Written By: Chris Jensen, The Lodge at Palisades Creek

Early-season journeys, whether or not floating or wading, are a refreshing change of tempo from the summer season crowds.
All pictures by  The Lodge at Palisades Creek

Again in 2004, Idaho Fish and Sport determined to permit year-round fishing on the South Fork of the Snake. (It was beforehand open from Memorial Day by way of November.) This alteration not solely helped to guard native cutthroat populations—by encouraging anglers to catch and maintain invasive rainbow trout in the course of the winter months—however it additionally created a brand new window for spring fishing. Historically, most anglers fished the South Fork after the run-off in the summertime and fall, and for a few years that included me. It wasn’t till shoppers began reserving journeys on the South Fork in Might that I actually started taking spring fishing right here severely, and my guides and I’ve found that it may be actually good. Listed here are a number of the techniques and flies I’ve discovered best.

A beautiful cutthroat trout fooled by an enormous, ugly nymph within the slower water of a aspect channel.


This time of 12 months, it’s largely nymph or streamer fishing, though in case you’re fortunate, you may also discover fish feeding on high. The flows aue greater and colder in Might, so focus your consideration on the slower water: search for aspect channels, grassy banks, riffles, again eddies, and even “frog water” that isn’t transferring in any respect. Whenever you’re the South Fork in the summertime, you would possibly need to pound the banks, however in Might, the water on these banks may be transferring too quick to fish successfully. 

The river is way much less crowded in Might than in the summertime months, and when you most likely received’t have any given part to your self, you would possibly solely see a number of boats at every launch, in comparison with dozens of boats in the course of the peak season. Attempt to benefit from the additional room and canopy extra water in a day, boosting your probabilities of discovering fish.

When you don’t get any follows utilizing a streamer, attempt a number of totally different colours earlier than switching to a special strategy.


Quite a lot of nymphs work properly in Might, particularly the large, ugly, heavy stuff like stonefly nymphs and Bead-Head San Juan worms. I tie an enormous rubber-legged stonefly nymph on a measurement 4 streamer hook that certainly one of my shoppers named “The Spark Plug” due to the best way it lands with a splash, on account of all of the lead I wrap into it. You probably have a San Juan Worm that’s so massive and gaudy that you just really feel a little bit dangerous even tying it on, that’s the one you need. The identical applies to streamers.

However Might isn’t all concerning the massive stuff. You will discover good hatches of midges and blue-winged olives, in addition to the occasional Skwala stonefly. When you’re seeing midges and/or BWOs on the floor, my largest tip could be to right away seize a nymph rig and placed on a nymph (reminiscent of a Tungsten Psycho May Olive) or delicate hackle (reminiscent of a CDC PT Jig), except you see trout rising and might change to a dry fly (reminiscent of a Mini Hot Mayfly Garcia).

Chris Jensen is a former information and present advertising liaison for The Lodge at Palisades Creek in Irwin, Idaho.


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