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Choices - Snake Tailwater vs. Henry's Fork vs. YNP


Snake River

Flows from Jackson Lake Dam have dropped to 4,800cfs and the tailwater reach continues to gain clarity as lake turnover subsides. The fishing has vastly improved as well. Still mostly nymphing on the upper reach above Cattleman’s with the best action in recirculating eddies and along seams and banks with moderate depths and currents. Nine feet from line to trailer has been standard. Going as short as six feet will work in obvious places.

Nymph rigs are working better below Cattleman’s than they have over the previous couple months. Nonetheless, streamers remain the best way to go. Target banks, structure, and eddies and make sure your casts are tight to your target. Use floating and intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. The best action has been on slow retrieves, but faster ones are starting to get into fish more than they did over the past month

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Flashback Hares Ear Nymph, San Juan Worm, Copper Johns in red, Lightening Bugs, And Psycho Princes.

Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Jointed Urchins, Double Bunnies, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, and Light Brite Zonkers.

Henry’s Fork

The first week and a half of June has been good on the Henry’s Fork. Salmon flies are starting to subside but March browns and caddis continue to emerge on just about every reach and green drakes are starting to appear around the warm river area and lower Mesa. They should start to hit their stride this week.

There are opportunities for dry fly fishing on the entire Henry’s Fork if you are patient. The reaches from Riverside down to Hatchery Ford and Box Canyon have probably been most productive. No matter where you are, the best action has been on caddis and smaller mayfly imitations. Larger stonefly patterns are working in bits-and-pieces. Target the tail of riffles and banks and structure, although trout continue to hold well off the latter two.

Nymphing is working everywhere and has been best on the lower reaches from Warm River down to Chester. Double nymph rigs in the four to six feet range from line to trailer has been standard. Drifting these in riffles and along seams, banks and structure is producing best. Swinging your trailer at the end of the drift is a good way to go from time to time. Trout are obviously taking the trailer as an emerging caddis. Dry-dropper rigs with two to four feet of dropper tippet is working best in Box Canyon. Swinging your dropper will produce here as well.

Dry flies – Henry’s Fork Golden Stone, Barrett’s Ant, Circus Peanuts, Sparkle Caddis, X-Caddis, Tent-Wing Caddis, U-Con Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body Cahills, Quiglet Cripples, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, Girdle Bugs, Zug Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Mercer’s Glasstail Caddis, and Soft Hackles.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir are around 22,000cfs and clarity is around three feet. These are some tough conditions but there are a LOT of fish on the river and they are being picked up when you fish the right places with the right tactics.

Fishing has been best on the Upper reach in Swan Valley and in the upper Canyon with long double and triple nymph rigs in the ten to twelve feet range. The best fishing has been along banks and larger riffles and seams. Recirculating eddies are also producing. There are not a lot of slow current back channels at the moment, but the ones you do find will produce with shorter nymph rigs in the eight to ten foot range. This water will also produce with streamers fished with Intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms, Gummy Worms, Lightening Bugs, Duracells, and Copper Johns in red or black.

Streamers – McKnight’s Home Invader, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, and Galloup’s Boogeyman.

Yellowstone National Park

Firehole River – The Firehole is dancing in the 200-300cfs range and water temps are in the low to mid-50s. So a good time to be on the Firehole with these conditions. Caddis, infrequen PMDs, and yellow sallies are the primary emergences at the moment. Target your dry patterns at seams and the head of riffles, especially in the morning hours from 8am to around 11:30am. Dry-droppers are working in deeper pools and eddies and along undercut banks. Swinging smaller streamers (as well as soft hackle patterns) along undercut banks and structure continue to produce.

Lewis Lake – All the ice is off and we probably have another month before we have to go seriously deep. In the meantime, fishing has been solid with baitfish and swinging nymph patterns on flats and drop-offs. In fact, it is probably the most productive fishing in the region at the moment. Go with floating lines, hover lines, and Intermediate sinking lines and continue to retrieve slow, although we are starting to pick up fish with more moderate speed retireves.

Snake River – The Snake is not crystal clear yet but she has dropped significantly over the past two weeks and should be in shape in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, fishing is possible around the confluence with the Lewis River, which is crystal clear. Mostly nymphing. This will change soon, too.

Crawfish Creek – Good fishing both above and below Moose Falls. Trout are taking both dries and nymphs when dry-dropper rigs are fished in pocket water. Focus on faster seams and current lines. Caddis and golden stones are the primary emergences at the moment.


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