Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School was founded in 2013 with a mission to make fly fishing fun and accessible to all. From beginner to expert, all social classes and ages we employ a hands on teaching approach that provides guests with the knowledge skills and techniques to foster a lifelong passion for the sport of fly fishing. Since our inception, our award winning instructors have helped thousands of students along their fly fishing journey while creating lifelong friends that embody the JHFFS family.
Melissa Morton - Owner
Melissa was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland and was fortunate to discover and fall in love with Jackson Hole in the late 90’s. She grew up an avid outdoorswomen and athlete, playing Division One College lacrosse at The Ohio State University. During the summers while in college, she worked trail crew in Grand Teton National Park, taking her to the deep back woods of many spectacular canyons in the park. After college in 2010, she moved to Jackson Hole to teach skiing and enjoy a life out West where she stumbled into Spencer Morton. Flash forward five years and many fly-fishing adventures later, they sealed not only an amazing partnership in life but also a partnership in an exploding yet humble fly-fishing business. They welcomed a boy Fritz in 2019 and a girl, Eloise in 2021.
Spencer and Melissa founded Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School 2013 with a mission to make fly fishing fun and accessible to all. Melissa worked behind the scenes supporting Spencer’s dream and throughout the years she was the backbone of the company. Not guiding on the river but fulfilling the unglamourous roles of running logistics, paying bills, booking trips, and most importantly making sure the guests are happy and the team cohesive.
With Spencer’s passing in May of 2021, Melissa is carrying on the legacy of this incredible business she built with her late husband. Fortunately, she had the benefit of learning to fly fish from Spencer throughout their many trips in the Wyoming wilderness and during their fishing adventures in Mexico, New Zealand, British Columbia, Kenya and the Seychelles. He left a gift for her to carry on for the benefit of many generations to come.
“Fly fishing is the convergence of many valuable life lessons, such as patience, serenity, focus and persistence. It is not a sprint but a marathon for this unattainable perfection. It is a joy to help others experience this passion.”
Brian Shott – General Manager / Head Instructor
Originally from Philadelphia, Brian started fishing as a kid on local ponds and creeks. After making a summer trip out west, he was introduced to the sport of fly fishing and never looked back. His passion for fly fishing continued to grow while attending the University of Rhode Island chasing striped bass, bluefish, and false albacore. After graduating, Brian headed straight for Jackson to pursue his dream of working in the mountains. Getting his start as the Fishing Lead for Orvis, Brian began to develop relationships with many local guides and outfitters. Through these relationships, he attended the Western Rivers Guide School and began his guiding career. Since then, Brian has found a home with Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School and is proud to be part of an amazing team that works hard to share their passion with every guest. Brian has proven to be one of the top instructional guides in Jackson Hole and has been awarded both bronze (2021) and silver (2022) for best fishing guide through Jackson’s Best of JH annual survey. His effective communication and humble demeanor has created lifelong clients the world over.
“Fly fishing has taken me to some of the most beautiful places on earth and introduced me to lifelong friends. My goal is to share what I have learned and help others along their own fly fishing journey.”
Jimmy Connacher - Head Instructor
Born and raised in Vermont with Canadian parents, Jimmy’s introduction to fly fishing was as a young boy watching his dad target bass, northern pike, and musky on lakes in Ontario, Canada. Enticed by the art, yet lacking the patience it wasn’t until Jimmy moved out west to attend Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO that he became a passionate angler and environmental steward. With a degree in Environmental Studies and GIS, Jimmy focused his education on fisheries exploring the relationships between wildfires and the health of trout. Fueled by the love of fish and relationships they foster, Jimmy began his debut as a guide with the Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School quickly finding family in a team stoked to share their passion and knowledge with guests. Jimmy’s love for helping others enjoy our resources shines on the water and he continues to create lasting memories with everyone he meets.
“Fly fishing creates an incredible opportunity to spend time outdoors with new/old friends and experience our most valuable resource, water.”