Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming

Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming is a more intimate fly fishing experience than other Jackson Hole area waters. The Salt River begins its 84 mile course above 10,500 feet on the slopes of Mount Wagner in the Salt River range. It flows south briefly before veering north through the pastoral ranches of Star Valley, WY on its way to Palisades Reservoir.  Along the way it picks up several springs and creeks that add to the flow and keep this smaller river cool all Summer long. Below Afton, WY is where it really takes shape as a trout fishery and floating the Salt River becomes a reality.

Fly fishing on the Salt River in Wyoming is best from mid to late June all the way into November. The Salt River often clears before some other major rivers in the area. Salmonflies and Golden Stones are the first insects to pop and the Cutthroat and Brown trout take notice. Gray Drakes, Yellow Sallies, Caddis and Pale Morning Duns are also on the menu through July. August is terrestrial time on the Salt River where Grasshoppers, Ants, and Beetles bring the river’s best trout to the surface. September continues with terrestrial action, but Mahogany Duns and Blue Winged Olives dominate as October nears.  Nymph and streamer fishing are the ticket towards the end of October and through November as the trophy Brown trout from the Palisades swim upstream on their spawning run.


Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming is known for big bug fishing, due to its stoneflies and hoppers. Nymphs are often dropped 1-2’ below these larger flies in a “hopper-dropper” system. Mayfly hatches, especially early and late in the season, offer match the hatch conditions.

The best way to fish the Salt River is from a drift boat since it flows through mostly private land and is lined with Willows. The low flows of late Summer can mean that floats are best with one angler in the boat.

Fish Species

Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat, Brown trout, Mountain Whitefish. Cutthroat and Brown trout up to 20”; average size is 10-14”, with a healthy population of trout 16-18”. The Fall Run Brown trout can reach 5-6 lbs.

Best Time

Fly fishing the Salt River in Wyoming is best after runoff from late June – mid November. June and July bring good river flows and Stonefly and PMD hatches. August and September are terrestrial season. Fall sees prolific Baetis hatches prior to full on streamer season through the end of the year.

Dry Flies

Parachute Adams #10-20, Elk Hair Caddis #14-18, Turck Tarantulas #8-12, Parahoppers #10-14, Chernobyl Ants #6-12, Ants and Beetles #14-16, Stimulators #10-16, PMX’s #12-16


Pheasant Tail #10-20, Hare’s Ear #10-18, Copper Johns #12-18, Rubberlegs #6-10, Prince Nymph #10-16, Zebra Midge #18-20


Black Leeches #4-10, Tan or Olive Sculpins #4-6, JJ’s Special #4-8, Zonkers #6-8, Wooly Buggers #4-10


Snake River fly fishing report Jackson Hole, WY 7.12.17

The Snake River here in Jackson Hole, WY is still running fast and muddy. Current flows are 4230 cfs out of the Jackson Lake Dam and 9360 cfs at Moose, WY. The good news is that the major tributaries such as Pacific Creek, Buffalo Fork, and the Gros Ventre River look to have peaked and are beginning to trend down. This is great news after a long runoff season!

At this point, any guided fishing trips on the Snake River have been more of a scenic float with a casting lesson. There are a few small trout to be caught in the slowest of water types, but the best fly fishing of the season is yet to come for sure.

We look forward to running more guided fishing trips on the Snake River by the end of the month. Stay tuned for more details….



Hooking Bonefish

Bonefish: The Retrieve, Hookup, and Fight THE FLY LANDED in the right place. You let the small shrimp imitation sink to the proper level, and the bonefish seems to have noticed it. It’s time to start acting like a shrimp. You begin a series of very short strips, trying to make the fly imitate the slow progress of a small shrimp that hasn’t yet spotted the predator closing in on it. But the bonefish loses interest and turns away as if he never saw the fly. What happened? My guess is that the fly never moved. In trying to impart action to a fly, you must think of several factors besides the movements of your line hand. If you have any slack in the line while trying to give life to the fly, the movements of your line hand will only take up some of the slack. The fly, meanwhile, is sitting still; you think that you are moving it, but you’re not. By the time you take up all the slack and the fly finally starts to move, the bonefish is long gone. Read on… [–IXck63-ejowDnae1k8fRc2YUydr9Zhgp9_pFJG-WxgAB0rXzJ0RuMBDuNYr01ca7gntsz9OpbpB0ZeyBRtt_UCFckDAddhbRpYePprd5GwnQFOMAY6lrkYkKXqMtefIwZYKbXD8gNj3TcASZjCzq6DTtXOz16uxrfFI4scklTdmX-p8pu1z]

Casting in the Wind

Dealing With Wind THE TWO WAYS to beat the wind (i.e. cast directly into it or across it) are to increase your line speed and to keep your line low, closer to the water. The only effective method for increasing your line speed is to double-haul. I know, I know: if you don’t already know how to do this, it sounds difficult. It’s really not. Find someone who is a good caster, and have him or her teach you. It’s a lot easier to learn from a person than from a book or magazine article. To keep your line low, either cast sidearm (which limits distance) or crouch during the cast. Wind is usually less intense close to the ground or water, so you can sometimes cast “under” it. More comfortable than crouching is casting from your knees, if it’s possible. Read on… []


Hydrilla horrors: Invasive plant causes bird deaths   Hydrilla is an aggressive invasive aquatic weed that can quickly choke a lake or stream. For years anglers and boaters have have cursed hydrilla as it interferes with their ability to access their favorite waters. However, few have focused on the ecological problems the weeds can cause.      There are a number of ecological problems created by hydrilla. The dense monoculture stands of the plant choke out other native plant species. Waters with heavy infestations experience shifts in oxygen saturation and pH. The physical characteristics of dense weeds concentrations can lead to reduced fish populations as ambush predators initially find great habitat that reduces forage fish numbers. Eventually the plants get so thick that the ambush predators cannot find their way through and there is an overall decline in fish numbers.    One aspect of the ecological damage that is generally little recognized is that dense infestations of Hydrilla actually lead to the direct deaths of a number of bird species, including Bald Eagles. It is not the Hydrilla itself that causes the bird deaths. Rather, the water chemistry changes the plant produces lead to massive blooms of toxic blue-green algae. When coots and other waterfowl eat the Hydrilla they also consume large amounts of the algae. This causes serious health problems for the coots and the eagles who in turn prey on them. []


Turck's Compowerdun

Turck's Compowerdun



Snake RIver Fly Fishing Report 10.12.16

Boy has the Snake River been great fly fishing this past week! We are seeing BWO’s, Mahoganies, October Caddis and the Cutthroat trout are loving

Where will our next invaders come from?

New research shows that the greatest threat of invasive species introduction comes from within the United States and not from outside the country. “Our findings have significant implications for biosecurity policy and the need to consider security measures beyond established national borders,” said Matthew Thomas, professor of entomology, Penn State. The researchers found that, while all the top 100 known exotic insect pests for the entire U.S. already exist in the country, the top lists for each of the states included many species that are yet to establish in those states. In all cases except one, the absent pests do occur somewhere else in the U.S. and more often than not, they are found in a neighboring state. In fact, 12 states had every pest species that they were missing located just across their borders in a neighboring state.Read More –