Monday, February 24, 2014

Is rebuilding Teton Dam still an option?





Is rebuilding Teton Dam still considered a viable alternative?  Could new reservoirs be constructed on Canyon Creek, Badger Creek, or in the area of Hog Hollow?  Will the Island Park Reservoir or Ashton Reservoir be expanded?  Could water conservation in the cities of Driggs and Victor, aquifer recharge, and on-farm efficiency projects substantially increase available water? These questions will be the focus of Friends of the Teton River’s next Water Wise presentation, on Wednesday, February 26th.  The presentation will begin at 7:00 PM, with opportunity for questions following.

Sarah Lien, of Friends of the Teton River, will present the newest information available on the Henry’s Fork Basin Study.  The Bureau of Reclamation recently released the Final Report, which catalogs the various water supply alternatives that the Bureau of Reclamation and State of Idaho, as co-founders of the study, have studied throughout the past two years.  These include projects such as rebuilding Teton Dam; enlarging Island Park Reservoir and Ashton dam; building an off-stream reservoir in the Hog Hollow area with water supplied by the Teton River and the Falls River; building a new 180-foot tall dam in the Canyon Creek area, with water supplied by Spring Creek and Canyon Creek; and building dams on Moody Creek and Badger Creek.  Additional alternatives are also being considered.  These include managed ground water recharge projects, agricultural conservation and management, municipal and industrial water conservation alternatives, and market based alternatives.
The Henry’s Fork Basin Study investigates water supply options aimed at replacing the water storage lost when the Teton Dam failed in 1976.  The study was funded with a $400,000 appropriation from the State of Idaho, plus a $400,000 federal WaterSmart grant from the Bureau of Reclamation, and has been ongoing since June 2010.  While diverse public input has been encouraged throughout the course of the study, the schedule and location of meetings has been prohibitive for many Teton Valley residents.  February 26th will provide an opportunity for Teton Valley residents to be informed about the study, ask questions, and learn how to provide input. 
The presentation will be held at the Driggs City Center Building, in the Senior Center, located at 60 S. Main Street in Driggs, on February 26th.  The presentation will begin at 7:00 PM, with a question and answer period to follow.  For more information on this presentation or the Water Wise Community Education series, please call Friends of the Teton River at 354-3871 or visit www.tetonwater.org.  More information about the Henrys Fork Basin Study is available at http://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/studies/idaho/henrysfork/.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow keeps falling - Water keeps piling up!

As many of you know, our rivers, lakes and streams depend on our winter season for their water supply in the summer.  After a very dry January, some began to worry about this coming seasons water supply and it's ability to affect our fishing.  Then it began to snow and snow some more.
 
  
Last weekend's storm dropped over 30+ inches in the mountains and boosted our snow pack snow water equivalency to 112 percent of average.  A very good place to be at this time of year.  Remember, our friends at Grand Targhee Ski Resort average 500+ inches of snow a season.  We will break the 300 inch mark this weekend with two more solid months of winter ahead!


Last year's dry and hot summer took a toll on our reservoirs and water storage in the Snake River Basin.  Currently we are sitting at 42% of capacity filled in the Upper Snake River Basin, almost half way there.  With a strong end to the winter season and a wet spring, we'll be in a perfect position for another perfect summer in the Tetons!


Monday, December 9, 2013

WorldCast Anglers Mexico Trip Report!



 

Snook, tarpon, bonefish and laughs were all in great abundance during  the 2013 Fall Classic at PlayaBlanca Mexico with WorldCast Anglers.  Mike Dawes and Jim Hickey of WorldCast Anglers hosted 10 anglers for a week of flats fishing in this idyllic setting.  Each day 7 boats sped into the pristine waters of Espiritu Santu Bay south of Cancun for some of the finest flats fishing for bonefish, tarpon, snook, and permit in the world.  The guests of Playa Blanca had the whole bay almost to themselves.  


On this year’s edition of the Fall Classic the fishing for baby tarpon, snook  and bonefish was exceptionally productive.  Heavy rains in the previous weeks had given the bay a large infusion of freshwater.  As a result, the backcountry flats species were very happy and hungry.  Anglers jumped dozens of tarpon and snook and landed even more bonefish.  Ben Cart completed the Slam, landing permit (21 pounds!), bonefish, and tarpon all in one day, and Whitney McDowell and Kay Jones both completed the Super Slam, landing permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook all in one day.  The group celebrated all of the angling accomplishments during the week over cocktails in the beach-side tiki bar and during gourmet dinners each night.  


The charter flight off the Island at the end of the week was bittersweet – memories of exciting fishing and day dreams of the next trip back to the flats of Mexico.  
                 

Be sure to contact WorldCast Anglers if you have any questions about this trip or any other Fly Fishing Travel opportunities.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

WCA Mongolia Trip Report!!!

In the first week of October, WorldCast Anglers hosted its annual trip to the Onon River in Northeastern region of Mongolia in pursuit of the legendary Taimen. This year’s group of anglers arrived from across the world including Hong Kong, Beijing, Colorado and Southern California. Apart from one trip host, CG Sipe (WorldCast Anglers' Outfitting Manager), this was everyone’s first time to Mongolia and first Taimen fishing trip.


Following a beautiful charter flight from the capital city of Ulaanbaatar to the remote river town of Binder, the group arrived on the banks of the Onon only to realize that the river was high, very high. In fact, the Onon was receding from a 100 year flood caused by some very significant spring and summer rainfall. The WorldCast trip is always slotted for the fifth of the six weeks that Mongolia River Outfitters does each summer and fall on the Onon. Looking at the state of the river, one could only imagine how it must have appeared and fished during the season’ first week. Thankfully, the clarity was improving daily and subsequently the fishing was as well.


