Pacific Creek is a good river for the wading angler, offering some of the best access and solitude that can be found in a major river in Jackson Hole. It starts its journey in the Teton Wilderness and flows southwest, winding its way through the pine forests until it reaches the Snake at Moran junction.
Pacific Creek Road, just a short distance from the river, roughly follows the river, providing good access for anglers wishing to do a little walking. Eight miles up the road from the Teton Park highway is a parking area and the wilderness boundary. This is a good place to begin a hike for those anglers wishing to get into the backcountry.
Similar to the Snake, the runoff on Pacific Creek generally lasts into at least the early part of July and sometimes later. After that, the river clears and quickly drops.
Unlike the Snake, Pacific Creek has a much lower trout population per mile and thus requires different tactics for fishing success. You may only find one fish in a hole, or there may even be none. The key to fly fishing is to cover a lot of water. Put on a fly appropriate for the time of the year and begin casting in what you consider a likely area. If you don’t have luck in a hole with a few casts, move up to the next. Some holes may look good but just not have any or very few fish. Don’t let it hinder you, just move up and keep on fishing. The more water you cover the better your chances of success. With this small of a fish population Pacific Creek is a candidate for catch and release fly fishing.
Unlike “match the hatch” streams, fly choice is generally simple. Attractor patterns, hoppers and caddis all work well in most occasions. Stimulators seem to be one of the better choices for this creek, but when the air heats up and the hoppers are out don’t hesitate to put one on. These fish don’t tend to be leader shy so 3x or 4x is more than adequate. Since in many places this is a small creek, you may wish to go to a 7 ½ -foot leader instead of a longer one. Streamer fishing small streams such as Pacific is generally productive. Kiwis, Zonkers and small Muddlers will all work.
Although there may not be as many fish as in larger rivers, Pacific Creek offers solitude in a beautiful environment. If you are visiting Jackson Hole at the right time, this is a great place to fly fish.
For more current information drop into our guide service office in downtown Jackson Hole, Bruce will be happy to put some spots on one of our free fishing maps.