Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

12/19/08

Snake River - Jackson Lake to Palisades Reservoir

The Snake River leaves Jackson Lake and flows south past the Teton Mountain Range
through one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is difficult to fish for looking at the
mountains and wildlife in the area. The stream host native cutthroat trout that average
12 to 16 inches. They can be caught just as soon as the runoff ends which is usually
about the middle of the month of July. The season opens before runoff starts but there
is usually only a couple of weeks of fishing before it starts.

The area below Jackson Lake is called the Oxbow Bend area. This area of the river
below the dam provides some of the best fishing the river has to offer. Several other
areas also provide good fishing all the way to Palisades Reservoir which is
approximately eighty miles below Jackson Dam.

The stream curves back and forth through Teton National Park providing a lot of
undercut banks for the trout to hide. The section just below the dam stays clear
compared to the area of the river below Buffalo Fork River and Pacific Creek, two
tributaries. These streams foul the water up until mid July or later.

River rafting is also popular in the area, more popular than fishing. Several areas are
better suited to white water enthusiasts than fishing. Some areas of the river covered in
this article should only be drifted with someone that is experienced on the river. The
last of August, September and October are definitely the best months to fish this part
of the Snake River The water is lower than it is otherwise, with flows down around
2,000 cfs instead of 20,000 cfs. That makes a huge difference.

There are several boat launches along the river and it can be drifted in different area.
For example, below the South Park, there is an ten plus mile long canyon section of the
river. Boats can drift through this section and take out at Astoria Hot Springs. The
Hoback River joins the Snake in this section of the river. I have not fished this section
from a drift boat. We have stopped and fished a few places wading in the late summer.
The locals claim the fishing is great through the canyon when the water is low.

Below this canyon section all the way to Palisades Reservoir, the river is white water
country. There are some big time rapids in some areas of the last stretch of the river.
We have not fished the river in the last twenty miles or so before it enters the Palisades
Reservoir.


Copyright 2008 James Marsh     
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