The Snake River in Jackson Hole has produced some nice trout this past week! This is due to daytime temperatures reaching in to the low 40’s as multiple storms passed through the area. This warmed up water temperatures and got our Cutthroat feeding! Nymphing with small Midge patterns was effective as was swinging small streamers through slower holding water just below riffles. We my be out of the woods on really cold temperatures for the season, so the fly fishing opportunities should only increase. Even better news is that these storms improved our Snowpack moisture content to 125% of normal! This bodes well for filling our reservoirs this Spring and for good flows this Summer. We still have a long way to go and storm systems in April and May often make the most difference, but this is encouraging!
The BuRec announced last week that they would drop flows out of Palisades Dam to hold onto more water for this Summer. The prediction was that runoff would be about 92% of normal and more water needed to be held for irrigation demands. The weather since has been stormy and snowpack levels are slightly above 100%. This looks to continue and we have our fingers crossed for more precipitation… This drop from 1200cfs to 850-900 cfs on the South Fork won’t affect the trout much at the moment as they are hunkered down in the deepest holes already. This scenario has meant lower flows through the month of May in the past and bodes well for excellent Spring hatches and fly fishing. There is some potential for an earlier Salmonfly hatch, but only time will tell. We will keep you informed!
Honestly there hasn’t been much fly fishing opportunity here in Jackson Hole the past few weeks due to bitterly cold temperatures. This week and the rest of the month should prove to be better as temperatures warm up on average and gets our trout more active. We will begin to see our Winter Stoneflies hatch if we see warm, sunny days with high temperatures around freezing and above. This week calls for stormy weather but daytime highs in the upper 30’s everyday. Midge hatches will be prolific, especially the smaller Gray Midges #20-22. Nymphing will be good in the afternoons with Zebra Midges, WD-40’s, and Muskrat Midges. It’s time to get back out there! Our snowpack is piling up! Currently we are at 111% of normal moisture content with more on it’s way. The long term forecast for February shows more snow all the way through the end of the month. This is great news as the BuRec drained the Palisades last year and Jackson Lake was brought down to 17% and left us in need of water for this year… These artificially high flows on the Snake were great for our Cutthroat as they fed well and will be in great shape for this season. All signs are pointing towards good things and we are pumped!!