Marc Hirschfield’s first memories of Jackson Hole are of fly fishing on the Snake River.
// By Molly Absolon
He was 6 years old. It was 1972, and the Hirschfield family—mom Berte, dad Alan, sister Laura, and brother Scott—were visiting from Westchester County, New York. They came to fish, float the Snake and camp along its banks, and stay at the Crescent H Ranch near Wilson. Today Crescent H Ranch is a subdivision, and the family’s favorite campsite—a special spot where they’d have fish fries on the beach—has been transformed into the Snake River Sporting Club. But these early trips are why Hirschfield and his wife, Anise Morrow, live in Jackson Hole today.
When Hirschfield, now 57-years-old, hit high school and college, he spent his summers working in Jackson Hole. He did a stint as a ranch hand at the Crescent H and in retail at Jack Dennis, a store that specialized in fly-fishing and outdoor gear. In 1988, he became a fly-fishing guide. One of the most stressful things for him was figuring out which of the Snake’s many braided channels led back into the main river. “Pacific Creek to Deadmans Bar was my favorite section to float,” says Hirschfield, who, as much as he loves fishing, dislikes the taste of trout. “I didn’t like to eat the fish we caught,” he says. He had no problems cleaning them, though. “I loved cleaning them, which made me popular.”
Hirschfield met his wife in California, and he introduced her to Jackson Hole soon thereafter. In 1995, they moved to the valley from California to start a family. “We were ready to get out of LA,” he says. “Both Anise and I love Jackson. Plus, Anise’s dad was nearby cattle ranching in Carey, Idaho, so it seemed like a good place for us.”
When the oldest of their three kids—they have two sons and one daughter—was in eighth grade, the family moved to California, largely because they missed the ocean. But in California, they’d miss Jackson, and they so came back to visit frequently. In 2022, the couple’s youngest kid left home for college and they lost little time getting back to Jackson Hole full-time.
Here Marc shares some highlights
COMING AROUND TO WINTER from his Jackson Hole Life.
When I was growing up, Jackson wasn’t about skiing for my family, but we were skiers; we traveled West—mainly to Colorado—to ski. I started skiing in Jackson in 1985, after my parents finished building their house here. I remember Scott and I first hiked Teton Pass in 1988 with two friends. We had very little clue of what to do. I was on a snowboard, and Scott was on telemark skis. We came down in breakable crust. Sometimes we’d build kickers in Telemark Bowl, and eventually we figured out how to come off Glory. We crafted our own snowboard boots by taking the liners out of our Sorels, and replacing them with ski boot liners. Anise and I started snowboarding the Pass together in the early 1990s. A great winter day is hiking Glory and skiing an epic untracked powder run down Second Turn. It’s a great line top to bottom.
I was an All-American soccer player at Middlebury College and even played some at the semi-pro level in San Francisco after college. There was no pro outdoor soccer in the U.S. when I graduated. Jackson started a club team in the 1970s, and I joined in the summer of 1985. We were a mix of ski patrollers, legendary locals, and a few college players. Some of the players are familiar names around the valley: Angus Thuermer Jr., Ted Jonke, Dave Niles, Jacques Sarthou, and Duncan McClelland, among others. We’d play other ski towns and hosted our own tournament.
In the 1990s, Joe Rice, another restaurateur and soccer fan, and I helped get synthetic playing fields built near the high school. It was clear that with Jackson’s long, snowy winters, grass fields prevented young players from getting critical practice time. Grass fields don’t work here. You can’t plow them, so our kids used to play their first games of the season without even having a chance to practice outside.
In 1997 I helped launch the first girls’ soccer team in the valley. At that time, a few girls played with the boys’ team, but most of the girls had no soccer experience. They’d never even seen the game played on television. But they were athletic and wanted to play. (Last spring, the Jackson Hole High School Lady Broncs soccer team won the Wyoming 4A West Conference title.) Now I coach 2010 (U14) boys soccer for Jackson Hole Youth Soccer. For me, coaching is about more than teaching soccer skills. It’s about teaching good life skills, helping kids learn to work in a team, be a good teammate and a good member of a community. You can’t be a great soccer player without developing your human side as well.
BETTY ROCK CAFE
Jackson didn’t really have any sandwich shops or cafes when Anise and I moved here in 1995. She had honed a concept for a great bagel shop in California, but it turned out Jackson already had Pearl Street [Bagels], so we shifted to a restaurant that served good-quality, upscale sandwiches, soups, baked goods, and salads. It was the first of its kind and was incredibly successful from day one. Two or three days in, we had lines out the door and that didn’t stop until we decided Betty Rock had run its course. We sold the cafe in 2003.
I was never professionally trained as a chef, but I’m pretty obsessed with food after being in the restaurant business for years. I love good food. My specialty is a sandwich with turkey, dried cranberries, and pesto on ciabatta bread. The TCP [turkey cran-pesto] was a favorite at Betty Rock. We’d tried something similar in LA, but I knew we could improve on it. The key was the bread. We developed the recipe for the ciabatta prior to opening Betty Rock, and baked it daily at the café. It’s still a favorite in my family, and it is on the menu at the newly reopened Hungry Jack’s. (Read more about Hungry Jack’s on page 116.) JH