Get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating world of fly fishing as we bring you the latest episode of our Traveled Series. In this installment, we shine a spotlight on the remarkable life of Bob Jacklyn, a revered fly fisherman and entrepreneur. From the moment he opened his own fly shop in 1974, Bob’s passion for the sport has burned bright. Join us as we uncover his favorite fishing destinations, the Firehole River and the Madison in the park, and witness how these waters have shaped his angling journey.

Recently retired after an awe-inspiring 53-year career in guiding and outfitting, Bob’s influence in the fly fishing world remains unparalleled. We discover the intriguing story of how Bob’s remarkable career began in 1969, when his extraordinary skills caught the attention of Bud Lilly, ultimately leading to a deep friendship that transcended their status as competitors.

But Bob’s contributions extend beyond his exceptional angling prowess. Together with Bruce Staples, he wrote a compelling book titled “Fly Fishing West Yellowstone”. Along the way, he shares anecdotes and the invaluable lessons learned from teaching at a fly fishing school. Moreover, Bob’s commitment to excellence earned him the distinction of being one of the first six individuals to pass the certification test for the International Federation of Fly Fishers. We also find out about Bob’s musical background and the inspiring story of how he overcame dyslexia.

West Yellowstone Fly Fishing with Bob Jacklyn. Hit play below!

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(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)


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west yellow stone fly fishing

Show Notes with Bob Jacklyn

03:10 – Bob opened his fly shop in April 1974.

west yellow stone fly fishing
Photo by Beau Davis

03:55 – The Firehole River is Bob’s go-to river and the Madison in the park.

04:45 – Bob just retired from guiding last year after 53 years of guiding and outfitting.

06:20 – We’ve had Justin Spence from Big Sky Anglers at WFS 227.

06:50 – Bob started guiding in 1969 and Bud Lilly offered him a job. They eventually became competitors but remained very good friends.

west yellow stone fly fishing

08:30 – Bob wrote a book with Bruce Staples called, Fly Fishing West Yellow Stone: A History and Guide. We also had Bruce Staples on the podcast a while back at WFS 269.


13:00 – He noted Jim Danskin who was a great angler and also feature in their book.

15:25 – Bob tells us about the fly fishing school they taught.

17:30 – Bob was one of the first 6 people that passed the certification test for the International Federation of Fly Fishers.

23:00 – Bob has kept only 6 fish in his whole life.

west yellow stone fly fishing

31:30 – Tip for new guides: Use a long leader and a long tippet.

33:10 – The best time to fish the Firehole River on the first couple weeks of June up until the first couple weeks of July.

39:00 – Bob talks about Kelly Galloup. We had Kelly on the podcast twice at WFS 52 and WFS 167.

41:10 – Sage Rods used to be called Winslow Rods. Bob also tells us about the history of Fenwick Rods, which was one of his first rods, and how it’s related to Sage Rods.

44:20 – We hear about the story of how Jim Green patented the Feralite ferrule.

54:00 – Bob was a musician and was raised in a musically inclined family. He used to be a drummer when he was in the army. He also had dyslexia but did not find out until later.

Related Podcast Episodes to West Yellowstone Fly Fishing

WFS 269 – A Guide to Yellowstone Fly Fishing with Bruce Staples

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below

Conclusion with Bob Jacklyn and West Yellowstone Fly Fishing

In this episode, we explored the incredible life and journey of Bob, a legendary figure in fly fishing. Opening his fly shop in April 1974 ignited a profound passion for the sport, with Bob’s deep connection to the Firehole River and the Madison in the park becoming evident. After an impressive 53-year career in guiding and outfitting, Bob recently retired, leaving behind a remarkable legacy. Bob’s contributions extend beyond angling, as he co-authored the book on West Yellowstone fly fishing with Bruce Staples and taught at a fly fishing school, nurturing the next generation of anglers. His commitment to the sport led him to become one of the first individuals to pass the certification test for the International Federation of Fly Fishers. Additionally, we discovered Bob’s deep connection to music and his battle with dyslexia, adding to the remarkable tapestry of his life.

As we wrapped up the episode, we carry with us the wisdom shared by Bob. From his advice for new guides to the optimal fishing times for the Firehole River, his insights provide invaluable guidance. Join us again as we continue to explore the world of fly fishing, uncover remarkable stories, and celebrate the passionate individuals who make this sport extraordinary.