Fly Fishing Report: Wyoming's Crescent H Ranch

September 20, 2006 By: Marshall Cutchin

This week we are out fishing at the Crescent H Ranch in Jackson, Wyoming. Yesterday we woke to frost and perfect sunshine and after a big breakfast in the main lodge headed off to fish the Ranch’s private sping creek waters for native cutthroat. The fish, as could be predicted given the bluebird skies and absence of wind, were hunkered down in the small waters of the creeks. We watched and waited, mostly for a fish to open his mouth and take in a nymph or two and let us know that he was feeding. Fishing only dries, the catch rate would not excite many fish counters, but man, were those native cuts that did eat our little BWOs gorgeous. The challenges seemed fitting. I didn’t want to quit.
The Crescent H’s main buildings were constructed in the late 20s as a ranch lodge, A Chicago family bought the ranch — at that time 1200 acres– in the 40s and ran it through the 60s, after which it changed hands a couple more times and subdvision reduced the the total size of the ranch proper to 350 acres. (Through some recent purchases the ranch is back to about 450 acres.) Leigh Perkins and Vern Bressler were wowed by the property, and the Ranch earned fame in the earily 80s as the inspiration for Orvis’s concept of an “endorsed lodge,” a location that met Orvis’s standards for quaility of service and fishing. But in the the 1990s the owners began shifting the lodge away from angling as its raison d’etre. The current owner bought the ranch at the end of 2002 and hired Reynolds Pomeroy, who had for 18 years operated the well-known Westbank Anglers in Jackson Hole and had removed himself to New Zealand for a long-term vacation with his wife. Wise move. Now the ranch’s extraordinary fishing opportunities are back in focus. The lodge prides itself on stewardship of its native fish populations — the fine-spotted cutthroat, and if you want to fish for cutthroats in classic, but uncrowded spring creek conditions and spend your evenings in a top-of-line lodge atmosphere (frankly, we’ve never been at a nicer lodge), this is the place. You can get more info on the lodge at their Web site at www.crescenthranch.com.
Today we’re off to float the Snake. The forecast is for inclement weather. We’ll let you know how it goes.