Let’s Go Fishing!

May 23rd, 2019

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and with it we welcome the 2019 fishing season in the Jackson Hole area.  This season is looking like it will be one for the books.  Our water situation is ideal, the fish have had a couple years of high water so they are big and healthy and the Westbank Anglers team is ready to get you out on the water.   First let me say, we have good fishing conditions on some of our area rivers right now, so don’t think there is no fishing because it’s runoff season, read on to learn more.

Currently, we are in the initial stages of runoff in the Snake River drainage.  Cold and wet weather last week slowed down the melt, but the tributaries and main Snake River are high, flowing fast and are off color.  As temperatures increase, so will flows and sediment load in the rivers.  Flows in the Snake River canyon approached 18,000 cfs last week, but have receded to just over 10,000 the past couple of days, expect them to get back above 20,000 cfs in early June.  Hopefully the Snake clears up by mid July, but in the meantime we have other great options.

Yellowstone National Park welcomes the opening of the 2019 season Saturday.  The main focus on opening weekend is the Firehole, Gibbon and upper Madison.  The Firehole has come down significantly over the past few days which bodes well for the opener.  Be armed with a variety of Baetis and Pale Morning Duns for the late morning / early afternoon and if its overcast and cool.  Caddis may also make an appearance if the sun comes out for a bit.

The South Fork of the Snake is the place I would be this weekend.  Flows had been consistent in the 13,000 range, but due to the wet cold weather flows were reduced to 11,000 cfs late on 5/23.  Expect small fluctuations in outflows while the colder than normal temperatures persist.    We have experienced some really good fishing on all stretches of the river.  The majority of action has been on subsurface patterns.  Nymphs in the #12-#18 range get the most attention, while we saw some good dry fly action yesterday.  Updates on flows from the BOR have indicated that they intend to keep flows in this range until Palisades Reservoir fills toward the end of June, at which point outflows may be increased slightly to accommodate the late snow melt.  The BOR stated that even if there is an unforeseeable event, they don’t anticipate flows exceeding 18,000 cfs.   And just as a reference, the past 2 years flows this time of year have been in the 22,000 – 25,000 cfs range.  Bottom line – we are sitting pretty for early season fishing on the South Fork.

Come by the shop or call us for more info or to schedule a early season guided trip.