South Fork Snake 9/6

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by troutpocket, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. troutpocket

    troutpocket Active Member

    May 18, 2004
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    Ellensburg, WA
    I had a work trip to Idaho Falls that allowed getting away on Thursday to fish. After playing phone tag for several weeks with a friend who lives in that area, a plan came together. He had relatives in from out of town that wanted to fish as well so he rented a drift boat and I brought my watermaster. We drifted from Palisades Creek to Conant, about 11.5 miles, an easy float at 8,000 cfs.

    The day started off chilly and drizzly. Perfect streamer weather. It only took 1.5hrs to cover the first 3 miles of the float. In that stretch I had 5 serious grabs and landed two big cutts. It was very straightforward streamer fishing. All the fish hit a #2 Double Bunny slapped within inches of the bank and ripped back to the boat.

    We took a quick break at the Irwin access to rig up for fishing the islands and braids that would make up the river for the remainder of the float.

    There was a drawback to using my watermaster. Navigating all the splitting channels and looking for the perfect riffles to fish made it tough to drift and fish at the same time. I ended up fishing less than the guys in the driftboat but still had a great time working the water around the islands.

    Dry fly opportunities never really panned out. I picked up another 8 or so rainbows and cutts in the 12-16” range plus a load of whitefish by nymphing my way around the myriad side channels and gravel bars. The sun finally burned through around 3pm but we still never really saw bugs popping. We continued fishing until we reached the takeout around 7pm. Any day I can catch 10 fat trout is great and some piggy whitefish were a bonus. I feel lucky to have done so well on my first day out on that river. There were another 15 or so boats working the same float, seemed like a lot for mid-week. We found out after the float as we were enjoying the homemade meatloaf at a bar in Swan Valley that the 2007 One Fly Tournament was being held on the SF Snake that weekend. I guess a lot of those guys were out scouting their drifts for the big contest. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to fish that river.
  2. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Jun 28, 2005
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    Seattle, WA
    Sounds like a good time. I floated that river several times in the '70's just for fun in a canoe (I wasn't a fly fisherman then) and have fond memories. We used to put in below the dam and take out at the bridge.