Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Snake River

I have been writing about streams outside of Yellowstone National Park for the past
several days and intended to continue doing just that. I have been writing about the
Snake River, both the Henry's Fork and the South Fork, and it occurred to me that I
have not mentioned the beginning of what is called the South Fork. It starts in the
Southeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park. Native cutthroat trout and the sheer
beauty of this stream as it flows through the Teton National Park makes it the top
stream in the Northwest corner of Wyoming. It flows a very long way before it reaches
Palisades Reservoir.

The river is approximately thirty-five miles long inside the park. Inside the park, the
snake is not one of the most popular rivers. For one reason it is very difficult to access.
To fish most of its water you are going to have to walk quite a ways in the most remote
section of the park. Angie and I have only fished the Snake in the park a few times and
each time it was fairly close to the South Entrance to the park. Cutthroat and some
brown trout are what you will catch in this area. We have not followed the South
Boundary Trail to reach the upper part of the river. It has mostly average to small size
cutthroats. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just that if it is the fish you are
only interested in, then there are a lot of other places you can catch them that are
much easier to access. If you did choose to fish the upper Snake River, there would be
one thing for sure. You would not be crowded. It is remote country.

The river doesn't normally clear from the runoff until about the middle of July and
maybe even later if there is a large snowpack. Just outside of the park the river flows
into Jackson Lake. Jackson has some large brown trout and they do go up the river
during the fall spawning season. That spawning run provide some excellent fishing for
those who pursue it. We have not done so due again, to the other great fishing in the
park at that time.

Below Jackson Lake, the river provides some very good native cutthroat fishing as
soon as it clears from the runoff. We have drifted the river twice in that area and found
it great both times. It was not only good from a fishing standpoint, it may just be the
most beautiful place to drift in the World.  I will get into that tomorrow.  

Copyright 2008 James Marsh     
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