Saturday, October 13, 2012

Flat Creek then Jenny Lake in an Afternoon

A weather change wasn’t in the forecast but today we woke up to clouds and wind.  Granny’s off and I asked her if she’d be up for hiking into Jenny Lake with me.  However, she knows how possessed I get when I’m on a big fish mission and she opted not to join.  But what fun would it be if I caught that three foot lake trout I saw with Rick Schreiber the last couple days and no one was around? 

As morning went on Granny got a few things done and started to show some interest in a Jenny excursion, only she wanted to throw a loop in it.  She suggested starting with a couple hours at the famous Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming for some big Snake River Cutthroats.  I haven’t fished on Flat in years so she had a deal.

Unfortunately when we got to Flat at around 1 PM the weather was a borderline hurricane.  Clouds were whipping by overhead, it was drizzling and the wind had the grass lying sideways.  After we walked down to Flat there were more whitecaps than fish.  Miraculously however, there was one pool sheltered just enough that in the glassy slick next to the undercut bank there were three cuttys rising.  I tied on a thorax mahogany dun and set Granny loose on the lowest fish.  But the wind brutalized her.  Handling the long leader required for the finesse dry fly fishing of Flat turned into more of a nightmare than fun for her.

We could have left then but I had to take a crack at the two remaining risers.  It took me two false casts before I was asking myself why I hadn’t been to Flat in years.  I love this kind of dry fly challenge and a minute later I set the hook into a 13” cutty.  After releasing him I grabbed a seat and waited for the last remaining cutty to start rising again.  Once he did I got him also.

The two cutthroats were not the hawgs Flat Creek is famous for but fooling them is always an accomplishment, especially in tough conditions.  After I set free the second one we hoofed it for the car and drove straight to Jenny Lake.  Funny thing, Rick was already there.  He too is possessed at the chance of a huge lake trout on the fly!

It was wicked cold and windy at Jenny.  Rick had been there an hour and caught only one laker.  This is strange because it’s these exact conditions that trigger lakers to eat.  Yet not today.  Rick fished another hour before he left freezing.  Granny and I stayed till near dark but we never had a single strike.  But staying was fantastic.  It was a very ominous evening with storm clouds moving over the Tetons and to further add to the charm of the evening a family of otters came by us for a visit.  Of course they proved the lake trout were there!


  1. The otters always have to show us up.

  2. Erik, I'm in a big fish fight. Loving it. Usually these fights occur 8,000 miles away. This lake is only 30 miles away. Off to WI on Wed for musky. PUMPED!

  3. I really enjoyed Flat Creek when I was in that part of the world. Thanks for the post.

  4. Its a neat place and interestingly, doesn't get fished much in October. I hope I can sneak out once more before it closes Oct 31.

  5. Usually when I get into a big fish fight I can even sleep at nigh! Go get em!