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South Fork of the Snake River Fishing Report 6/4/20

*Update – 6.5.20 – Flows out of Palisades were bumped to 20,000 cfs this morning, use caution if you’re on the river during these high flows.

Every Thursday afternoon we are here with the weekly fishing report so let’s get started for the first week of June!  Today we’ll discuss flows, weather, fishing, and flies.

River Flow: The flow out of Palisades Reservoir has steadily risen this week from last week’s flow of 13,800 cfs to about 17,700 cfs today.  The flows have been increased in anticipation of the wet weather ahead (more on that next.)  Palisades Reservoir sits at 84% and with rain on its way and with a fair amount of high elevation snowpack we should see the reservoir hit 100% this month. Remember to use caution on the river this weekend the water is cold and with higher flows, it’s easier to get in trouble.

Weather: If you can get out on the river tomorrow, go for it as you’ll beat the incoming weather pattern of cold rain and high elevation snow.  Saturday and Sunday look like great weather, if you’re a duck, as my Grandpa used to say. Dress in layers, pack your rain gear, and have fun.

Fishing and Flies: With the higher water this week it will be important to revert back to focusing on slower-moving water.  Focus on slower banks, riffles, and drop-offs.  I’ve had great success in these flows fishing behind freshly flooded islands, logs, rocks, etc.  It just gets more important to pick your locations carefully and don’t waste your time in water that is just too fast and hard to fish.  If you’ve been reading these reports this season then you’ve already heard me say that not much changes until we start to see dry flies…about 3 weeks away from now depending on the weather. Nymphs and streamers are the only game in town.

  • Nymphs – Big stonefly nymphs such as Pat’s Rubberlegs or Cheater Belly Stones are the bread and butter right now trailed by a midge, BWO, San Juan Worm (pink!), or an egg pattern. Don’t be afraid to let those nymphs “soak” well below where you might normally fish.  A lot of the fish we’ve been catching are holding way down below drop-offs and ledges where you would normally see them.  When in doubt, let that fly “marinate”.
  • Streamers – Focus on slow, deep, and even water that isn’t moving.  (Reminder from above: focus on the slow water.)
  • Yes, still Eggs – Rainbows and Cutthroats are either spawning or finishing up their Spring spawn so egg patterns remain a “go-to” for our guides.  With the higher water, it’s a bit comforting to know you’re at least fishing something you know the fish can see.

Please give us a call or come by the shop if you have questions, need some flies or a shuttle.  Have a great rest of your week and catch a big one!