Why Would You Fish Anywhere Else?


Turning off the asphalt and onto the private dirt road, the mood of our little group changed. Up until that point, the morning was similar to most days that I have been fortunate enough to spend on a guided fishing trip. My group assembled at Grand Fishing Adventures in Teton Village. We discussed flies, the water we would be fishing and we headed out. This morning was different, however. We didn’t have a boat in tow, which is unique to many guided trips in Jackson Hole. The difference was the fact that we were headed to a different stretch of water than everyone else. Perhaps only other anglers can fully appreciate this, but our destination was a small creek on a private ranch only minutes from Teton Village. We knew we were in for a special morning, what we didn’t know was whether the fish would be waiting for us.

The dirt road we were on wound its way along Lake Creek before straightening out into a quintessentially Western thoroughfare. To our left was an old barn and cabin, presumably used by one of the original homesteaders. To our right was a large cattle pasture. The tall grass and cattle seemed to stretch for miles and were bordered by the rugged mountains that denote the western edge of Jackson Hole. In front of us, running through this nearly unspoiled landscape, was our destination and those of us laying eyes upon it for the first time stood in awe.  Fish Creek is a bucolic stream that flows out of Teton Village, WY. In addition to being a picturesque piece of water set amongst one of the best mountain views on earth, it is an exceptional fishery boasting trophy size Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat Trout, Jackson Hole’s native fish.


As we parked the vehicle and took our first look at the creek we knew that we were in for a treat. The small, gin clear creek looked to be the perfect habitat for fish.  Our guide was just as excited as the rest of us as we assembled our rods and gathered our gear. Stories of fish with names like Bubba filled the air and added to the anticipation which felt akin to the moments before the start of a race. With our game plan finalized, we headed out for a short walk along the creek through the willows and the tall grass. It was difficult not to stop and cast a fly into some of the pristine water as we passed, but our guide assured us we would fish all of it on our way back down stream. Arriving at the first stretch of water we were to fish, the anticipation grew. What would the first cast produce?

As the guide explained where the fish typically hold and feed, one of our crew cast the first line and the day had officially begun. As is generally the case, the first cast did not produce a fish, nor did the second, but soon we were on the fish and they did not disappoint. As with many fisheries, the trout on Fish Creek have a unique style in which they take or eat a fly. They seemed to casually emerge from the depths and expertly eat the fly without disturbing much of the water often times chasing the fly downstream before eating it. In the moment, this artful dance appeared to happen in slow-motion.  But once we set the hook, it was showtime – multiple runs with line spinning and fish rising out of the water several times. We found several good sized fish that morning and while Bubba may have eluded us we, were very happy with the fishing.

As we broke down our gear and loaded everything back into the vehicle, we knew how lucky we were for the experience that morning. To be one of 3 people fishing on such a pristine piece of water was a treat that doesn’t happen that often. The good news is that Grand Fishing Adventures offers this trip all season long and they rarely have to turn people away. With that thought in our minds, we made our way back to the shop vowing to take another trip to Fish Creek as soon as we were able.  If you are interested in taking a guided trip on Fish Creek.  Call Grand Fishing Adventures at 307-734-9684

PlayHard GiveBack Movement Spreads to Jackson Hole


PlayHard GiveBack, a company based out of Sun Valley, Idaho made its first splash into the Jackson Hole community this past winter during the Far From Home Film premier at the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts. The film traces PHGB athlete, Brolin Mawejje’s “journey across continents, from his humble beginnings in Kampala, Uganda, to his athletic and medical pursuits in the United States”. The PHGB team arrived at the event in their company motorhome wrapped with the Far From Home logo to support Brolin and his journey.

playhard give back

The PlayHard GiveBack mission is to create a culture among athletes around the importance of giving back. They strive to develop athletes beyond sport by connecting them with social and environmental causes. Two months ago, they launched a new model that enables hotels to join the movement by carrying healthy PHGB products that support a local PHGB athlete and their aligned cause. Jackson Hole has been one of the most responsive towns with the hotel model; with two JH hotels already carrying PHGB trail mix.

