There has been alot going on on the Snake River recently! We are in the height of the summer season and have had a few accidents. Lives have been saved by quick actions from both guides and River Rangers. Check out the Snake River Fund blog for specific information. While there, please read about Proposition 8 and if you’re local- vote for it! This is a great way to get a hold on the busiest section of river in the valley, Wilson-South Park. The list of reasons to vote for this Proposition is long and varied, not only for fly fishing interests but the general public as well. Absentee ballots can be picked up at the County offices and returned at anytime before August 17th. The Wild Trout Symposium will be held in West Yellowstone September 28-30, 2010. Session topics include: Climate Change and Wild Trout; Economic and Cultural Values of Wild Trout; Genetic Considerations for Managing Wild Trout; Wild Trout in the face of Invasive Species and Diseases; Management and Conservation of Wild Trout; and Resource Extraction and Wild Trout Restoration Efforts. This is a great to excuse to visit the area and learn about the latest conservation efforts.
The South Fork of the Snake River continues to provide excellent fly fishing! The initial push of Salmonflies and Goldens has passed through all the way up to Swan Valley. This made the fish (and anglers) very happy! The PMD’s have been very consistent starting by 11am in the riffles and lasting until about 3pm or so. If clouds and rain showers come in the afternoon, then the riffle fishing goes into the evening on all sections. Bank fishing is still solid, but the trout have become pickier on patterns and presentations. The best news is that the second brood of Golden Stones has started in section #4 (below Byington) and is beginning to move upstream. This has the brown trout down there crushing Stonefly patterns on the banks! Flies still need to be presented tight ( a few inches not a few feet) to these banks for them to get eaten. The PMD’s have big browns feeding in the skinniest water in the riffles, as little as four inches! On a recent guided trip for TLAPC, we sight fished and caught a 20″ brown on a size #18 fly. I’ll share pictures when I receive them…..
Snake River Fly fishing on the Snake has been very good since our last report. The Goldens have made their way upstream and can still be found between Pacific Creek and Moose. PMD and Yellow Sallies hatches remain solid and keep the fish rising throughout the system. Caddis have been important, especially early in the morning on our guided trips. The nymphs of all three of these bugs have been the droppers (2′) under bugs like the #10 Chubby Chernobyl or Melon Belly. Check out this nice 18″ brown trout (rare for the Snake) that Aaron Hollern caught on a recent trip…Backcountry All of our backcountry creeks are in fne shape currently. On a couple of them, the water temperaures on the lower end of the creek are high enough that some fish have dropped out of the system. This means the upper reaches are the place to be! The farther you go the better it is…. On our larger creeks, the water level have dropped and the bigger cutthroat are still easily found. These creeks will be in prime fly fishing shape for the next month or so. I had a great day with Allison and John Pacifico recently. These two “city slickers” were new to fly fishing and had never been in a designated wilderness before. So beyond the Wilderness boundary we went and caught over two dozen fish! #12 Yellow PMX’s and Humpies were the ticket on this day, but we will be looking for hoppers soon.
It has been awhile since we wrote a report on the fly fishing conditions on the Green and we apologize! The river has fished well with some large trout being caught, especially on nymphs. Flows are finally steady around 600 cfs, which makes the fishing a bit more challenging. Dry flies must be fished tight to structure and banks, with emphasis on tight! As flows recede, this will increase your chances of hooking into a 20″+ trout. As temperatures continue to get warmer, the best surface fishing window is shorter, beginning by 8am and ending at the latest by 1pm. Large atttractors are still working, as well as Gray Drake, Yellow Sally, and PMD imitations. Cripples and Emerger patterns will fool those picky browns in slower water along the banks and in riffles. Streamers are best in the early mornings during low light conditions. Best Flies: #8-10 Melon Bellies, #8-12 Olive Water Walkers, #8-12 Red Willie’s Ant, #16 Yellow Stimulator, #12 Quad Quill Drake, #12 Drake Spinners, #16-18 Pablo’s Cripple PMD, #6 JJ’s Special, #6 Olive Silvey’s Sculpin
Fly fishing on the South Fork of the Snake River is very good currently. For the most part the Salmonfly hatch was a bust this year. Fluctuating high water flows hindered the adults, but the nymph fishing remains strong. Golden Stones, Caddis, PMD’s, and Yellow Sallies have filled the void nicely. The canyon sections are fishing the best for surface activity. Golden Stones and large Prairie caddis imitations get the fishing going in the morning and are great bank flies. Streamers are also an excellent way to hook large trout early in the day. Riffle action gets going by 11am and is an exciting game to play! Sulfurs, Pink Albert PMD’ s, and Red Butt Yellow Sallies, and Mahoganies have the fish feeding hungrily and bring up all sizes and varieties of trout. The average sized fish is pictured below. The Upper section in Swan Valley has fished, mostly on nymph rigs, but dry fly activity is picking up daily. The best fishing has been in the riffles, along eddy lines, and shallow seams. Look for this to improve as the week progresses. Best Flies: #8-10 Chubby Chernobyl, #8-10 Melon Bellies, #16 Yellow Stimmies, #12 CDC Caddis, #16-18 Pink Para Cripples, #6-8 Pat’s Rubberlgs, #16-18 Rainbow Warriors, #6 Olive Silvey’s Sculpin