Jenny Lake

Rick Schreiber has lived in Jackson Hole, Wyoming since the 70’s. Despite our 20 year age difference, we’ve been friends since about when I moved to Jackson in 1987. We competed against each other in pool tournaments, then he guided out of the fly shop I managed and we even have a mutual friend that takes us to Wisconsin every year to fish. Furthermore, Rick fly fishes the lakes in and around Jackson more so than anyone I can think of. You already know I enjoy the lakes too and today Rick had a seat in his boat for an afternoon up at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park.

Jenny is a lake that I used to fish a bunch. In fact, I ice fished the lake a lot back in the day. I once caught a 24lb lake trout out of there during a terrible snow storm through more than 3 feet of ice. Now that I’m over in Idaho, I rarely get to Jenny anymore. So when I got the email invite from Rick I jumped on the chance.

If you looked at the weather for this entire week, today was probably the worst day to be out on Jenny Lake in a drift boat with a tiny outboard. The forecast simply said strong wind, 75% chance of thunderstorms and possible hail. But we didn’t talk about that. We both were anxious to fish, especially because Rick said fishing was on fire!

When we launched his boat there were already a couple old timers pulling out. They’d had enough getting tossed around in the white caps of the lake. Furthermore, they said fishing was slow. They landed one small lake trout. At that moment Jenny wasn’t looking so bad. Rick also had confidence in a particular area he’d been fishing and knew the old timers didn’t know the place. Soon enough we were moving across the lake.

I always forget how gorgeous Jenny Lake is. No matter how many times you’ve been on Jenny Lake, the Tetons impress you. They are literally right over the top of you. The only bad thing is you can’t see the weather coming until it’s upon you.

By the time we got to Ricks location the wind was honking. There was no mistake in this part of the forecast. In fact it was so windy that we really couldn’t fish Ricks spot. So for about two hours we tried some slightly sheltered areas. I fished my three nymph train on my Scientific Angler Stillwater and Rick dredged a single streamer on a very fast sinking line, but nothing for either of us.

At about 3 PM the wind calmed slightly and Rick suggested we try again to anchor in his secret spot. We motored over and sure enough the wind was much more manageable. At first I rowed Rick around the area while he prowled with a big spin lure. We were desperate. On the first cast he nailed a small laker but that was it. Finally I dropped anchor and began fishing too. On my first cast with the nymphs I nailed a lake trout on a red English buzzer.

Often times, once you get that first fish in the boat, you start catching a few. But today was one for the record books. I caught a fish on my next four casts. The fish consisted of three more lakers and a mountain whitefish. Neither Rick nor I had ever caught a whitefish out of Jenny. Meanwhile Rick was back to his streamer set up but it wasn’t producing nearly as well as the nymphs. He rigged up a prince and started catching them too. One hour later we had caught at least 20 fish!

We fished until about 5 PM. We fully intended to fish later but I kid you not, we caught well over 50 fish. Amongst our lakers and one whitefish, I landed several nice cutthroats and Rick caught another “Jenny Lake surprise”, a sucker. About the only fish we didn’t catch that occasionally do show up on Jenny was a rainbow or a brook trout.

Of course the other reason we left at 5 instead of later was a change in weather. Between 4 and 5 we saw high wind, rain and scary black clouds. Then the first massive thunder head came over the top of us. That was it. We pulled that anchor and headed for the boat ramp. The rain picked up and the wind got dangerous at times. The one thing you always do on our lakes is hug the shoreline. We stayed within 20 feet all the way back and made it fine.

It was a fantastic day on Jenny! Two great days this week already. . . I wonder what’s next?

2 Responses to “Jenny Lake”

  1. Erik Moncada June 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

    Nice Lake Trout!!! I have never caught one of those before, and as far as suckers go, it looks nice. The sucker must be on its way to a dinner or something because they are usually ugly.

  2. John Miao June 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    Hi,

    Nice pictures.

    Is Jenny Lake fishable from the shore? I was planning to take my kids.

    Thanks.

    johnmiao@sbcglobal.net

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