The first Jackson Hole and third Playhard GiveBack Hotel partner was the Rusty Parrot Lodge, a family-run 32-room lodge where the owners and staff delight in sharing inside information about the town and area they love. Brandon Harrison, the owner of the hotel, provides complimentary bags of PHGB trail mix to his guests in order to support PHGB athlete, Jess McMillan and her nonprofit partner, The Chris Anthony Youth Initiative. Jess McMillan, a Jackson Hole local and highschool classmate of Harrisons’, was the Freeskiing World Tour Champion in 2007 and the US Freeskiing Champion in 2007. The mission statement of her nonprofit partner, The Chris Anthony Youth Initiative Program is to improve the quality of life through introducing youth to educational enrichment opportunities.

playhard give back jess mcmillan

Hotel Terra, another PHGB hotel partner,“brings a new kind of luxury to the Jackson Hole experience”. PHGB trail mixes are now being sold in their café to support Tristan Teton Brown and his nonprofit partner, Protect Our Winters. Tristan Teton Brown is a big mountain skier currently living in Jackson Hole who “values adventures over assets and embraces opportunities that stray from his comfort zone.” His nonprofit partner, POW is an organization dedicated to engaging and mobilizing the winter sports community to lead the fight against climate change.

playhard give back Tristan Teton Brown

The PlayHard GiveBack team is grateful for all of their hotel partners and is excited to continue working within the Jackson Hole community. Keep your eyes peeledfor the PHGB motor home, their tasty trail mix and their Jackson Hole athletes! Check out www.playhardgiveback.com/hotels to learn more.

Image One photo credits: (left to right)



http://blog.theclymb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/jm1.jpg ( Wade McKoy)

Image two photo credits: (left to right)











Rendezvous Hill Climb – Race Recap

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This past Saturday Teton Village was abuzz with runners and hikers- 181 to be exact for the Rendezvous Hill Climb.  This was the first time the historic race was run on new single track trail all the way up to the top of the tram, and the course record has now been set.

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Jackson local, Matt Chorney, took the win with a time of 1 hour and 9 minutes.  Winning woman, Jenny Wolfe of Bozeman, MT finished the course in 1 hour and 21 minutes.

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There were people participating from all over the country, and all ages!  For the complete race results, click here.  Youngest finisher was 8 year old Edan Hautamaki.  The oldest finisher is Jackson local, Jon Parker 79 years young – who also competed in Snow King and Grand Targhee hill climb races.

It was a great turn out for the race and very special to see Chris Onufer’s family participating and enjoying the day.  Big thanks are in order to the Teton Trail Runners, race day volunteers (yes, the last aid station had bacon – best thing ever!) and Doug Cook, JHMR lift supervisor, who organized the event.  All proceeds went to the local high school cross country teams, who showed up in force to run.

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Now that I finished my first Rendezvous Hill Climb – I’ve already marked my calendar for the first Saturday in August next summer!  Who’s with me?
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Jackson Hole Land Trust Celebrates their 35th Anniversary

Roxanne Pierson of the Jackson Hole Land Trust plants the flag into the Rock Spring's conservation easement.

Some of you might be wondering what the big green Jackson Hole Land Trust flags throughout Teton County are all about. Wonder no more!  They mark each Land Trust conservation easement to raise awareness of their 35th anniversary.  To top it off, View22, a mini project of the Trust, has involved local artists to paint and photograph each land parcel in their personal style. These art pieces will be auctioned off at the annual Land Trust picnic at the Mead Ranch.

The Jackson Hole Land Trust flag stands proudly next to the trail at the base of Rock Springs canyon.

The Jackson Hole Land Trust flag stands proudly next to the trail at the base of Rock Springs canyon.

How does all this relate to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort? There is a very popular conservation easement adjacent to Teton Village that you might not know about.  The Rock Springs property, just south of the Hobacks, was designated a conservation easement by the JH Land Trust in 1997.   This was just 3 years before JHMR opened its gates to backcountry access and the easement became a popular area for backcountry exploration. The Rock Springs Yurt is located on the northern edge of this easement and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.  rock-springs-easementJackson Hole Mountain Resort owns this 211 acre property, but entrusted the JH Land Trust to protect this land from any future development.  Looks like future generations will get to experience the same gorgeous landscape that we do today!

Late last week, Roxanne Pierson, of the JH Land Trust, and I took a hike out to the Rock Springs Canyon property to plant the flag.  The trails are great heading south from the resort, and it was my first time on the trail in the summertime. Wildflowers are still in full bloom, but dreaming of the landscape in winter was not hard to do.


Roxanne prepares to plant the JH Land Trust flag.

We scouted the area for the best spot to plant the flag and decided on an area on the north side of the easement with excellent views of Rock Springs canyon and Rock Springs Buttress.

