Local History

History of Snake River Angler

Owner and operator of Snake River Angler, Will Dornan, grew up on the Teton Valley Ranch in Jackson Hole and has spent his life on the region’s waters. With 40 years experience teaching fly fishing, fly tying, and river rafting, Will extends a warm welcome to all his guests. 

Snake River Angler opened it’s doors in 1997 when Will Dornan followed his passion and opened a small, one room fly shop, on his families property that they homesteaded in the 1800’s in Moose, WY at the entrance to Grand Teton National Park. The one room fly shop specialized in the greater angling experience and guiding experience of the area. In the early 2000’s Will added scenic river trips to his shop which now specialized in fly fishing, guided fishing trips, and some of the most secluded scenic trips in the area. 

Will expanded the Snake River Angler brand and opened a second shop in Jackson, WY. Snake River Angler has the largest selection of flies in the area with over 4000 different fly patterns. Swing into the Jackson shop to take a rod building class or a fly tying class. We can’t wait to see you in the shop and take you on a once in a lifetime adventure on the area’s waters!

History of Jackson Hole 

Jackson Hole’s beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife played a very important role in the history of this iconic town. The Native Americans came to this area to hunt buffalo and other large game, and the first European and American visitors came to collect beaver pelts. John Colter, one of the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, headed to the mountain range in search of a fur trading company. Soon, other trappers followed Colter’s example, and Jackson Hole became one of the prime areas of interest for famous mountain men and fur trappers. In the late 1800’s, cattle ranching became the major focus of the area, making it a larger and more permanent settlement and eventually creating the town of Jackson in 1894. Surrounding Jackson Hole are two of the most iconic National Parks: Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. As the fame of Jackson Hole grew, more visitors found their way to the mountain valley. Today, the town is rich with local history and works vigorously to preserve the feeling of the Great American West.

History of Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery in the United States. In the 19th century tourists flocked to the area to experience the Old West and marvel the beauty of the Tetons. Tourists began to raise concerns about preserving the national beauty of the region and asked Congress to protect the area like they had done with Yellowstone National Park. On February 26, 1929 Grand Teton National Park was created and dedicated. The park at that time included the mountains of the Teton Range and a strip of land that contained the major lakes at the base of the peaks. Shortly after the creation of the National Park, John D. Rockefeller began to buy land in the Jackson Hole area in order to donate it to the park in the future for preservation. In 1949, Rockefeller donated his land holding to the federal government that they then incorporated into Grand Teton National Park. Today, the park totals 485 square miles and is home to some of the most beautiful wildlife in the world.

Jackson Hole
Scenic Float Trips

Sit back and relax as our experienced guides deliver a fun and interpretive trip through the Old West where the memories of Teton lore and wildlife encounters will last a lifetime. Dornan’s Float Trips have the most experienced and highly trained guides deliver a fun and interpretive rafting experience through some of the most scenic and historic stretches of the Snake River.