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 weekend my friend Jared Stein and I hit the stonefly hatch on the Henry’s Fork’s Cardiac Canyon. Somehow we were blessed to dodge the thunderstorms that were rolling through the area and were able to have a decent day of fishing. The stonefly hatch was almost at its end in the Cardiac Canyon section but we were still able to catch a few hungry trout. I caught two brown trout in the 18-20″ range and some rainbows in the 15-16″ range. Jared landed a nice brown in the 20″ range along with some rainbows in the 16″ range. We didn’t get into any monsters but the brown trout put up a pretty good fight.
There were quite a few boats that were floating the river but they respectfully stayed on the far side of the river. The boat “ramp” (if you want to call it that) to access Cardiac Canyon is about 1/4 mile drop down a very steep incline so I was surprised to see so many boats on the river. The stonefly hatch motivates fisherman to brave even the most difficult conditions.
I gutted one of the brown trout and checked the contents of its stomach and found it full of adult stonefly nymphs (probably 15-20) and also 2 sculpin. Yes, this brown trout not only was gorging on stoneflies but was also eating other fish in between stonefly meals. It also had what appeared to be crane fly larvae in its stomach. Small crane flies were hatching early in the day. If you fish this section of the river after the stonefly hatch, you may want to bring some muddler minnows and a sinking line to try and catch the larger brown trout.
I caught my fish on a stonefly adult pattern and bead head prince nymphs. Jared caught his trout on an adult stonefly pattern.
Adult Stonefly Patterns (various)
Bead Head Prince Nymph, size 14
Cardiac Canyon is located between Lower Mesa Falls and where the Warm River joins the Henry’s Fork. It is fairly rugged and requires a lot of hiking to get to and from the river. The walk out after fishing all day can be challenging especially at the so called “boat” ramp, which could result in a “Cardiac” event if you are in poor physical condition.
My family and I went fishing on Hawkins Reservoir near Arimo, Idaho last Friday (April 22, 2016). The fishing was pretty slow. My wife caught one 12″ rainbow on a size 12 bead head prince nymph. I spent most of the time rigging kids poles or untying messes so my fishing was pretty limited. We used clear plastic casting bubbles (3-Pack Casting Bubbles 1 1/8″ X 1 3/4″) and a variety of flies – dark colored wooly worms, hare’s ears nymphs, damsel fly nymphs, and prince nymphs. Hawkins is a family friendly fishery that contains rainbow and cutthroat trout and is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. See http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=231 for a stocking schedule.
Size 12 Beadhead Prince Nymph