Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for June 14th, 2024

Snake River

Runoff on the Snake has peaked but the tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam to Pacific Creek remains the only section with fishable visibility.  Flows are currently at 5,500 cfs and there are a lot more lake trout in the river .  Action is best in the spillway as well as deep recirculating eddies seam, and slow current riffles.  Both streamers and tandem nymph rigs are working well, with the former being ALMOST the only game in town from the Oxbow confluence down to just upstream of the Pacific Creek flood plain.  Consider using a INT full sink line or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range.  Moderately sized patterns and moderate retrieves is producing best.

There is better action on the surface as a variety of mayflies are popping in intermittent fashion.  You will find the most consistency in deep riffles, seams, and eddies.   

 Yellowstone National Park

Madison and Firehole Rivers – a plethora of bugs are out, including caddis, PMDs, and yellow sallies.  Nymphs are doing the trick above all else in riffles and seams.  Try dead drifting Mercer Woven Caddis and Mathews’ Sparkle Caddis, and swinging soft hackle caddis pupa imitations, especially in riffles and seams.  Undercut banks and eddies are producing with small streamers as well as dragonfly and damsel imitations, all fished on hover lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips with slow retrieves.  Surface action is inconsistent but best in riffles and seams, primarily with caddis and yellow sallie imitations.

Yellowstone Lake – Fishing remains good on riffles and at the head of drop-offs (much like a couple weeks ago).  Fishing baitfish, damsel, and dragonfly patterns are working equally well on hover and full sinking intermediate lines.  Go with steady, moderate retrieves, hand twist/figure 8 retrieves, or pinch retrieves.  Use the latter two with your dragonfly and damsel imitations.

Lewis Lake – Fishing has picked up from a couple weeks ago, with action on the flats after 11am and drop-offs producing throughout the day. Small to moderately sized Baitfish imitations are ruling the day, particularly Clousers, Pine Squirrel Zonkers, and Slump Busters.  There is a lot of cruising on the part of lake trout, making for challenging but fun sight fishing.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir stand at approximately 20,000 cfs.  That’s quite a bit of water in the system and fishing can be challenging but you can get into hookups by hit the right targets, partly because water temps continue to go over 45 degrees on the upper reach and over 50 degrees most days in the lower canyon.  Expect to see a smattering of caddis bobbing around below Wolf Eddy and down to Lorenzo and BWOs every now and then and especially when there is some cloud cover and air temps are cool. Nymphing is the name of the game.  Good action with mayfly, caddis, and midge nymph/larva/pupa imitations on the upper reaches in riffles, seams and troughs.  The lower reaches are fishing well with the same patterns but increase activity on stonefly rubber leg patterns and worm patterns when fished in confluences and the mouth of side channels. Be vigilant in your focus on slower currents on all reaches. Avoid banks and structure for the time being as newly submerged littoral regions will take a bit of time to be populated by aquatic insects and fish.

Streamers are working OK on all reaches and worth using if fishing from Cottonwood down to Lorenzo.  Small and moderately sized streamers are the only thing working when fished along banks and structure. Both large and moderately sized patterns are working equally well in seams, eddy current margins, and parallel dropoffs.  Use floating lines or sinking tips in the 3ips to 8ips range.  Definitely vary up your retrieves and throw in hesitations with you line strips. And, like with your nymph rigs, find some slower currents and milk them as much as you can.

Henry’s Fork

Fishing has been solid just about everywhere that is open, and Harriman’s opens tomorrow!  Salmon flies are about over, with golden stones, yellow sallies, PMDs, and green drakes starting to take over.  Nymph rigs are working well in riffles, eddies, seams, and along submerged structure.  There is decent action with dry flies in the same water from around 11:30am until dusk, with post 5pm being the host spot, particularly on the lower reaches below Warm River and in faster currents. 

Streamer fishing has been decent and is most productive below Ashton.  Almost all the action we are finding is along banks, structure, and seams, and pretty much in that order.  Bright patterns are outperforming darker ones.  Size does not seem to matter at the moment, although moderately sized patterns might be slightly more effective.  Go with floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and variable retrieves.