Fly Fishing Western Wyoming is a small husband and wife operation situated in Kemmerer, Wyoming. We walk fish primarily the Hams Fork of the Green River. 90% of our guests are repeat or guest referred clients.

Our emphasis is expanding angler skills while catching really big trout. We have guests from all over the world who want to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a friendly, uncrowded experience while fishing a beautiful mid size trout stream with easy wading and walking.

This last summer we have had visitors from Australia, ( one of the anglers from Australia was the Australian National casting champion!), Canada , and every corner of the US. 70% of these folks have been repeat clients with some coming for the last 10 to 14 years!

Barbara’s homemade meals and Dayle’s ability to teach both beginners and advanced anglers new skills have been a draw for all levels.

Fly fishing the lower Henry’s Fork in Idaho

I had the opportunity to fish the lower section of the Henry’s Fork at the confluence with the Fall River in mid-July.

Most anglers and guides start their float trip further upstream and reach the area I was fishing later in the afternoon.

My fishing partner that day was Tom Jindra who is past president of the now titled Fly Fishers International. We chose to launch from the take-out at Chester Dam around 9 am and rowed upstream above the confluence of the Henry’s and Fall River. This requires about 30 minutes of upstream rowing but the current is manageable.

The day was sunny, warm, and with a mild downstream wind. We were using 4 and
5 weight rods. I prefer a Rene Harrop 14 ft 5x leader but will add 2 ft more of 5x tippet if trailing with a spinner. I find the Harrop leader turns over nicely. Tom went with a standard
9ft 5x leader. These fish are smart and spooky and require casting from a sitting position in the boat.

We waited about 30-45 minutes before we had a prolific PMD hatch and the fish started rising A few Green Drakes were also present. Fish were caught with PMD dun and spinner patterns. Over the next few hours we hooked up around 20 rising fish with an overall average size of about 16 inches. The biggest was a 20+ inch Brown. All casts were to specific feeding fish. Fishing lasted about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Rowing upstream from the take-out gave us this portion of the river to ourselves. We were off the river in time for a late lunch in Ashton.

Speaking of lunch a trip to the Henry’s is not complete unless you stop at the FROSTOP drive-in for a burger and malt (Butterfinger is my go-to choice).

Doc Frangos, MCI
FFI Master Casting Instructor

Fishing Idaho’s Upper Teton River

Fishing Idaho’s Upper Teton River in October can be a perfect 70-degree sunny day or a blizzard. In the last few years, I have experienced both.

Upper Teton Weather

FFI Certified Casting Instructor Tom Dempsey and I have been caught in the latter a few years ago. It was an interesting dilemma for be surrounded by rising fish but struggling to tie on a dry fly with numb, frozen fingers. Proudly, we did not leave the fish until the weather deteriorated into blizzard conditions.

This recent early October day was the opposite.
FFI CI Chuck Iossi and I had the opportunity to fish the Teton on one of those perfect autumn days. The time of year has the added benefit of absent paddle boarders, canoes, and rafts. In fact, we saw more moose than people.

The insects most often encountered this time of year include Tricos, Gray Drakes, Mahogany, BWOs, and October Caddis.

While I handled the oars, Chuck caught the majority of the fish using a Purple Haze dry fly or a Mahogany emerger. We caught about 30 mid- range size Rainbow, Brook, and Cutthroat trout. Casts were to specific targeted rising trout using 12-14 foot leaders of 5-6x. All casts were made from a sitting position. A drag-free drift was important because this portion of the Teton fishes like a crystal-clear slow-moving spring creek. The fish have plenty of time to examine the imitation but if presented properly these fish readily take a dry fly.

When fishing from a drift boat, my advice is to cast while seated if possible. I am certain you will have more stealth, and catch more fish.

Dino Frangos
FFI Master Casting Instructor

The Bighorn River and Jack Dennis

When an opportunity arose to fly fish an iconic Western water with a legendary guide I could not pass. The Bighorn River and Jack Dennis represent the ultimate fly-fishing experience. Both demand your A-game fly fishing skills with tight loops, pinpoint accuracy, and landing 20+ inch trout.

To set the stage I want to start with Jack Dennis. Jack moved to Jackson, WY at a young age. Over the ensuing decades Jack’s reputation grew with his eponymous fly shop, designer of flies, author, TV personality, and guide to politicians and celebrities. Now in his seventies, Jack is finally slowing down to enjoy grandchildren and limiting himself to summer guiding the New Fork River in Pinedale, WY and the Bighorn River in Thermopolis, WY.

This trip centered where the Wind River exits the canyon of the Wind River Indian Reservation and becomes the Bighorn. This meeting place is called the Wedding of the Waters. One of only a few examples where a river changes names in midstream.

This portion of the Bighorn is home to large Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat trout. During the summer months these fish see a good number of anglers and can be very spooky and selective. I fished with Jack in late September and there were only a few anglers. I saw a few fishermen wading in a large riffle near the top of the Bighorn, but by far a drift boat was chosen.

