The history of the Wyoming Angling Company dates back to Dick Boyer’s Rod ‘N Reel Shop that began offering float fishing trips in the 1960’s on the Snake, Green and New Fork Rivers surrounding Jackson. Boyer’s location across from the Wort Hotel was equally divided between a high quality Indian jewelry department and a fine fishing/fly shop.
Rod ‘N Reel Fishing Trips was the first Snake River float fishing permit issued south of Jackson from South Park to Explorer Camp/The Elbow, by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest outfitter offices in St. Anthony, Idaho. Eventually convenience and nearby proximity necessitated that recreational river management be transferred to the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Jackson, where it continues to reside.
Name change to “fly fishing”
In the mid-1970’s Paul Bruun, a guide employee, purchased the outfitting business after the Dick Boyer and his family decided to expand their jewelry operation an eliminate tackle sales. Bruun renamed his venture Rod ‘N Reel Fly Fishing Float Trips as fly fishing popularity was increasing beyond earlier spinning lure and bait fishing practices.
As a fishing outfitter as well as a local newspaper outdoor columnist, Bruun dedicated additional effort to working with the Jackson Ranger District within Bridger-Teton to maintain a variety of float fishing accesses to separate fishing boats.
Snake River Canyon opens to fishing
With the relocation of whitewater river trip assemblage from The Elbow downstream to the new West Table Creek facility, Bruun pushed to maintain The Elbow as well as another fishing launch/retrieval at East Table Creek.
By the late 1980’s the Forest Service also adopted the Bruun crusade for fishing permittees to have two-boat-a-day access from West Table Creek (and upstream) to Sheep Gulch in the whitewater section and Snake River Canyon. Annually after Labor Day, float fishing outfitters may utilize all their permitted boats in the canyon.
Yet another change
During the mid-1980’s Bruun and a business partner, Ralph Headrick, were marketing a 14 1/2 ft. low profile, fiberglass drift boat named the South Fork Skiff. Hard bottom, high sided McKenzie and Rogue River-style fiberglass and aluminum drift boats had begun to join the ever-popular inflatable rafts on the Wyoming portion of the Snake in the late 1970’s. Drift boats were already popular in Montana and Idaho on such trout chasing favorites as the Madison, Yellowstone, Henry’s and South Forks of the Snake.
Such craft were restricted to larger rivers. Shallower, smaller freestone streams such as Wyoming’s Green, New Fork and Salt River were laced with low ranch bridges, many from railroad flat cars. Low bridge clearance eliminated standard drift boats but allowed aluminum john boats, small rafts and the newly introduced low profile style of “skiff” fishing boats.
To aid with the promotion of the new skiff, Bruun elongated his outfitting operation title to South Fork Fly Fishing Float Trips.
Finally, Wyoming Angling Company
At the end of 2010 and 37 years of guiding Paul Bruun sold the frequently altered South Fork Fly Fishing Float Trips business to long time friends Aaron J. Sanders and Mike Janssen who now operate in conjunction with Andrew Byron as the Wyoming Angling Company.