The fly fishing has really turned on here in Jackson Hole, WY! We have seen consistent daytime temperatures above freezing and more sunshine, which has woken up our Cutthroat trout! Midges are still the main hatch, but we are seeing more Black/Brown Stoneflies especially on cloudy days. Cutthroat are rising to the surface in shallow riffle flats and back eddies. Deeper water still requires nymph rigs to get into consistent fishing. The streamer bite is hit or miss with water temperatures still on the chilly side for trout to give chase. There are a few sections of the Snake River open to float including Wilson-South Park and South Park to Astoria. The ramp at Moose is open as well, but makes for a very long float. All of this will only get better as we move into April!!
Honestly there hasn’t been much fly fishing opportunity here in Jackson Hole the past few weeks due to bitterly cold temperatures. This week and the rest of the month should prove to be better as temperatures warm up on average and gets our trout more active. We will begin to see our Winter Stoneflies hatch if we see warm, sunny days with high temperatures around freezing and above. This week calls for stormy weather but daytime highs in the upper 30’s everyday. Midge hatches will be prolific, especially the smaller Gray Midges #20-22. Nymphing will be good in the afternoons with Zebra Midges, WD-40’s, and Muskrat Midges. It’s time to get back out there! Our snowpack is piling up! Currently we are at 111% of normal moisture content with more on it’s way. The long term forecast for February shows more snow all the way through the end of the month. This is great news as the BuRec drained the Palisades last year and Jackson Lake was brought down to 17% and left us in need of water for this year… These artificially high flows on the Snake were great for our Cutthroat as they fed well and will be in great shape for this season. All signs are pointing towards good things and we are pumped!!
This fishing report starts off with good news about our current snowpack conditions. We’ve just received 4 feet of new snow that was heavy in moisture content, leaving us at 106% of normal water content. We still have a long way to go before Summer, but we are headed in the right direction to refill our reservoirs for good water flows. Something to note is that the majority of this snow is above 8000 feet in elevation. This means access to the Snake is pretty reasonable and with above average temperatures down low, fishing has been good. Nymphing is the name of the game with Midge imitations – Zebra Midges, Disco Midges, Black Beauties, Red Copper Johns in sizes #18-22. Our Winter Stoneflies aren’t quite active yet, but be on the lookout as we move into February…
It’s been awhile since my last fishing report for the Jackson Hole valley, mostly because we’ve put away most of the fishing gear and pulled out the skis! Winter has arrived here with good snowpack and cold temperatures. There have been some pretty large ice flows floating in the Snake recently with below zero temps and I’m sure our Cutthroat are hunkered down wishing for warmer days… Good news is moisture content in our snow pack is up to 122% for the Snake and 128% for the Upper Green currently. Of course this can change between now and June, but it’s a good start. With reservoir levels in Jackson Lake and Palisades being extra low this year, we’ll need all the help we can get. Plus it’s fun to ski it before you float it!
Yellowstone National Park closes for the season this coming Sunday the 3rd, so now is the time to enjoy the superb Fall fishing for run-up Brown trout. There are numerous trout in the Snake, Madison, Gibbon, and Firehole River below the falls. Rainbows in the Madison system and Lake trout in the Snake follow these runs looking to feed off the eggs from these spawning trout. Lewis Lake also holds plenty of fall spawning Mackinaw and they are aggressive to the fly!