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South Fork of the Snake River Fishing Report 4/18/24

Shade Stotts is the man

The flow out of Palisades sits at 10,500 cfs, unchanged from this time last week. As mentioned in last week’s report this is quite a bit more water than we are used to this time of year, about double the average flow and almost ten times more water than last year.  Water managers are moving water out of Palisades to make room for runoff which will start in earnest in the coming weeks.

With cold water and higher than normal flows focus your fishing efforts on slower moving water.  The fish will be conserving energy and will prefer to hold in slower moving and even still waters.  Slower moving water behind structure and gravel bars will also hold fish.  It’s worth noting that you might find fish well below a riffle than you’re expecting.  In the summer fish hold right at the drop off to have first dibs and food coming off the gravel, this time of year you might find fish in the deep/slow water 50 yards or more below that drop off.  Let those flies “marinate!”

Effective fly patterns are the standard spring fair: Stonefly nymps, San Juan Worms, various midge and BWO patterns, eggs, and streamers.  All flies should be fished deep right now and again finding the slow moving water is critical. It’s worth testing out a few banks but if you’re not seeing fish right away don’t be afraid to float down to a side channel, riffle, deep pool etc.  These are not the conditions to be “pounding the banks” all day.

Good luck out there this weekend.  The weather looks awesome and a great time to break up the cabin fever and soak up some Vitamin D.  If you need any flies, supplies, or fishing tips swing by our Swan Valley fly shop.

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