The fly fishing on the South Fork of the Snake has slowed some recently from the heights of the Stonefly hatches, but it is still producing some good action. The Upper reach below Palisades Dam down to Conant and from Byington to Lorenzo have been the best this past week. There is some surface action on the Upper with #8 Yellow CFO Ants, #10 Grand Hoppers, #12-14 Flying Ant patterns, and #14-16 EC Caddis. This is best in the mornings and slows by noon, so get there early! Droppers for these big bugs about 2-3 feet down help keep the action going in the afternoons – #18-20 Bubbleback PMD Emergers, #14-18 Lightening Bugs, #14-16 Zug Bugs, #14 Tung ReckoningFlows were dropped to 11,800 cfs today and expect them to keep dropping since inflow is still less than outflow…
Salmonflies!! The big bugs are here and starting to make their way up the river from Lorenzo. Trout have been eating both Salmonfly dries and nymphs well in Section #4, Byington-Lorenzo, in the mornings. Around noon, they turn their attention to the prolific Green Drake hatch that is happening and the riffles are on fire! This action continues to about 4pm and then slows until later in the evening. The Lower Canyon might even be better at the moment with the same bugs popping, but with less pressure. The Upper is showing promise with a good PMD hatch in the afternoons. Now is the time to fish the South Fork!
The South Fork flows have leveled out at 12800 cfs and look to be right around there for the remainder of the summer. The Bureau of Reclamation was not able to fill Palisades Reservoir, so water temperatures at Irwin are already at 52 degrees daily. This bodes well for an early Salmonfly hatch, most likely in the next week or so. The water is a great green color that we love to see this time of year! Currently trout are gorging themselves on Stonefly nymphs and are sporting some large bellies, especially between Byington and Lorenzo. Some Yellow Sallies and a few Green Drakes are starting to show below Heise. The Upper stretch continues to produce with Rubberlegs, Mysis Shrimp, and your favorite beadhead trailer. Game on!
Another early season success story is the South Fork of the Snake in Idaho. It has been fishing very well with nymphs and streamers. Rubberlegs, San Juan Worms, Eggs, and a few Caddis Larva have put plenty of nice trout in the boat. The Upper river in Swan Valley and the Canyon both have fished well, which is a little early for this time of year. Flows are steady at 10,300 cfs currently and should remain so until they can fill Palisades Reservoir. This will be at least 10 days since it is currently sitting at 46% full. Filling this up will mean great things for the fishing over the course of this summer with cooler water temperatures for hatches through July…
Dry fly fishing on the South Fork has been hit or miss on the whole system lately. Flows out of Palisades Dam remain high at 12,500 cfs and water temps are 64 degrees at Irwin. There are plenty of Caddis about making early morning and evenings good times to be throwing dries. Large Hopper and Mutant Stone patterns tucked close to the banks have produced, so make sure you get it within 6 inches! A Super Renegade plopped near overhead cover and stripped slowly will produce as well.. Your best bet for the most consistent fishing is nymphing, both in the riffles and along any seams, Drop your first nymph 4-5 ft and the second 18″ below that. Sounds shallow, but it’s plenty deep. Try Stoneflies with Caddis Pupa, Copper Johns, and Zebra Midges as droppers. Stick with it and you will produce good results!
The South Fork in Swan Valley, ID was a good place to be this past week. The Golden Stoneflies were still bringing up nice trout on the Upper section and also in the Canyon. Caddis were also very important and one of my go-to’s in the riffles. There are PMD’s present and being eaten, but the riffles aren’t boiling like you might expect. Soon, very soon… Best Flies: #8 Water Walker, #10 Chubby Chernobyl, #12 Brown Elk Hair Caddis, #16 Lawson’s PMD Cripples, #14-16 Caddis pupa
The South Fork of the Snake really picked up with some clouds and weather this weekend. Reports are good from the Canyon, where the trout are up eating Salmonfly adults and Yellow Sallies. There are also good numbers of PMD’s flying, especially in Section #3 below Cottonwood. Both riffles and banks are producing, so now is the time to get to the South Fork! We expect that the dry fly fishing will only improve for the next month, with fish eating off the surface all day and not just in the afternoons. Best Flies: #6 Salmonfly Adults, #14-16 Yellow Stimulator, #16 Pink Film Critic, #14-16 Tim’s Pink Sally, #6 Water Walker Golden
Happy Father’s Day! Fly fishing has remained consistent since our last report on the South Fork. It’s even improved some with warmer temperatures. Nymphing and throwing streamers is still the best way to get into good trout, but dry/dropper rigs have produced with some fish eating off the surface. A few Salmonflies have been seen flying near Lorenzo, but the hatch has yet to get going full bore. Water temperatures are reaching 52 degrees near Twin Bridges, so it won’t be long before the big bugs pop in earnest. Fishing has been best in the afternoons. There are still BWO’s hatching and this has been a go-to bug in the riffles and their tail-outs. Stonefly nymphs have produced, both larger Rubberlegs and medium sized Sallies. There are lots of Mayfly nymphs active, just waiting to do their thing. The streamer bite has been better early and late with white being a great place to start and then switch to Olive or Black. Best Flies: #6-10 Rubberlegs, #12 Foxy Sally, #14-18 Copper Johns in Copper, Red, Green, Chartreuse, #6 White Dungeon, #6 Black Leech
For some reason Memorial Day means foul weather around here and it was definitely true this year. The western side of the Tetons received up to 2 ft. of snow this weekend! Despite the weather forecast,we decided to head over to Swan Valley and float the Upper South Fork. Surprisingly it was pretty nice when we put in at Palisades Dam. Nymphing was good with Egg patterns and Mysis Shrimp for about two miles below the Dam. Then we switched to Skwala Stonelfy nymphs and continued to do well until the rains came. And boy did they come! Below Irwin we stopped at a few riffles and found some fish rising to Caddis. We swung soft hackle and got in to a few nice Browns and Cutthroat. After that we threw streamers until we were soaked to the bone and picked up a couple more decent Browns. All in all a good day despite the weather! Best Flies: #14-16 Mysis Shrimp, #12 Foxy Sally, #14-16 Peacock Soft Hackles, #6 Black Leech, #4 Olive Dungeon