of nice lake trout and cutty's being caught.  That particular stretch is a great spot to catch a lake trout on the fly if anyone is interested in checking a laker off their list. 

Jackson Hole Spring Fishing Report

Jackson Hole Spring Fishing Report

       Fishing in the area has been excellent this spring.  The Snake River in particular has been on fire.  The water has been clear and the fish have been looking up for small mayfly and midge dry flies around midday.  These same fish have also been willing to take midge droppers and eat streamers.  Streamers have been especially effective if there is any color in the water from low level runoff.  I've been fortunate enough to be doing some guiding recently and we've been getting into fish that are averaging 14-16 inches in size with many of the fish podded up eating dry flies and nymph droppers.  Griffiths gnats and small parachute adams in size 18 have been working well, fish these on 4x tippet as the fish aren't too picky this time of year.  No need to break off fish unnecessarily because you're fishing too small a tippet.  The fishing should stay good from now until runoff hits, most likely sometime in the next few weeks.

 

Jackson Hole Spring Fishing Report 2/29/16

Jackson Hole Spring Fishing Report 2/29/16

The spring fishing season has begun in our area.  Warm weather conditions have made the trout very active.  I was lucky enough to spend the past few weekends fishing with some friends of mine.  The fishing was pretty good with most of the fish being caught on either nymphs or streamers.  Midges, scuds, and small mayfly nymphs were the ticket.  Streamer color did seem to matter much but the streamer needed to be down near the bottom.  I did run into the first solid dry fly action this season with a nice pod of fish sipping midges.  Hopefully if the weather stays nice and warm we'll continue to have some solid fishing.