During my 2 1/2 days of fishing, targeting specific rising fish was our approach. Accuracy and a drag-free drift were paramount. If one or the other was lacking there was no chance to catch that fish. Typically, I had only one cast at each fish if the fish was holding in place. If the cast was long the fish “blew-up” and was gone. To improve chances of hooking a fish, casts were either cross-stream or upstream. Both methods minimized drag but the fly needed to be within a few feet of the fish. No chance with a downstream presentation. My casts ranged from twenty to sixty feet using 5x tippet on a 4 or 5 weight rod. Trico spinners and a small Parawulff (a Jack Dennis design) dry fly were the most effective patterns.

The fish takes were explosive. These large fish basically self-set the hook. The biggest challenge I had was avoiding an immediate snapped tippet if I did not raise the rod tip fast and high enough. The fish immediately dive into the weed beds below. I must admit I had my share of break-offs.

Fly fishing the Bighorn River is worth a trip to challenge your fly-fishing skills. Combine fishing with a visit Jackson, WY and Yellowstone, a scenic 4-hour drive away.

Doc Frangos
FFI MCI Fly Casting Instructor

Jack Dennis Catch

Smallmouth Fishing in Maine

As I sit here contemplating my upcoming trip to Iceland, I started scanning photos of our June 2022 trip to the Wheaton Lodge in Maine. For the last 5 years we have journeyed 2 hours north of Bangor to Forest City, Maine to hammer the smallies.

Sitting on the banks of Grand Lake, 24 miles long, the lodge that was built almost a 100 years ago does it “the Maine way” with small cabins, wood stoves, guides who still wear the tall leather lace up boots, fishing from handmade 24-foot canoes.  All of this combined to offer a glimpse of how fishing in Maine was at the turn of the century.

Glacier carved lake of crystal-clear water bathing huge granite boulder peeping above the surface challenges the navigational skills of the most seasoned guides.  Lakes are measured in miles thousands of acres with endless uninhabited shorelines. Another boat besides your Wheaton Lodge guest is rare.

Now to the fishing. Expect 20-50 landed fish per day. For the top water angler, paradise. Pretty much anything on top works. Foam poppers are a favorite on 5-7 wt. 15 lb. leader. I always bring a vintage bamboo. Got to do it the “old” way. But even though these guys are bass they like a subtle presentation. Let it sit, no stripping like for a largemouth.

There are streams and rivers near that offer brook trout and landlocked salmon. The St. Croix has pickerel, sunfish, as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass. Save the largemouth and perch for shoreline fish chowder at lunch. The guides love to show off their culinary skills between war stories. No cold sandwiches and chips. Steaks, pork chops, and lobster boil always with potatoes and onions, fried or boiled, your call, kick lunch time in the lake up a few notches.

I feel humbled, honored, and blessed to be able to experience this rare treat. I’ll keep coming back at ice out every June.

Thomas R. Dempsey
Certified Casting Instructor and founder of Gulf Coast Fly Fishing School, Mobile, Alabama

Bob Marshall Wilderness

By Thomas R. Dempsey, M.D. CCI

cut throat

When my fishing buddy first suggested fishing the Bob Marshal Wilderness I said “where’s that?” “THAT’ is 1.5 million acres of wilderness in the northern part of Montana about one hour north of Missoula. The creation of the Wilderness Act of 1964 led to the protection of 110 million acres of public land in the U.S. Devoid of structures and roads these areas limit access by not allowing motors, 4-wheelers, no bikes, not even chain saws. Hike in on foot or ride a horse.

We started our 8-day trip from the Rich ranch at Lake Steely which has been owned by the C. B. Rich family since the early 1900’s. Peggy, one of C.B.’s daughters lead us in with her granddaughter Kiley in the rear. Speaking of rears, thank goodness for padded saddle cushions. Our first day was a 4-5-hour ride into the wilderness to a hunting camp. Everyone pitched his own tent and crawled into his sleeping bag before the 8-hour ride the next day. The most beautiful country starts to pale after 8 hours in the saddle walking 1-foot wide trails with a 300-foot drop inches away. Glad these horses knew what to do. They are ridden 3 years before graduating to a trail horse. Our stop was on the South Fork of the Flathead River. It was clear and cold with areas that probably had never seen a fly fisherman.

The fishing was spectacular. These cut throat trout were hungry, aggressive and would have hit a beer can if thrown. The gear was a 4-5 wt. with 4x tippet and finished off with a dry fly. Nymphing is cheating. Parachutes and hopper size 12 worked well and everyone caught fish AND to make it complete we ate a supper of cut throat one night. The sky really put on a show at night. No lights, just stars and shooting stars. Makes you wonder about the first people to cross the area in the pioneer days with no rails, Gortex, or fleece. We camped a couple of days on the Flathead here and began the ride back, but this time we broke up the 8-hour ride with another overnight camp on the river. The final day we stopped at Pyramid Lake on our ride back to fish and take a dip if you wanted to join the Pyramid Lake swim club. Three hardy souls were all you could get out of our 10-person group. After this refreshing plunge it was back to the ranch and pack for home.

What made this trip unique was the wilderness, pristine and unspoiled. No evidence of human trespassing.