“Rocks Springs Canyon, a favorite out-of-bounds run for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort backcountry skiers and yurt guests (as well as black bears, moose, elk, mule deer, and raptors) has been protected by an easement that allows recreational uses but eliminates any future development.”
-Jackson Hole Land Trust

Help celebrate Jackson Hole Land Trust’s 35th Anniversary this Sunday, August 9 at the Mead Ranch.  Click here for more details.

Rendezvous Hill Climb: An Ode to Chris Onufer


If there was ever a person more comfortable or happy in the mountains than Chris Onufer, I have yet to meet them.  Chris, a long time Aerial Tram mechanic and fixture at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, died tragically in 2012.  Whether you knew Chris or not, his spirit can be felt at the Aerial Tramway and Rendezvous Mountain – enticing skiers and riders, hikers,  runners and climbers to get out and explore, live every moment to the fullest, have some fun, scare yourself a bit and feel alive.

Onufer 2

The Rendezvous Mountain Hill Climb Saturday, Aug 1st is a tribute to this mountain goat; a man who ran wild through the mountains and shared selflessly his passions, joys and experiences with all.

Chris Onufer

With an invigorated new course, the Hill Climb is “X” Extreme – and Chris, Captain  X, will be there cheering everyone on.   6.1 miles almost completely on single track with over 4,100 vertical– a new record is there for the taking.  I won’t be the one setting the record, but I’m ready to show up for race day, and show up for Chris, who never missed a race.



Latest Video – Jackson Hole Season Pass 2015/16

Are you dreaming of ski season? In celebration of the 50th Anniversary winter season, JHMR has kept pricing at the same rate as the 2014-15 season, while adding extra Grand Pass benefits. For this special anniversary year Grand Passholders will receive four (4) 50% off buddy passes for friends and family plus more.

Teton Food Tour to Concerts on the Commons

If you take away anything from this culinary and musical adventure, it should be that all of the delicious food featured was prepared by local establishments and that FREE Concerts on the Commons continue every Sunday through August 29th!

Now, let’s get on the road…er…pathway. Last Sunday’s Teton Food Tour, presented by Friends of Pathways and Slow Food in the Tetons, was so much fun. My lady Kate and I made it a date and left our place in Wilson to embark on an afternoon of pathway cruising, delicious food and drink and amazing live music at Concerts on the Commons.


First stop – the new R Park located near the Wilson Bridge on the Snake River – and what do we see first but the JH Mountain Direct Van and Hoback Sports Tent!


Our friend Tom, who works for Hoback Sports, was kindly attaching bells to kids bikes for equal parts style and safety. Here is Avery getting her pretty pink bike tricked out! Located in the town of Jackson, Hoback Sports is one of the area’s premier shops carrying the top brands in road, mountain and cruiser bikes, a full rental fleet as well as a professional staff of bike mechanics.


First food stop – Street Food (the restaurant located in the legendary Stagecoach Bar in Wilson) – and their delicious Falafel with fresh Wyomato and cucumber salad with Tzatziki Sauce. YUM!


No time for chit-chat, time to enjoy this delicious first plate!


Add in some cowboy tunes from local musician Dan White and beer from Snake River Brewery by the R Park pond and you have a nice relaxing first food tour stop.


Alright onward down the bike path!


Next stop, the Aspens Market with a delicious little sandwich made with house roasted Lockhart Beef Tenderloin (Jackson, WY), Mustard Greens (grown in-house) and a fresh roasted garlic scape, basil and chive aioli, all on a 460 roll (Driggs, ID). Perfection on a bun!


I’ll take this opportunity to plug Hoback Sports again, as I cruise on my much-loved Specialized road bike I bought from them last year. Did I mention how scenic the Village Road pathway is?


With Teton Village in sight we start scoping out our next stop.


We turn into the Shooting Star Club just south of Teton Village for Bo B Q – some of the best dang barbecue in the area! Here is pit master Bo Williamson himself showing off the goods.


This stop also showcased the artists of View 22 and the work of the Jackson Hole Land Trust who strive to preserve the beautiful landscapes that we call home.  Here is local artist Dwayne Harty getting his Plein Air on with a beautiful landscape choice.


OK, onward to Teton Village!  And we arrive to beautiful weather on another perfect summer day in Jackson Hole.


The final stop is the Bodega Specialty Grocer and Bottle Shop at the Teton Village Gas Station, recently opened by the Fine Dining Group (Rendezvous Bistro, Q Roadhouse, etc.). We are treated to the famous handmade ice cream sandwiches of Executive Pastry Chef Chad Horton. We went with Mint Chocolate Chip – WOW! You don’t have to be in need of gas to stop by this delicious new roadside hot spot.


