It has been a fun year at Snake River Angler. We had lots of water to play with and good fishing just about everywhere once the runoff settled down. Here are a few things that stood out on our water in 2017 –
Where did the mud go?
Going into April, most of us were sure that we were looking at something similar to 2011. That year, we the Snake did clear until the second week of August and the Green ran high clear through July. The 2017 climate forecast had April, May, and June predicted to be colder and wetter than normal. Instead, all three were warmer and drier (although April by just a smidgeon). We ended up fishing dries on the Green by the middle of July and on the Snake by the end of the third week of July. Not bad at all.
Doldrums on the South Fork
You can’t find many, if any, who recall the events that occurred on the South Fork. Palisades was drained to 6% of capacity to make room for a heavy runoff. The mud that came from the Salt, Greys, and Snake essentially ran right to the dam and eventually right out and into the river. Both the reservoir and the South Fork had weeks with only inches of visibility. Cliff Creek in the Hoback drainage was the real culprit. The massive fire from the year before left tons of sediment and no cover. When the snow melted, the creek ran a pastel pink color that was almost eerie. Eventually the South Fork clear and offered excellent dry fly fishing from September through November. Its going to be interesting to see what Cliff Creek does next year.
Streamers – Started hot, ended cold
The streamer fishing on the Green and tailwater reach of the Snake below Jackson Lake Dam started off with a bang. We had some damn big fish on both waters (check out SRA and my own Instagram posts from June and July if you wanna see proof. We were thinking good thoughts once all the rivers got into shape. However, consistent streamer fishing on the Snake, Green, New Fork, and South Fork just never happened. Oh well. There is always next year. And we had solid dry fly action anyways.
Boy did we see a lot of these. And everywhere. Even saw a number of trout take swipes at them. I never got a chance to through any crane fly larva or adult patterns, but wish I would have pulled the trigger. Will Dornan is actually ordering up a number of custom crane flies for next year for the shop. It will be interesting if we see those numbers again next year.
You will see me mention bankside troughs throughout the year in my fishing reports. I have never mentioned them as much as I did in 2017. 31,000 cfs changes our water significantly. It did that on the Snake, Green, and South Fork. We saw newly formed bankside troughs on just about every reach on these three streams. And they held a good amount of fish.
Ask just about any outfitter in the area, and they will tell you that they were pleasantly surprised by how well things turned out in 2017. All had many more boats go out than they thought they would. Some guides actually had a record number of trips. This is what’s nice about having so much water to choose from in the area. There is always somewhere to fish.