Adventure Journal: Fly-fishing in Grand Teton

Grand Teton National Park is a world-renowned fly-fishing destination due to its pristine waterways that provide incredible habitat for several species of fish, including the Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout. The Snake River flows from its headwaters on the Two Ocean Plateau north to south through Grand Teton, entering Jackson Lake in the northern section of the park and exiting the park just west of the Jackson Hole airport. An abundance of mountain lakes and streams within the park serve as tributaries to the Snake, keeping a constant flow of cold, oxygen rich water readily available for fish. Grand Teton has plenty of incredible fly-fishing opportunities, and below you’ll find few of our favorite angling destinations:

Jackson Lake Dam to Pacific Creek: Stretching about five miles along the base of Signal Mountain, this portion of the Snake River offers scenic views, calmer water, and fewer obstructions than other sections of river within the park. This float provides anglers with stable banks and good access along the river shores. The river tends to speed up as you approach the Pacific Creek boat launch, and it is a good idea to check the water conditions at Pacific Creek before launching south of the Jackson Lake Dam. During slower water, there are a number of good wading options near the Pacific Creek boat launch and along Pacific Creek itself. Please be sensitive to nesting bald eagles throughout this section and do not slow down or stop near these areas.

Directions to the Jackson Lake Dam and Pacific Creek boat launches: Follow the inner park road north 24 miles from the Moose entrance until you reach Jackson Lake Dam. The launch is a few hundred feet below the dam. To reach Pacific Creek boat launch, continue northeast to the Jackson Lake Junction. Turn right and drive three miles to the Pacific Creek boat access point.

Moran from Snake River_Kae Brockermeyer_Adv Journal

View of Mount Moran from the Snake River. Photo by Kae Brockermeyer.

Jackson Lake: There are a number of access points and fishing stashes around Jackson Lake. If wading, it is always nice to start with the dam and follow the trail downstream. There are also other access points for wading or fishing from the lakeshore. No matter whether you are floating or wading, it is best to concentrate your efforts on shallow coves, large flats bordering drop-offs, and on points along the shore. Fly-fishing on Jackson Lake is most successful before the warmer weather sets in, usually mid-May and early-June. During summer, you can also have some luck if you fish early or late in the day. September is a great time to fish on Jackson Lake but please note that the lake is closed in October to protect spawning fish.

Boat access to Jackson Lake can found at Spalding Bay, Leeks Marina, Colter Bay, and Signal Mountain

Other fly-fishing favorites: There are a number of smaller, feeder streams between larger lakes in the park (for example, between String Lake and Jenny Lake), and often hiking trails that run alongside these streams provide easy access. Blacktail Ponds, Schwabacher’s Landing, and Cottonwood Creek all open for fishing on August 1st. These three options offer great nymphing and dry-fly fishing opportunities. More information about fishing in Grand Teton can be found on the park’s website:

Leave a Comment

Get the latest news right to your inbox!

Looking for more?

Sign up for our featured park happenings, winter adventure ideas, wildlife spotting, and more!

Scroll to Top