After enjoying our ice cream sandwiches and the banjo picking of local musician Jessie Lestitian, we made our way to the Village Commons for Wyoming Americana/Country/Rock & Rollers The Patti Fiasco, and man did they get things going!  An amazing and energetic set from this talented group.


Following The Patti Fiasco, headliner Nahko & Medicine for the People took the music into the evening with their powerful melodies and rhythms.


Then it was back on the pathway and 10 miles back to our home in Wilson, sadly with no food and beer stops this direction :(


I hope you enjoyed this culinary and musical journey from Wilson to Teton Village! Just one example of the many fun events and concerts that happen every summer here in our little paradise of Jackson Hole.

Be sure to catch the Teton Food Tour next year! Thanks to all of the partners who put on this great annual event:

Friends of Pathways
Slow Food in Tetons
R Park
View 22
Jackson Hole Land Trust
Hoback Sports
Aspens Market

Three Tips to Keep the Training on Track

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I’ve been running with lots of friends this summer, and they have been a great support system and source of inspiration for me as a novice runner gearing up for the Rendezvous Hill Climb – three weeks away!

My last two big runs I had the good fortune to run with Jess McMillan (who you remember from a previous post); plus friend, pastry chef and trail runner extraordinaire Brigid Horigan.  Brigid is training for a 50K race, so we met up after work for an evening run up the Wildflower Trail.

Brigid- July 2015

Brigid motored up the trail while I chugged, and then we met up for the run down.  We talked a lot about running, juggling work/ life and training, boys, jobs, everything really.  I gained a few insights from my time with Brigid that have really helped me stay positive and focused going into the race:

Make small goals to achieve big goals.

BH: “It can be is easy to lose focus while training for a race, sometimes there are hard days, or work gets in the way… Completing something you have set out to do feels pretty good.  So, I make small goals for myself as I train, they help me stay motivated and focused on the race.”

Trail - July 2015

Do your best, and don’t beat yourself up.

BH: “Follow your training schedule as best as you can, but it is important to listen to your body.  Sometimes you just need an extra rest day and that is okay.  It is really easy to lose motivation after a bad run, but just know the next run will be better.  I think it is pretty cool to set out and do something you have never done all while challenging your body and your mind.  Just remember where you started and how far you have come.”

Anna Headwall

Make sure you are having fun.

BH: “We live in an amazing part of the country and trail running has taken me to some really beautiful places.  Plus when you get to run through the mountains with your friends it doesn’t really make it feel like exercise, it is pretty fun.”

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Summertime at Teton Village Sports!

Everyone knows that Teton Village Sports has the the reputation as the #1 winter ski shop in the country, but don’t miss out on all the exciting things happening in Summer! TVS is your one-stop shop for any summer adventure in the Tetons. From the latest apparel, footwear and custom orthotics to bike & SUP rentals and a full service fly shop, let their friendly and expert staff find you exactly what you need.

Let’s start with rentals. Looking to hit the pathways or downhill bike park?  TVS carries cruisers and downhill mountain bikes to start your day.


How about a day Stand Up Paddle boarding on one of our beautiful lakes? Rent SUP boards at TVS!


With the fishing turning on for the summer, maybe you are looking to get outfitted for a day chasing cutthroat trout on the Snake River or on one of Jackson Hole’s many streams and tributaries. Grand Fishing Adventures, located in TVS, is a full service fly shop with the latest apparel and gear from Simms, Patagonia, Ex Officio, Columbia, Yeti Coolers and more. Rods from Sage and Temple Fork Outfitters and reels from Hatch and Ross. They have a great deal going on all summer – save 20% on any rod, reel and line combo! In addition to the fly shop, GFA offers full and half-day guided fishing and scenic trips.  Stop by Grand Fishing Adventures to stock up and get all the local advice you’ll need for an enjoyable day on the water.


You may know that TVS offers some of the best custom footbeds for ski boots in the winter, with their in-house custom orthotics expert Matt Sheets.  But did you know that Matt can get your feet dialed in for all your summer needs as well?  Hiking shoes, wading boots, bike shoes, golf shoes, you name it! See Matt at TVS and learn more about both ready-made and custom-made insoles for reliable foot comfort no matter the sport.


TVS also offers the best outdoor apparel for both men and women with top brands like Prana, Patagonia, Arc’teryx, Lole, Sanctuary, Calypso and many more.


Men’s apparel by The North Face, IceBreaker, Patagonia and many more.


There you have it, get in to Teton Village Sports this summer and get in on the action!