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

12/16/09

Destinations: Fly Fishing The South Fork of the Snake River, Idaho
Continuing on with another river that starts in Wyoming we feathered a few days
ago, the Snake River continues on into Utah where it is called the
South Fork of
the Snake. It is strictly a tailwater and one that is strictly controlled by authorities
acting on behalf of the local farmers. It is one tailwater where you can only get a
good idea of what to expect in the way of discharges from experience. There is
no schedule that you can rely on.

This is another example of where rainbow trout that were stocked at one time in
the past are displacing the native species of Yellowstone and Snake River
cutthroat trout. They are encouraging the harvest of rainbow and hybrid trout
caught. Strict catch and release rules are in effect for the native cutthroats.
They do not know if this will fix the problem or not.

The South Fork of the Snake River is a very good trout stream. You can catch a
lot of large trout, rainbow, brown and cutthroat from this river. There are several
areas it can be waded. You don't have to fish from a drift boat unless the water
is high and rolling and that usually means the fishing isn't going to be great
anywhere.

The river has some great hatches for a tailwater. It doesn't have quite as many
as the Henry's Fork which it eventually flows into, but it has many including some
large stonefly hatches. It also has the Skawala stoneflies which are not present
in many of the streams in that part of the West.

I don't think many would rate this stream as good as parts of the Henry's Fork
but some would rate it even better. It is a better fishery than the same river in
Yellowstone National Park and from the dam at Jackson Lake to the dam that
starts the South Fork of the Snake.

The stream fishes well for most of the season but we tend to enjoy fishing it
when its water levels are on the low side and Fall provides that situation.
Wading is popular then and again, we prefer wading it to floating it. I'm sure
many would disagree. Both ways can be excellent, depending strictly on the
discharges and water levels.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh