Fish the Fly guides and friends participated in the annual Snake River cleanup sponsored by the Snake River Fund. We picked up trash along the river at Astoria boat ramp and 2 miles of road near the ramp and down to Pritchard boat ramp. FTF is proud to give back to the resource that gives so much to us!
Yesterday I attended the Summit on the Snake, a day-long watershed education conference that provides all river enthusiasts with education that inspires them to care for and connect with the Snake River. One of the hot topics for this year’s event was presentation by doctoral candidate Kris Homel on the Spawning, Distribution, and Movement Patterns of the Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat in the Snake River below Jackson Lake. In 2007 and 2008, Fish the Fly guides participated in the catching and tagging of cutthroat trout for this study. Fish were implanted with radio transmitters and returned to the river. Migratory patterns and spawning habits were then recorded over the past three years. Interesting findings included that one fish moved over 110 km from the Upper Snake to the Greys River! Another fish swam over 45 km during January when most cutthroat were thought to be dormant. Over 57% of tagged fish made spawning migrations while some cutthroat spawn in the river. Stay tuned for more findings from this study…
Yellowstone National Park opened to fishing last weekend! Fly fishing was very good on both the Madison and Firehole Rivers. The Firehole saw hatches of Caddis, BWO’s, and PMD’s and both rainbows and browns ate these bugs off the surface readily. Swinging soft hackles was productive during non hatch periods. Salmonfly nymphs are migrating to the shorelines in the canyon stretch currently and look for them to hatch in the next week! The Madison fished well in the afternoons during BWO and PMD emergences. Also look for Salmonfly nymphs to be effective in any riffle areas… Heavy rains this weekend have blown these rivers out, but look for fishing to be good as this surge subsides. Lewis Lake is now ice-free!
Great news! Jay Pistono will serve as River Ambassador for the Wilson-South Park section of the Snake. Use on this section of river has increased 200% since 2000, according to the WY Game and Fish. This position was thought up by the Snake River Fund and will help manage traffic, diffuse conflicts, and educate users on topics such as Aquatic Invasives. Jay will be at the boat ramps to talk to people as they put in and also float the river three to four days a week. The Snake River Fund has applied for a grant from1% for the Tetons to pay for the positon.
Look for Jay this summer and say hello!
It finally got warm in Jackson Hole! Well, at least temporarily…. It was enough to get our runoff started on the Snake River. Consistent warm temperatures will keep the snow pack melting. This morning we’re adding to the snowpack above 8000′ feet… Pre-runoff fishing on the Snake was phenomenal! Skwalla stoneflies, Caddis, and BWO’s had the cutthroat in a surface feeding frenzy. The streamer bite was solid too, especially in GTNP. Check out the photos…
The Bureau of Reclamation held their annual meeting to discuss water flows and storage issues in the Snake River basin. Due to the above average wet weather in April, irrigators in the Idaho Snake River plains did not need to call for water to be moved downstream. The spring freshet flows below Palisades Reservoir were completed last week. This is done to trigger the Cutthroat spawn in this part of the system.
Flows out of Jackson Lake Dam are still at winter levels of 400 cfs and will be held there until June 7th. Between the 7th and 15th, flows will be ramped up to 5000 cfs out of the dam. By July 1st flows will be down to 2800 cfs and held there until the end of September. This means we won’t be fishing the Snake as early as we had thought, but should be on the lower river by the last week of June.