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South Fork of the Snake River Fishing Report 8/20/20

idaho state record cutthroat

Thank you as always for checking in on this week’s fishing report, published every Thursday afternoon.  We have to start this week’s report with a huge congratulations to guest Sam Hix of Belaire, TX and guide Josh Heilson for setting a new Idaho catch-and-release state record with a 30.5′ Cutthroat caught on the Snake River.  You can read more about it here.  Way to go guys!

River Flow: Palisades reservoir is 73% full. The outflow increased from 9,500 cfs to 9,800 cfs.  The water coming out of the remains cold and clear.

Weather: Phew, it’s been a hot week but temperatures have dropped a bit, and combined with the haze from the California fires it’s much more bearable today.  Warm and haze are in the forecast for the weekend.

Fishing and Flies: This time of year time of day has as much to do with good fishing as any fly you might tie on so like last week’s report we’ll focus on tactics to use throughout the day.

  • Dawn to 11:00 – If you’re motivated to be launching your boat in the dark and fishing at first light you’ll be rewarded with fish hunting down mutant golden stones.  Tan chernobyl ants, chubby cherbs, circus peanuts, etc. fished with a heavy twitch.  Focus on banks, riffles, under bushes but especially twitched across shallow flats with rocky islands where these bugs emerge.
  • 11:00 to 4:00 – We are still seeing hatches of PMD’s and fish eating them in the riffles.  This is also a good time to fish hoppers, beetles, and ant patterns.  If it’s too bright and hot and you’re not finding fish on top a double nymph rig might be your best bet.  Two small nymphs representing PMD’s, soft hackles, etc. have been most productive.
  • 4:00 to just before dark – This has been the slowest part of the day so it’s a good time to keep experimenting or nymphing and wait for the evening hatch.
  • Just before dark – If you get a chance to fish after dinner time there has been a great evening caddis hatch and spinner fall.  I like to fish a big elk hair caddis that I can see and trail that with a rusty spinner.  When you can’t see your flies anymore switch to swinging soft hackles, streamers, or a mouse pattern.

Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions. Our phone number is 208.483.2222 or come by our fully stocked fly shop.

Have a great weekend and we’ll be back here with a fishing report next week.