Jackson Hole Spring Fly Fishing Report- April 8, 2014

Before I get into a Fly Fishing report I have to say WOW, what a winter season! The winter started off fairly benign with cold, dry spells that made us skiers twitch, only then to tease us with a storm or two. But then February rolled into action and things changed almost over night. From February through March we received over 250" of moisture goodness and now us fisherman will have to pay-- its tough but a good thing to have plenty of water in the mountains but this year it is a deep base! For now our rivers are running clear and the fishing is HOT! Most areas are seeing very good streamer action and some decent dry fly fishing later in the afternoon, mostly midges but a few BWO's and some tiny black stoneflies. In the next couple weeks we should begin to see skwalla nymphs and adults on the prowl, this hatch often coincides with early runoff-- stained but fishable water.
Guide, Dave Smith somewhere on JHMR, scenes like this were common in the 2013-14 ski season that just wrapped up last weekend.
Skis are all waxed and put away… now we organize flies, clean lines, test rods, gear up boats, purchase permits and yes, of course, go fishing! Some guiding is happening but for the most part this early season bite is for the locals to enjoy and boy is it a good one. Today temps were the warmest of the year topping out around 60 and the next few days look similar so the boat hatch will be in full swing by the weekend.
A true Bugger barn ready for the boat!
Flows on the Snake are still very low, currently around 600cfs @ Moose but you can begin to see a wavy pattern developing in the hydro-graph as afternoon temps climb. This signals a saturation in the low elevation snowpack and once it goes it will take a strong cold front to seize that moisture in the pack from flowing. Inevitably, the river is going to blow out sooner than later(predicting April 24) so now I play the guessing game and study weather patterns, much like a skier freak staring at the radar, waiting on a storm. Your guess is as good as mine but then the next question is when will the rivers clear(predicting July 24)? Currently we are holding a 144% of normal pack, therefore at a minimum I would expect the Snake to clear no earlier than mid-July. This will only happen if we have a nice warm May-June and not too wet, fingers are crossed!
Sculpzilla crushing cutthroats, these are awesome fish!
 The Green River drainage has an even larger snow pack, nearing 170% of normal. This area however drains cleaner sooner and can fish quite well in high water, much like the Big Hole or Beaverhead. I still do not expect to float post runoff here until mid-July, but then the fishing will be insane with hatches and a waining, late runoff… the best will be late summer into the fall. High water years are great, you just have to get your mind around what is about to happen now and get over it. Remember we do guide some awesome lakes as well as the Firehole River in YNP if you find yourself in JH in June, look us up!


Popular Posts