It’s a long story that I won’t bore you with, totally, but Barb and I learned to fish from our daughter Krista and her future (at the time) husband Chris. Mind you, when Krista met Chris working at Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park during the early summer of 2002, she wasn’t a fisherman either. However, Chris was an avid fisherman, who ultimately put a fly rod in Krista’s had and got her started, fishing on Pacific Creek in the park.
Pacific Creek is a beautiful small stream that begins high in the Teton Wilderness of the Bridget-Teton National Forest before flowing into Grand Teton National Park. It flows into the Snake River near Moran Junction. It’s fish population isn’t nearly as great as the Snake and several other tributaries, but it offers tremendous solitude. In a park as crazy with people as Grand Teton National Park can be, with everyone wanting to float and fish the Snake, a bit of “getting away from it all” isn’t a bad thing. So it’s no surprise that Chris took Krista out to Pacific Creek on their days off working at the Main Dining Room at Jackson Lake Lodge where Krista was a hostess and Chris was a server.
That same summer, Barb, youngest daughter Kelly and I decided to take a trip out to see Krista (and meet this Chris guy she was seeing) and experience the area. Of course we did the “usual” things in the park… hiking, rafting, searching for moose and bears, sitting in Jackson Lake Lodge just looking up in awe of the Tetons… but while we were there, Krista wanted to teach me what Chris had taught her, fly fishing! So, off to Pacific Creek.
Not trusting our rental car on some of the roads we’d be on, we loaded into Chris’ “vintage” Chevy Suburban and headed out toward the creek. We found one of Chris’ regular pullouts, parked the Suburban (took a pic) and headed out to fish the creek. At this point, Chris was the experienced fisherman, Krista was a budding angler, I was about to learn, and Barb and Kelly were pretty much along for the ride and hike and swim. It was VERY warm that day as I remember.
We made it down to the creek, got rigged up, and the fishing (and lounging) began. We never saw another angler or hiker the entire time we were there (remember, solitude). The creek felt wonderful as we “wet waded” it in our shorts and swimsuits. Yes, I’m owning up to the pics you see in the video above as I had swim trunks on rather than fishing shorts one day. Remember, I wasn’t a fisherman yet at this point and from the looks of my white legs, I hadn’t seen much sun yet that summer.
We fished for a few hours, hiking up and down along the creek, didn’t catch many (ANY in my case), but had a tremendous day. It was fun watching Krista in a new element, fly fishing… and watching Chris continue to help her, as she helped me get started. I took in as much as I could, but while I really struggled that first day with the timing of it all, I loved being outdoors, in one of the most spectacularly scenic spots on the planet, and sharing the time with family, including our soon to be son-in-law Chris.
In the days we were there in the Tetons, I only caught a couple of fish. Barb hadn’t started her own journey into this passion of ours just yet, but I think she saw how much fun Chris, Krista and even I was having, and perhaps subliminally she was starting to get hooked herself. Kelly on the other hand, just enjoyed being outdoors, getting some sun, and frolicking in the water AFTER we’d fished a spot and didn’t get any bites. I know we’ve said this before, but “It Isn’t About the Fish”. Sharing this time, in the great outdoors, no cell phones (the won’t work there), just family/friends, is priceless.
So, while Pacific Creek is not on the list of the TU Greatest 100 Trout Streams, it holds a very special place in our fly fishing and family memories. The whole Grand Teton/Yellowstone National Parks areas are incredibly dear to us and we keep coming back again and again to create and share even more special moments together. We hope you enjoy the short music video above of some of the memories from those first trips to Pacific Creek 16 years ago.