Six full days of fishing and 67 river miles later, everyone on the trip caught at least one Taimen including a couple fish over the 40 inch mark. One of the best parts of the Onon River as a fishery is the diversity of species. Apart from the prized Taimen, many other unique species native to central Asia including the Amur Trout (up to 24 inches), the Lenok Trout and even the Amur Pike were caught over the course of the trip. In spite of unfavorable river conditions, the fishing success of the trip is a true testament to the guiding capabilities of the staff at Mongolia River Outfitters.


Beyond the fishing, Mongolia River Outfitters and Nomadic Journeys worked tirelessly to provide an amazingly comfortable and enjoyable remote camping experience. The fire warmed, cozy ger (Mongolian yert) camps in a new, spectacular settings each night awaited the group after long days of casting 9wts and giant streamers. A hot camp shower followed by a glass of wine and full of plate of local Mongolian inspired comfort food amongst wonderful company was the ultimate finish to each spectacular day on the Mongolian Steppe.


The cherry on the top for the entire group was the cultural and historical education that accompanied the trip. Not only is the upper Onon River the birthplace of the infamous Chinggis Khan and the origin of the Mongolian Empire, the camp leader Honda often told historic Mongolian tales and explained the significance of many Mongolian traditions and norms. For instance, Honda would bathe in the frigid river (high 40’s Fahrenheit) every day because it is considered healthy in Mongolian lore to swim in the cold water and weather as winter approaches. Special anecdotes about the local history and customs were among many of the illuminating and unique aspects of the trip that make it much more than simply a fishing adventure.


 Once again, another group of WCA hosted anglers left Mongolia with the gratification of catching the remarkable and predatory Taimen amongst many other species along with the satisfaction of seeing, feeling and tasting part of a fascinating and unique civilization.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Summer Time Lapses from 2013!



Now that summer time is over, we all have a little extra free time to reflect on the season behind us and get ready for the winter ahead.  This usually entails going back through photos, text and stories that we enjoyed from the summer fishing season and reflecting upon all those places that we have grown to love and fish.  

Check out some timelapses from some of our favorite places like the South Fork Hilton and Cottonwood Camp on the South Fork of the Snake, the WCA Fly Shop, and Lower Mesa Falls.  Thanks to everyone that helped make our summer season one of the best yet! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Streamers are the pick to win during the fall!

WCA Guide and Shop Staff Member Ben Rodgers

Its that time of year.  The time we all love.  Things have slowed down and the fishing improves.  The leaves are changing, the days are cooler and the brown trout are aggressive.  It's Fall in Teton Valley and Jackson Hole!  To be honest, the is nothing like it.

Fishing on the South Fork, Teton River, and Henry's Fork has been spectacular that past two weeks.  Baetis are hatching and the trout are looking up.  Dry fly fishing has been good on favorable weather days.  Streamers have proved to be effective, especially on the South Fork and lower Teton River.  Flows are low, so fish can be warey and spooky this time of year; however, they are hungry!


A Streamer got the best of this South Fork Brown Trout!

The current water drawdown schedule on the Snake River will end on October 15th.  Look for fishing conditions to improve on the Snake River as flows stabilize and settle down.  Unfortunately, Flat Creek, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are all closed due to the Federal Government Shut Down.  Hopefully they will get their act together so we can go fish the Lewis Channel before it closes on the first weekend of November!


Curious about Streamers?  We have compiled a collection of our favorite streamers to target fish during the fall fly fishing season!  It is everything you need to target the big fish we love while the leaves are changing.  We'll even throw in a free WCA Fly Box and Sticker with each purchase.  Available via the WorldCast Anglers Online Store!  Free USPS shipping with any domestic purchase over $50.00!

Selection includes:
2 - Flesh Meatstick #4
2 - JJ CH Sparkle Minnow #4
2 - Sculpin CH Sparkle Minnow #6
2 - Black Dungeon #2
2 - CH White Zuddler #4
2 - Sculpzilla #4
2 - Lead Eye Olive Bugger #6
2 - CH JJ Special #6
2 - McCune's Sculpin #4
2 - Natural Dungeon #2


Friday, September 27, 2013

Snake River Flows to drop on 9/30/13


As summer leaves Jackson Hole and Teton Valley, fall arrives with open and welcome arms.  Day time temperatures as decreasing, we are receiving precipitation and gone are the days of the heat and dryness.  Fishing has improved with the cooler water temps as fish get ready for the long winter ahead.  This also means a change of flows on many of our area rivers.

The ramp down schedule for the Snake River at Jackson Lake Dam is listed above and scheduled from 9/30/13 to 10/15/13.

Henry's Fork Ora Bridge Rainbow

The Henry's Fork has come back into shape during the last couple of weeks and has been offering some great fishing opportunities.  Plenty of Baetis have been hatching and providing some good times chasing fish with dries.  Nymphing with baetis imitations, zebra midges, small pheasant tails, SJ worms and rubberlegs has been very productive as well as stripping streamers.  Fall on the Henry's can be very hard to beat.

WCA Guide Kasey Collins

While the South Fork defiantly had it's slow times during the previous portion of this month of September, fishing has picked up and improving daily.  Guide Kasey Collins shows off a great South Fork Brown trout his client caught while fishing streamers on the upper section.  There were plenty of other fish landed as well and we forecast the fishing to only improve as water temperatures cool down.  Baetis have also been spotted but let's be honest, we all love tossing streamers on the South Fork this time of year!

Dry Fly Fishing on the Teton River

Don't forget about the Teton River, the Snake in Jackson this time of year, as well as Flat Creek and the Green.  Our fish are defiantly reacting to the cooler temperatures and enjoying it very much.  The summer crowds are gone, the fish are happy and hungry and the bugs are hatching.  Defiantly a good combination and formula to create some great fall days on the water!