Fishing Report: March 27, 2023
As of 3/27/2023, we have 113% of our median snowpack weight in the Snake River drainage and well above normal snow/water amounts in the surrounding drainages in Western Wyoming. This is a fantastic setup for water for the 2023 fishing season and we are PUMPED!! We expect to see a big runoff period this spring which will likely transition into slow and challenging fishing in the early summer (when flows are high) and above average fishing in mid summer all the way into the fall after flows settle down. The benefits of an above average snowpack are extensive but include spreading out anglers and spreading out fishing pressure, flushing and cleaning the river systems, increased oxygenation of rivers, colder (healthier) water temperatures for trout in the hot summer months when fish are usually very stressed, more habitat and migration pathways for fish, and more water in reservoirs. The benefits go on and on.
The long term forecast for summer 2023 looks great with our big snowpack but the spring fishing is already underway! On the warmest days over the last several weeks, midge hatches on the Snake River have been prolific and the trout are feeding aggressively. Surface and subsurface activity has been best in early to mid afternoon in slow, foamy current seams and slow recirculating eddies near deep pools where pods of fish are overwintering. Don't even bother with early morning or evening fishing - during the coldest times of the year, trout are most active during the warmest part of the day.
Try using small midge dry fly imitations or a midge dry/dropper. Something like a size 16 midge cluster pattern with a hi-vis post or a small Parachute Adams with a size 18 midge nymph dropped 1 to 2 feet underneath it will work. Double nymph rigs will get the job done as well if no fish are rising. Use a dense, sparsely tied "get down" fly like a tungsten bead stonelfy nymph or perdigon as the first fly to get the nymphs to sink fast and a smaller, size 16 or 18 midge nymph as the point fly. We are seeing some little black winter stoneflies mixed in with the midges as well and the same fly imitations will work for these stoneflies - dries and nymphs in size 16 to 20. Color and pattern will make a difference at times but getting the right fly size (small!) is far more important for getting into fish at this time of year! Access to the river this time of year can be difficult and usually involves post-holing through deep snow so we recommend drift boat trips right now to maximize your time on the water. Give us a call to set up a trip!!
Fishing Report: November 21, 2022
After a phenomenal fall fishing season with unusually warm temperatures, we are entering our slow period of the year which will last for several months. Most days in December, Jan, and Feb have little to offer for fly fishing in Northwestern Wyoming. You will find better options at lower elevations in central Wyoming on rivers like the Big Horn near Thermopolis and on the South Fork and Henry's Fork in Idaho.
Though most winter days are too cold around Jackson for trout to be feeding that much, we can see some good action during periods of warmer weather. Be on the lookout for daytime highs in the upper 30's to 40's. When temps rise to this point in the dead of winter, trout metabolism ramps up a bit and they can often be found feeding on midge dries and nymphs. Be ready to cover a lot of ground in order to locate a pod of fish in the winter. You may float or walk for miles in what feels like a "dead zone" with no feeding activity and seemingly no fish at all then find a happy group of several dozen trout just sipping away if the conditions are just right. On the Snake River most fish in the winter will be in slower water in the vicinity of some sort of deep water, overwintering hole where they can hold position without expending much energy and be safe from predators. Energy conservation is the name of the game for Cutthroat trout in the winter. If you encounter a pod of rising fish, try midge dry flies in sizes 16 to 20. We like midges with high vis white or orange on top or pairing smaller midges that are less visible with a bigger dry fly on a double dry rig. If feeding activity on top is scarce, try nymphing midge patterns in areas where you've seen trout activity recently or try fishing these areas with a slow streamer retrieve. Call us to set up a winter fly fishing trip and we can discuss available options and let you know if weather conditions warrant a trip.
We are also accepting reservations for the 2023 season so please call us up now before we book up for certain dates!
