South Fork of The Snake Fly Fishing

South Fork of The Snake Fly Fishing Report 8.15.16

The South Fork of the Snake River over Teton Pass is a great change of pace fishery near Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Just an hour drive west of town, the South Fork is a large western trout river with healthy populations of Brown, Rainbow, and Snake River Fine Spotted  and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout.  The South Fork of the Snake is currently flowing at 11,600 cfs near Heise, Idaho and flowing at 11,300 cfs above Irwin, Idaho.

If you are a big dry fly fisherman, the terrestrial bite is on! Hopper patterns tight to the banks have been working well, along with your favorite beetle or ant pattern in sizes 12-16. PMD emergers and nymphs have been fishing very well in the riffles and flats. Film Critics (size 18-20), Last Chance Cripples (size 18-20), Harrop’s PMD CDC Biot Emerger (Yellow or Pink, size 18-20) and Captive Dun’s (size 18-20) are great flies to try during hatch times, 11am-2pm. If you are on the water early or late, I would think Caddis. An X-Caddis (Olive size 16-18) might be the only fly you’ll need at these times.

Nymphing is always effective on the South Fork. The fish are holding in a number of different depths, so you might have to play around with the depth of your fly to see what works best for a particular water type. A good rule of thumb is 8-9 feet in the morning and 4-6 feet in the afternoon.

The South Fork of the Snake goes through numerous flow drops as irrigation demand decreases. This kicks the Mutant Stone Flies (Classenia) into gear and nymphing rubber leg patterns is a great way to go for the rest of the Summer and into Fall.

Our fishing guides have been spending their days off fly fishing the South Fork of the Snake River and have been raving about how good the fishing is right now!

Fish The Fly Guide Service, South Fork of The Snake River, Jackson Hole Wyoming, Cutthroat Trout

Fish The Fly Guide Baker Mann and Reed Minuth with a nice Cutthroat Trout on the South Fork of the Snake River!

South Fork of The Snake Fishing Report 7/9/16

Fish The Fly guide Mike Uritus with a nice Rainbow trout on the South Fork!

The South Fork is on fire right now!  The South Fork of the Snake is flowing at 14150 cfs near Irwin, Idaho, with a water temperature of 53 degrees fahrenheit below the Palisades Dam.  If you are a dry fly fisherman than fly fishing the South Fork should be your next fishing spot, because the fish are eating everything!  Bring along your Salmon Flies, Golden Stones, rusty or yellow color Water Walkers (sizes 4-8), and Chubby Chernobyls. The Salmon Flies have been fishing very well throughout the South Fork, particularly in the canyon and upper section. Golden Stones have really been turning on below Irwin, Idaho. If you get tired of fishing big foam bring along some size 14-16 PMD Cripples. There are a lot of good riffle spots along the South Fork and these smaller dry flies work perfectly for them! PMD’s have been fishing well all the way down to Lorenzo.  If the fish are not rising, Rainbow Warriors are a good nymphing option to pick up some bottom feeding trout. The South Fork of the Snake is a very popular fly fishing spot for Jackson Hole and has lived up to the hype these past few weeks!

South Fork of the Snake River fishing report 6.8.15

The South Fork of the Snake has been the best river in the region as of late.  Flows are steady at 10,100 cfs and the trout here are in their feeding groove. The Bureau Reclamation has stated that once the rain mellows and our soils drain the excess moisture we’ve received, they will bump up flows to meet irrigation demands.  Most likely this will occur in a week or so… As for now, nymphing has been the main game still. Double nymph rigs with a #6-10 Rubberlegs as a point fly, and then various droppers. We are still seeing some BWO hatches with all of this rain, so #18 Flashback PT’s or Rainbow Warriors have been good producers. Midge pupa such as #18-20 Red or Black Zebra Midges are still great options. The Caddis larva are moving about in anticipation of Summer weather, so #14-16 Green Soft Hackles have been good as well. Both PMD and Yellow Sally nymphs are staging for their emergences and can be good choices for droppers, especially on sunnier days. These sunny days also have seen a little dry fly activity, mostly for mid-sized Cutthroat trout eating #12 Black flying ant patterns in the riffles. Afternoons are best, so no need to rush to the river at the moment. The streamer bite picks up as the evening draws close, so be prepared. Clouser minnows, Dungeons, JJ’s Specials, and black leeches are always good bets. Flow increases on the South Fork will slow the fishing a little bit, but not for long if the sunshine stays with us. Expect to see the beginnings of a Stonefly hatch towards the end of this month….

