03-22-2008, 12:25 AM
Snake River Fly Fishing Floats In Jackson Hole
Snake River Fly Fishing
Floating the Snake River in Jackson Hole begins just below the dam at Jackson Lake and continues down to the Whitewater stretch above Palisades Reservoir in Alpine Wyoming. I've floated most but not all of these stretches. There are a total of 8 or 9 stretches I believe. The first 4 of which are located in Grand Teton National Park. Floating in the park requires a boat permit. You can get your permit at the Park Visitors Center in Moose. They are not expensive and are good for one year. The next 4 to 5 stretches are outside the park and do not require a permit. Just remember that above the high water mark is private property.
[img2="left"]http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/geek/gars/images/4/thumb_snakriver.jpg[/img2] The first stretch is the Dam to Pacific Creek. This is one of the shortest stretches at approximately 5 miles. The river tends to be slow meandering deep water on this stretch, and has few riffles and side channels. I've only floated this stretch once about 12yrs ago. It was a couple weeks before the spring runoff. Temperature was in the mid 40s so we were slow fishing streamers and nymphing. Be warned that pre season you will have to slide your boat down the snow from the parking lot to launch. I assume you can back your trailer down the bank once the snow melt. Best to check with the Park Service when you get your boat permit.
Stretch number 2 is Pacific Creek to Deadmans Bar. This stretch is one of my personal favorites. Water is faster with some nice riffles you can hop out and work on foot. River braides up some in this stretch and hold nice fish. Pre season fishing will be mostly streamers and nymphs. After the runoff dry fly action will pick up and continue right through fall.
Stretch number 3 is Deadmans to Moose. Deadmans is on the east bank and Moose is on the west bank. The road into Deadmans is gravel and can be a bit bumpy early and late in the season. The boat launch at Moose is located behind the Visitors Center where you got your permit. It is paved and rather steep not to mention busy with both recreational and commercial traffic. Take your time and wait your turn. When your turn comes launch or load your boat quickly and clear the ramp. Sort your gear afterwards. This stretch holds good
fish in the 14 inch to 24 inch range. There are more side riffles and side channels and is really good once the hoppers start flying. About 2/3s of the way down there is a nice spring creek flowing in on the west bank that you can walk back in if no one is there ahead of you. This creek holds nice fish 16 inches and up and is definitely worth a stop.
Stretch number 4 is Moose to Wilson. Both the put in and take out are on the west bank of the river. First mile or so is still in the Park so a permit is required. Basically about the same as Deadmans to Moose. Water flows a bit faster as there is a greater drop in elevation. Not as many side channels due to the number of rock levies built to protect homes from flooding. Still a really good stretch. Holds nice fish and offers good streamer, nymph and dry fly action.
The 5th stretch is Wilson to South Park. I spend 90% of my guiding time on this stretch. Both the boat launches are gravel. Wilson is well maintained while South Park receives little maintenance as it is on private property.As this stretch is close to town and does not require a permit sine it is outside the park it can be busy. Please use proper boat ramp etiquette and don't crowd other floaters. This is where the riverbed widens out from levy to levy. The result is many side channels, riffles and pocket water providing plenty of opportunities to get out and work river on foot. This stretch hold lots of nice fish. Many of which are in the 14 to 24 inch range. The length is 12 miles and depending on water flow and time spent out of the boat can take anywhere from 4 hours to all day.
There are 3 to 4 more stretches from South Park to the Whitewater. I have not fished these myself but have heard good things about them. If you are interested in these stretches check with the local fly shops. Also check with them about any new river hazards like log jams and impassable channels. The will also be glad to help you with with current fishing reports and recommended shuttle services.
Don't forget your sunscreen as you will be about 7,000 feet closer to the sun here. Bring rain gear and extra layers as adverse weather can blow in quickly. One member of your party should remember to bring a camera to document your adventure. Last but not least be safe and have fun.