Fishing Report: August 22, 2022
Monsoonal moisture over the last several weeks has been fantastic for the fishing and has saved us this season. With continued thunderstorms in the afternoon forecasted this week and highs in the high 70's to low 80's (instead of the high 80's) we will see water temperatures come down a little bit into a safer range for trout. This cloud cover will also likely be great for the fishing and the thunderstorms should add a little bit of much needed moisture to our river drainages. Keep an eye on flows and water levels at the USGS streamflow conditions web page for Wyoming here: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wy/nwis/rt
The Snake River has been reliably consistent lately with the best fishing from mid morning into the very early afternoon (1 to 2pm). After this time the water temperature has been approaching the danger zone for trout and the action has been lackluster. Pay attention to the bugs in the air, on the bank, and on water surface for your fly selection. Most days we are seeing stonefly and mayfly nymph action producing best from mid morning to late morning and the dry fly action picking up substantially with pale morning duns hatching in the very late morning to early afternoon. We are also starting to see some Hecuba mayflies aka the "Snake Drake" and the fish are keying in on them. These mayflies are really fun to fish as you can use a big ol size 12 bushy, attractor mayfly dry in faster currents and a more delicate, precise imitation of a Hecuba mayfly in spookier water. No matter what your mayfly dry of choice may be, the Hecubas are always an eagerly awaited hatch as they can get some really quality trout to eat a size 12 mayfly dry when those same fish might only eat a size 14 or 16 outside of the Hecuba hatch window. The smaller mayflies are still producing great on the Snake as well as grasshopper patterns in the early afternoon. It's safe to say the Snake is fully on!
The Snake River tributaries have dropped so much in flows that the majority of the quality trout have dropped downstream to the Snake in search of deeper, safer, colder water. That said, there is still some tributary fishing to be had, it's just not our first choice at the moment.
The Green and New Fork Rivers are dropping in flows fast but still have some great fishing options with hoppers, ants, beetles, and streamers on the cloudier days. Its a great time to take advantage of these fisheries before flows drop any further and it gets really tough and technical for these brown and rainbow trout.
Give us a call at 307-203-4683 or email email@example.com to book a trip and take advantage of the ideal weather, great fishing, and light crowds we are currently experiencing in Jackson!
Fishing Report: July 29, 2022
We continue to see reliably great fishing across most of our waters in Western Wyoming. River and creek flows are dropping fast and some of these fishing options will no longer be accessible in a week or two so get it while the getting is good!
Snake River tributaries continue to fish well with mayflies and yellow and purple foam attractor patterns from size 14 all the way up to a size 8. Mid morning to early afternoon is the time to hit most of these cutthroat fisheries. Not much action to be had in the early morning hours and by 2pm, water temperatures on some of these creeks are approaching dangerous levels for trout.
Certain sections of the Snake River are pretty much the only waters that have had slow fishing in the last week and this is mostly due to high water temperatures. Afternoon temps on the Snake are reaching 68 to 70 degrees on a daily basis by around 2pm at a variety of gauging stations. When temperatures are this warm, you should not fish for trout. There is so little dissolved oxygen in the water at these temperatures that the exhaustion a fish experiences after a fight on the end of a fly line can be fatal. In addition to this, fish probably won't be biting that well on an afternoon half day trip during a heat wave. You should not fish in the afternoon when waters approach these temperatures on trout rivers and you should not go on a guided trip with a company that offers afternoon half days when water temperatures are 68 degrees or warmer. That said, there are a variety of great fishing options that exist at the moment.
The upper Green River continues to fish well and has been colder than the Snake. Grey drakes and stoneflies are no longer around on most stretches of the green but early morning to early afternoon action has been solid with streamers and hoppers fished tight to the bank - especially on cloudy days.
The Salt River has offered consistent dry fly fishing and colder water temperatures than the Snake for the last month with ongoing little yellow sally and pmd hatches as well as recent trico hatches on some stretches. Expect the aquatic insect activity to taper off in the coming weeks and focus a bit more on fishing hoppers and streamers.
