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South Fork of the Snake River and Snake River Fishing Report 4/29/2021

gene jensen snake river cutthroat

A quick note before we dive into this week’s report. If you need a license, shuttle, fishing tips, supplies etc. visit us in our new fly shop located at the Swan Valley General Store, 21 Skwala Lane on the corner of US HWY 26 and 31.  You can also give us a call at the shop 208.483.2727 or the lodge 208.483.2222.

The weather the next few days looks very nice with an unseasonably warm high pressure moving in bringing daytime highs up to 70 degrees.  Sunday ushers in a return to cooler wet weather.  The South Fork flows are up a bit again this week from 4,800 to 5,200 cfs.  This is about 2,000 cfs below our average for this date, water managers are holding flows back a bit to ensure the reservoirs fill during runoff.  Palisades Reservoir is 87% full and will surely fill this year with runoff starting in earnest in May & June.

Top-performing flies this week were egg patterns, a variety of san juan worms such as the squirmy wormy, rubberlegs, and bead head midge patterns.  Anytime the river comes up or we get a good rain you’ll find fish looking for san juan worms.  With a large number of rainbows now spawning in the system, an egg pattern is a good choice.  Riffles, foam lines, and back eddies are good places to keep your eyes open for midges.  The fish will key in on midge nymphs and dry flies in these areas.   I say it nearly every week but if you like throwing streamers are persistent, you’ll have opportunities at some good size fish this time of year.  Get that streamer close to the bank in the slow water, let it sink and move it out to the current, you’ll get some chases.

A quick word on the Main Snake River just below American Falls.  The flows here are stable this week around 8,000 cfs.  This makes wading difficult but is a great flow for floating.  Balanced leeches, egg patterns, and San Juan worms are all producing fish.  You’ll have chances at Rainbows, Browns, Small Mouth Bass, and Carp.

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If you’re floating the South Fork Monday – Thursday here is the Idaho Fish and Game’s electrofishing schedule.

Plans for Rainbow Trout suppression in the South Fork Snake River in 2021, including the river section planned for suppression by day of the week.

Day River section Launch site Upstream boundary Downstream boundary
Mon 1 Palisades Ramp Palisades Dam Palisades Creek
Tue 2 Spring Cr Ramp Indian Creek Ranger Station
Wed 3 Conant Ramp Ranger Station Pine Creek
Thu 4 Conant Ramp Dry Creek Lufkin Bottom