Monday, August 25, 2008

Jackson Hole Cutthroat

On my return trip from British Columbia, I made a pit stop in Jackson, Wyoming to meet up with some other friends from Japan (Take-san, Ongawa-san and Kawasumi-san). We stayed at the ranch home of Hamano-san located at the base of the Grand Tetons near the National Elk Refuge. It was a beautiful log cabin with amazing views! Here is a view from the back yard.We stayed in the guest cabin. Take-san relaxing before heading back to Flat Creek for more fly fishing. Saturday morning Hamano-san took us to meet one of his neighbors, Yvon Chouinard. Yvon is a famous mountain climber, author, fly fisherman and business man. He is most recognized as the founder of the Patagonia clothing and gear company.

Take-san and Koichi-san discuss fly tying techniques. We were all a bit star struck. For outdoor enthusiast, meeting Yvon Chouinard is like meeting the Pope.

I had to sidle-up for a picture. (-:

After our brush with celebrity, it was time to head to Flat Creek. Flat Creek is a slow moving spring creek that winds through the Grand Teton valley. The banks have been undercut making perfect hiding places for the skitish cutthroat. We used terrestrials flies such as grasshoppers and ants during times when there was no mayfly hatch.

But around 12:00 noon there was usually a large hatch of grey drake mayflies. This one was nice enough to pose for a picture.

Clouds of mayflies can be seen rising into the sky as they hatch from the water. This drives the trout into a feeding frenzy, a situation every fly fisherman hopes for.

It was during a may fly hatch that I caught my first cutthroat.

Notice the red marking or "cut" under the head from which they are named.

After a few photos we released the cutthroat to fight another day. I caught 4 cutthroat in total for the two days. Not a lot of fish but I was happy.

I owe a special thank you to my new friend Koichi-san, who guided me on Flat Creek.

Koichi-san is a professional fly tyer and expert fly fisherman. I learned a lot during my two days of fishing together. I hope you will visit his blog...


  1. Hi David:

    You seems to have had an another excellent trip in Wyoming.
    Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming are fly fisherman's dream spots. And I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the Flat Creek. And I think I met Koichi-san some years ago in Livingston when I and Sylvester Nemes visited his flky shop.
    So many good fishing for you in such a short time! I'm afraid you are overwhelmed and driven into madness.
    Take care!


  2. Yes, Koichi-san remembered you. He said you and Syl came to his fly shop because the other fly shop was closed because it was sunday. It is a small world indeed!
    I am very lucky to have so many good fishing opportunities in a short time.
    It is all because of my friends I made in Japan.

  3. Hi David,

    I found your blog through Koichi-san's. He is my great fly fishing mentor also. We met each other at Henry's Fork ID last summer.

    By the way, I feel a strong affinity for you. Because my home town is KIKUGAWA, and I graduated from KAKEGWA-West high school!

    And I'd been in Boise ID from '05 summer to '07 fall for temporary business staying. Now I'm living NUMAZU city, which means close to OSHINO.

    Anyway, if you don't mind, let me add your blog site to my blog.


  4. Lance-san,
    It is very good to hear from you. I think Kakegawa is a wonderful place. I had several friends that went to Kakegawa-West High School.
    You are lucky to live near Oshino! It is a great spring creek.
    Feel free to add a link to my blog in your blog. I would like to do add a link to yours as well.
    When are you coming back to the States?
    Tight Lines,

  5. David,
    Thank you for your quick response and permission. I'm glad that you add my page as link to yours also.

    So far I don't have any plan to be there US though, let you know if I have a chance to go. Idaho was a definitely wonderful fly fishing place for me!

    It maybe sounds funny, you learned fly fishing in Japan and back to the States, and I learned it in US and back to Japan, completely opposite!

    I have one question about English itself. What does 'Tight Lines' in the end of your comment mean? A kind of greetings or something like that? Your blog is my good English teacher also.

  6. Lance-san,
    Yes, it is funny how our situations are reversed. I feel very fortunate to have learned fly fishing in Japan. Fly fishing in Japan is very tough because of high pressure from anglers.

    "Tight Lines" is a salutation often used by fisherman to end letters. It means "keep in touch". It is a reference to the tight fishing lines caused by a fish-on situation. It also has a double meaning, referring to "lines of communication" which can be any form of communication such as telephone, email, post for example.

  7. David;
    Now I got your point. Thanks, again.