The 40 miles of Snake River above Jackson Lake has settled into its summer flows and is also offering great wade fishing options right now if you are willing to hike for it. Few people fish this zone and it can offer some phenomenal dry fly fishing and solitude from the midsummer crowds. Be sure to keep an eye on water temperatures here as well and be ready to pull the plug if temps are too warm. Yellowstone Lake fishing has been great as well with mid to late morning caddis and mayfly hatches coaxing some truly massive cutthroat to the surface for a snack! Remember to pinch those barbs on your flies not only in Yellowstone but anywhere else on our special wild trout fisheries!
Fishing Report: July 12, 2022
River flows have been relatively stable for several weeks now and we have entered our classic, reliably excellent summer fishing season. The Snake River is fishing well at the moment although flows are still quite high and the slower holding water for trout is limited. The average size fish in the Snake is also small at the moment compared to other options as many of the mature, spawning class fish that moved upstream into Snake River tributaries in May and June are still in those tributaries and have not dropped down into the main Snake yet. Even though the average size is small, nymph rigs with large or brightly colored attractor mayfly nymphs are producing fish as well as foam dry flies in the late morning to afternoon hours.
Snake River Tributaries are fishing great. They have recently cleared and are filled with voracious fish. Although the salmonfly hatch on the Hoback River is waning, the fish are still keying in on very large salmonfly dry patterns with reckless abandon in pocket water and slower sections of the river. Pacific Creek and the upper Gros Ventre River are also starting to clear, slow, and fish well.
The Green River is fishing great at the moment with tons of bug life. Lots of grey drakes, litlle yellow sallies, and a variety of stonefly species are on the water starting in the late morning and the fish are looking up. Consider fishing a single dry fly to accurately target tight to the bank spots that can't be reached with a dry/dropper rig. Some days the smaller fish are targeting the bugs on the surface and a nymph rig or streamer is required to get to the larger, trophy browns and rainbows on the Green but this isn't always the case - it depends on the day, the stretch of river, and the type and speed of water.
The Salt River is also fishing well at the moment. The bug life has slowed down a little bit from a few weeks ago when there were clouds of midges, drakes, and little yellow sallies, but fish are still eating mayfly dries and size 8 to 12 foam attractor dries from mid to late morning onwards. Consider fishing nymphs early morning when water temps are extremely cold and fish activity is still slow and don't be afraid to downsize from your standard cutthroat attractor dry fly as the fish in the Salt get less gullible as the summer goes on and they see some more fishing pressure. Microfoam is your friend!
Yellowstone is also fishing great as the freestone creeks and rivers settle into their summer flows with happy, hungry cutthroat trout. The further you are willing to hike to beat the crowds, the better. Lewis Lake surface water temps are rising and the fishing is slowing down considerably with the browns and lakers moving into deeper water for the summer months. Look for the fishing to pick up again on Lewis Lake in the fall as things cool down. The crowds are not bad at all in Yellowstone at the moment and the traffic is very light as the park service has done an incredible job opening up roads and keeping all operations moving smoothly despite the flooding in the Northern portion of the park several weeks ago.
Fishing is great everywhere at the moment, give us a call at 307 203 4683 to book a trip and join the fun!
