July and August are not the only hot fishing months on the Upper Snake River in Jackson Hole. If you want to avoid some crowds and get an early start to your fishing season the spring can provide the best fishing of the year. A lot of the cutthroat will migrate into smaller tributaries for the summer months. The average size of cutthroat is biggest in the spring and again in the fall when the fish move back to the main stem of the Snake. Don’t rule out a spring or fall fishing trip on the Snake.
An abundant midge hatch in early March takes place as cutthroat rise to get in the action. Video by Spencer Morton.
Time of Year-We are fortunate to have an abundance of fishing options from March to early November. Check out some highlights from each Season below.
- Late winter/Spring (February-May)Typically, the early Spring months provide cold mornings and evenings with some fantastic fishing in the warmer parts of the day. Starting around March, the trout are hungry after a long cold winter and are feeding aggressively with the first abundant bug hatches of the season (as seen in the video.) Guests will have opportunities to nymph and throw dry flies in the spring. With that said if we get a rare warm day in January or February, we have had successful wade trips in those winter months. All of our bookings prior to April are weather dependent and we will happily reschedule your trip if weather does not cooperate. One of the best times of year to fish the snake is the window between when the temps bump above 40 and before runoff starts. The river will raise fast as the snow melts creating good opportunities to try some different water other than the upper Snake River. Last year the river increased flows drastically around the beginning of June, more regularly runoff will start up in May.
- Early Summer(June-July) Depending on the snow pack from the winter this time of year usually provides peak flows on the Snake River. When runoff is happening on the Snake our guides get excited about exploring still water, walk wade trips on smaller tributaries and floating options on other rivers. This time of year, produced some of our most successful trips on Lewis Lake, wading the Firehole River, floating the Green River and many more. This is the perfect time to book a walk wade trip to the Blackrock ranger district and explore some backcountry fishing options.
- Late Summer(August-September)- The Snake River really starts to come alive in Late summer, the river flows level out and the gin clear water returns. With tons of different bugs hatching including various Mayflies, Caddis, and Stoneflies. This is when anglers can throw big dry fly and terrestrial patterns and watch incredible top water eats. The cutthroat trout aggressively take advantage of the wide variety of food in the river and do not hold back from aggressively attacking big flies on the surface. The average size of the cutthroat will start to increase as some bigger fish move away from smaller tributaries and into the main stem of the Snake River.
- Fall(September-November) From mid-September to early November the snake shows its true colors as one of the best fall trout fisheries in the world. The river continues to drop until it hits “winter flows” usually in October where it will stay until spring. The leaves start to change colors providing incredible views of the surrounding area. Big fish are around and preparing themselves for winter by feeding as much as possible. This time of year, still provides great dry fly fishing and hatches in the warmer parts of the day. The river begins to thin out again and solitude returns, the upper snake in the fall is second to none.