South Fork of the Snake River

FTF guide Tim Smith and his dog Ashley enjoy a nice Cuttbow recently


South Fork of the Snake River fishing report 5.19.15

The South Fork of the Snake River in Swan Valley, Idaho has reached it’s peak of Spring flushing flows and is beginning to drop. Flows out of Palisades Dam reached 17,000 cfs this past weekend and is flowing at 15,300 cfs as of today.  We expect flows to be reduced to Summertime levels of 12,800 cfs by this weekend and should hold steady for the duration. This is great news for consistent fly fishing on the South Fork! Despite high flows, there was still some good fishing to be had this past weekend.  Nymphs and streamers are the way to go and look for the soft water and side channels. Trout will move to these spots in high flows and gobble up Stonefly nymphs and worms that are washed down. Spend some time in these spots and you will find fish, especially Brown trout, feeding. We are running fishing trips on the South Fork and our guides are excited for what’s to come on this special river! Give us a call at 307-690-1139 to book your trip.

South Fork of the Snake River

Fish the Fly guide Baker Mann with a nice Brown trout

Fly Fishing Report South Fork of the Snake River 7.13.14

The South Fork has been the most consistent game around over the past few weeks!  The Salmonfly hatch has come and gone with a few still lingering on the Upper section near Irwin. Golden Stones are the best big bug action at the moment and should be for awhile, especially in the Canyon.  PMD’s and Yellow Sallies have the trout looking up in the riffles and are likely to make you late for dinner! Flies: #4-6 Tim’s Stone, #6 Water Walker- Golden, #14-16 Rusty Spinners, #16-18 Hickey’s PMD Auto Emerger, #16-18 Pablo’s PMD Cripple, #16-18 CDC PMD Emerger

South Fork Cutthroat

Gorgeous Cutthroat that ate a dry Yellow Sally imitation

South Fork of the Snake Fly Fishing Report 5.20.14

The South Fork of the Snake River flowing through Swan Valley, ID has been fishing well recently.  Flows out of Palisades Dam have remained steady for weeks at 10,400 cfs. The Rainbows on the Upper section have moved into full spawning mode, especially from the Dam down to Palisades Creek. The trout are taking #8-12 Rubberlegs, #12-16 Hares Ears, #14-18 Red Copper Johns, #14-18 Lightening Bugs, and San Juan Worms. Typically we do not condone fishing redds. In this case, Idaho Fish and Game encourages a catch and kill policy on Rainbows, which is counter-intuitive to what most of us are used to.  This practice helps the native Cutthroat as they don’t cross breed or have to compete with the faster growing Rainbows. There are numerous Rainbow fisheries across the land, but very few Native Cutthroat fisheries especially on large fertile rivers. Releases will be bumped up starting next Tuesday to mimic natural runoff conditions.  By mid-June, we expect flows to level out around 15,000 cfs and for the Stonefly hatch to begin in earnest!

Fly Fishing Report South Fork of the Snake River 2.12.14

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!

South Fork of the Snake River – 10.30.13

The South Fork of the Snake River between Swan Valley and Idaho Falls has been at its finest through the month of October. Baetis have been the main hatch, but a few Mahoganies are still about, especially on the lower river. October Caddis are a great option for a fly you can actually see! The riffles are boiling from 12:30pm until 5pm. The streamer bite is on fire as well, even on sunny days. Just change your fly color to match conditions….

Small dry flies in the riffles will produce as many of these size trout as you want

The sun sets on the Hole in the Rock

South Fork of the Snake River fly fishing report 10.11.13

Crazy good dry fly fishing on the South Fork of the Snake right now!  Flows have been dropped to 2290 cfs out of Palisades Dam and the trout are stacked up and offering up some of the best fishing of the year. It’s possible to fish dry flies all day if you wanted starting with skating Stoneflies in the morning and then fishing smaller Mahogany and Baetis patterns in the afternoons. The boat traffic is minimal and the Cottonwoods are turning gold… Best Flies: #8-10 Purple CFO, #16 Mahogany Sprouts, #16 Mahogany Hackle Stacker, #18-20 BWO Film Critic,

South Fork of the Snake fly fishing report 8.12.13

Fly fishing on the South Fork of the Snake River near Swan Valley, ID had gotten better with the last flow drop to 9800 cs out of Palisades Dam.  This sparked a hatch of our Claasenia Stoneflies and the trout were all over them throughout the day.  The bugs are still around but any dry fly action is only from 7-10am currently.  Fish the shallow water banks or flats for the best action. After 10am, go deep with a nymph rig consisting of #8-10 Rubberlegs and #14-16 Lightening Bugs, #14-16 Sparkle Pupa, or Copper Johns. Water clarity has decreased due to Palisades Lake only being 17% and there is sediment being drawn through the Dam.  This means placing nymph rigs squarely in any seams and may need to be cleaned of suspended vegetation.