Fishing Report: June 13, 2022
In the last 24 hours, the Jackson Hole region, Yellowstone National Park, and communities surrounding the parks have received a tremendous amount of rainfall. This has led to road closures and flooding in Montana and Yellowstone. Although the sudden increase in river flows wasn't as bad in the Jackson Hole region, almost all of our area rivers are very high and muddy at the moment and the creek and river fishing will suffer for several days to a week or more in some cases. Once the river flows have settled and the rainwater has flushed downstream, check the U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges in the area to find rivers that are relatively stable in flows https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wy/nwis/rt . These gauges don't show clarity levels but they do show a graph with flow levels. Stable flows over time will indicate clearer water, which is more fishable water in general - so avoid the rivers that have spiked!! For fishing options right now, look to the area lakes like Jenny Lake, Jackson Lake, Lewis Lake, and Yellowstone Lake. The streamer bite has been very good on just about any color small to medium sized streamer on these bodies of water at depths of 5 to 15 feet. A fast action 6 or 7 weight rod with a line like Rio's Streamer Tip or Rio Outbound Short works great for casting streamers long distances and getting down to that depth range quickly. Give us a call at 307-203-4683 to talk fishable options. Our guides are experts at reading streamflow gauges and analyzing flow trends and historic data to pick the right fishing option at the right time!
Fishing Report: June 4, 2022
Fishing options are starting to open up as Pinedale waters like the Green River are stabilizing in flows and Yellowstone melts out from the deep freeze. The Lewis River is still very cold at the moment but starting to fish with stonefly nymph imitations in certain sections. The Firehole River and Iron Spring Creek are fishing great right now and offer some of the only consistent, dry fly fishing options at this time. Classic bushy dries like an elk hair caddis, parachute hare's ear, or humpy are working well from late morning on. When fishing in Yellowstone this time of year, bring your thermometer and make sure you are targeting water in the 50's and 60's to maximize your fishing efforts where trout are most active. Water temps can vary a tremendous amount over a short distance in Yellowstone rivers depending on where hydrothermal features are located so be ready to pull the plug and move if it isn't happening in one spot!! Lewis Lake is still frozen and inaccessible at the moment. The ice out on Lewis will be much later than usual this year with the cold and wet spring we've had. Look for hungry fish eating streamers and midge nymphs on Lewis in 5 to 15 feet of water when the ice does go out. Most sections of the Snake are high, brown, and muddy at the moment.
Fishing Report: May 2, 2022
Right now is our favorite time to fish the Snake River. Skwala stoneflies have been hatching for a while now, along with caddis, and blue winged olives, and the fish are really paying attention. Skwala dry fly imitations in size 10 or 12 (think dark bodied chubby chernobyl ants and water walkers) and skwala nymphs in the same size are producing sizeable Snake River cutthroat in a variety of water. Some of the biggest fish we've seen are holding tight to the bank but fishing has been great on mid-river seams, side channels, spring creek confluences, and deep, slow, recirculating pools as well. The water is rising at the moment and the visibility of the river isn't perfect, but its more than enough for fish to be eating dry flies voraciously. As the visibility of the river drops, try fishing a dry / dropper rig with the nymph 3 to 4 feet down. This can pick up fish that are holding deeper and aren't able to see the dry fly on the surface. We have fishing trip options on the Green River and other locations as well right now but with our Snake River trips seeing large fish, good numbers, and aggressive dry fly eats, why go anywhere else??
Fishing Report: March 30, 2022
The dry fly action has been phenomenal for about a week now with the unusually warm spring weather we've been having. Capnia stoneflies and midges account for the majority of the bug life on the river at the moment and any dry fly or nymph that imitates either one of those insects has been getting the job done! The streamer bite has been really solid as well between about 11am and 430pm. Not only have we been seeing solid numbers of fish but the average size fish in the Snake is large at the moment. Get it while it's good and schedule a trip with us today!! Call 307 203 4683 to see why spring is our favorite time of year to fish.
Fishing Report: February 8, 2022
Fishing options will be limited until the Spring thaw which usually occurs sometime in March. Until that time, watch the temperature closely. If daytime temps start rising into the mid 30's to low 40's on days without much wind, fishing in slow, deep pools can be productive with midge nymph patterns and occasionally with midge dries. Slow, sustained streamer retrieves in these same deep pools can also be productive. The weather forecast is calling for warmer temps and light winds later in the week which will likely get fish feeding a little. Give us a call to set up a Winter fishing trip and we'll explain some of the available options at this time of year.