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1st Report of May for the Snake and the South Fork


Snake River

Flows have been coming down from Jackson Lake Dam and currently stand at just over 2000cfs. Cool weather over the past week is giving way to much warmer temps for the next couple of weeks (valley floor highs in the mid-50s to upper 60s). The river has serious clarity for this time of year.

Skwalas were fewer and further between over the past week but trout were still rising to both naturals and imitations in all the typically water you usually target. Expect to see a lot more naturals out with the warm temps (both air and water) that are coming. These larger bugs (fished with a dropper from time to time) should be your focus from now until runoff really starts. Be patient and expect the action on skwala imitations to get better as the day progresses. Fishing nymph imitations will produce equally well throughout the day. You will also get action on mayfly and caddis imitations as well, particularly in the afternoon hours and on those days with wetter weather.

The tailwater reach from the dam down to Pacific Creek is coming into form and fishing well with nymphs on the upper section and streamers on the lower section below Oxbow Bend. In fact, the lower section is probably offering the most consistent streamer fishing on the entire river. There is dry fly action from time to time on the upper section in eddies and seams.

Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Winged Peanuts, Bart’s Lipstick, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Chocolate Ant, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams (olive), and Stimulators.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Rubber Legged Soft Hackle Princes, Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Copper Johns in red or olive, and Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph.

Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, McCune Sculpins, Sparkle Minnows, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, and Teller’s Nightmare.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir have gone up to 17,000 cfs after fairly steady flows at 14,000 cfs. Fish have acclimated for the most part and fishing is at least respectable each day, and flat out good on some days. Clarity is around two to three feet on most of the river, so going subsurface with nymphs and streamers is your best bet. Double and triple nymph rigs are working best in riffles and riffle pools, as well as seams and eddy margins. The standard turd-and-worm set up is taking the lion’s share of fish, but there is action from time to time on larger mayfly and caddis imitations in the #10 to #12 range.

Streamers are working well on most of the upper river with the best action being from Spring Creek Bridge down to Dry Canyon. Larger patterns are outperforming more moderately sized ones. Intermediate lines and tip down to 3 to 6ips tips are producing best. Target banks, structure, riffle pools, and the tail of seams.

The upper reach immediately below the dam and down to the first set of riffles is still producing in decent fashion with Mysis and scud imitations, particularly along banks and in riffles.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worm, Meyer’s Mysis, Galloup’s Mysis, Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, and Copper Johns in red or olive.

Streamers - J.J. Specials, Tequillies, Jointed Sparkle Minnows, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Double Bunnies, Jointed Urchins, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, Sundell’s Nightfire, and Sundell’s Sunfire.


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