Last Friday on the Snake River, I tried something new – fly fishing in November. I typically quit fly fishing in September but the beautiful November weather motivated some end of season fishing. We fished on the Snake River below American Falls dam near Eagle Rock. The fishing was pretty slow and the water was really low. It is rare when you can walk across the Snake River without getting into water deeper than you ankles but Friday was one of those times. We did catch a couple of 14-15″ rainbows on minnow imitations and I lost a 20″+ rainbow trout on a brown freshwater shrimp.
This stretch of the Snake River had a stretch of lava rim rock waterfalls that spanned the entire river. Regretfully, with the water so low, only a few of the runs below the falls had enough water to hold any fish. There were some other fisherman so we were limited to fishing two one main run and few smaller ones. This was my first time fishing this part of the Snake River. I will have to go back and try some different spots.
Freshwater Shrimp – Brown – Size 14 – Orvis Oliver Edward’s Freshwater Shrimp, 14
Franke Shiner Minnow Imitation – Size 4 – Orvis Franke Shiner, 4
Last Friday I was able to spend a day fishing Wyoming’s Green River near Pinedale, Wyoming. Although the fishing was a little slow, fishing the Green River was a great experience. I landed 4 Brown Trout that were all above 18″ and one that was in the 22″ range and probably weighed 3 pounds. Our guide, Travis Taylor (https://snakeriverangler.com/guides/), did a great job and was enjoyable to fish with. Travis had a good knowledge of the river and how to fish the various pockets of water. The big browns were mostly hanging out in shallow water searching for the meal of the day. There were a lot of Mountain Whitefish in the Green River and we were able to catch some of these bottom dwellers with dry flies.
For most of the day, a yellow sally foam imitation (small golden stonefly hatch) produced to most hook-ups but we did catch some on some hopper/crane fly foam imitations. From the casings on the shoreline rocks, we missed a decent stonefly hatch by about 3 weeks.
Saturday morning, at one of the Green River public access points, I caught one more 20″ brown on a green bead head woolly worm. We never say another fisherman on either section of the Green River. I can’t even imagine the battle that occurred on the South Fork of the Snake River. It looked like there were over 100 drift boats on the river as we drove by headed for home. I will take the solitude of the Green River over the South Fork battle any day.
We also fished a little on the Hoback River as we traveled back home. In one hole I hooked up with 8 Snake River Cutthroats. Two were 14″ cutthroats but the rest were in the 8-10″ range. The Hoback River is beautiful but a little too flat for my liking. There were only a few runs/holes deep enough to hold the trout.
Opening day on Idaho’s Blackfoot River was fabulous! We caught 10+ cutthroat trout that were over 20″. I landed two cutthroats that were 23″ and probably in the 4-5 pound range. We also lost 4 trout that were even bigger than the 23″ trout.
The water on the Blackfoot River is about a foot low for opening day which does not bode well for later summer fishing, especially if we keep having 90 degree days. Make sure to bring a net so you can land and release these trophy cutthroat trout quickly.
Size 4 bead head woolly buggers – brown and black
Size 16 bead head prince nymph or hare’s ear nymph
Size 12 blue Damsel fly
Here is a little video of a giant stonefly we found crawling around on Stump Creek. Stump Creek doesn’t have a large giant stonefly hatch but there are few that come out in the first weeks of June. Stump Creek does have a large hatch of small golden stoneflies (size 16-18) that also hatches in the first few weeks of June. Fly fishing with adult stoneflies is a blast if you can hit the hatch just right. Here is a good description of stoneflies and their entomology: http://www.flycraftangling.com/index.asp?p=124.
A few weeks ago my friend Jeremy, my dad, my son, and I spent a day fishing on Stump Creek in Eastern Idaho. After a very quiet slow few hours of fly fishing, the early afternoon proved to be very productive as a I caught 20 + fish in about two hours. Jeremy and my dad both caught 10+ trout. The best fly combo was a double Renegade as my top fly and a bead head prince nymph/hare’s ear as my dropper. With this setup I actually hooked two fish at the same time four different times. It was a riot to see two fish at the same time take the flies and then immediately dash in opposite directions. Luckily they were small enough that my line didn’t immediately snap in half. Regretfully I never actually landed both fish. My son Tom had a blast reeling in the fish and fighting them as they darted around in the creek.
I caught a few fish in the 16″ range, a handful in the 12-14″ range and the rest were under 12″. This fish in the afternoon were consistently bigger. We fished an upper section of the creek in the afternoon which may have been the difference. I caught 2 whitefish and the rest were Cutthroat trout. Usually we catch a few nice brown trout in the 14-18″ range.
Stump Creek’s flow was already about a foot low for June which does not bode well for later summer fishing. The Caribou highlands only received about 85-90% of snowpack. Coupled with last years 60%, the area has had two bad winters in a row. The Blackfoot River is also flowing very low – less than its 25% average.
Most of Stump Creek flows on private land so we are grateful to the land owners who do allow fishing access across their land.
Size 6-12 Double Renegade
Size 14-16 Beadhead Prince or Hare’s Ear Nymph