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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So here is the deal. I live less than 2 miles from the South Fork of the Snake River, between the Twin Bridges and Lorenzo ramps, only about two miles north of Big Juds if you have been there. Anyway, I have a raft I am setting up to float this summer as much as I can get out. I grew up fishing from the raft on the Salmon River, and we'd chuck spinners from the raft and did really well. I plan on lots of spin fishing, but also throwing flies. Anyone familiar with this section, or the Heise to Twin Bridges section? What suggestions do you have for me?

Watching the river last year, especially the flows, it seemed like it went from spring run off, straight into irrigation flows, which were still really high, just the water was more clear. I'm guessing that is a normal thing?? Anyway, any suggestions from you guys have are familiar with this part of the river would be helpful.

Thanks!

Gary
 

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The times I floated those sections (and it has been a few years now), we always did well tossing streamers. We fished it primarily in late may early June and the water always seemed to be high...
 

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Brother floats it weekly-( was a guide for years on the Yakima and other WA waters then moved to IF a dozen years or so ago- I go 5 or 6 times a year with him -
He's a big soft hackle swinging guy unless the hatch is coming off- If nothing is happening and he wants to fish dry his search pattern he ties up is a great golden stone that looks like it's fluttering on the water and brings up a lot of fish . But he has days swinging soft hackles that are epic. Really into getting people into it- love talking it- has a clinic or two and the Sportsmans up there and then down at the community pond at the exit 116 that goes up to Sunnyside. Always looking for a partner- quite a talker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What? You want to use GEAR????????:shock:

I thought that was beneath you. ;-)

Sorry, couldn't resist. Sounds like a lot of fun using either your Zebco or your bamboo.
It's all good. I can take some teasing my way! I expect it! Besides, I won't be using bobbers, er, I mean strike indicators, with my spinners. :)

And bamboo would never be appropriate on the South Fork. It is a tailwater. That would be, well, just not right.
 
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Throw a cicada or hopper during the hot summer days on some of the undercuts near the bank with deep moving current.

A mouse pattern fished the same way at dusk or on a full moon is a good time.

I have seen some big fish take insects off of twigs or grass in that river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks MuscleWhitefish. Nothing beats chucking hoppers in August on any river. Great suggestion. I didn't know the South Fork had any kind of cicada hatch??? Or do they just figure it a big stone fly or dark hopper?
 

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If you're talking about the stretch I think you are, you've gotta' go around Memorial Day and fish with Salmon Flies and Salmon Fly nymphs. There are also tons of Caddis flies on that section later in the Summer.
 

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Thanks MuscleWhitefish. Nothing beats chucking hoppers in August on any river. Great suggestion. I didn't know the South Fork had any kind of cicada hatch??? Or do they just figure it a big stone fly or dark hopper?
I think so, I don't speak fish :)

I think they just like big bugs falling into the water or next to the water on twigs. The big fish seam to hide in the undercuts. Most were browns in the undercuts. The cuts were in the typical trout water and would take smaller drys most of the time. The rainbows/hybrids and whitefish were in the deeper slower moving water.

When my buddy went to school in Rexburg we rent a canoe from BYUI would put in somewhere near Ririe and get out in Lorenzo. We would go to try and have a fish fry with the rainbow / cut bow hybrids, but had trouble finding them. The cuts you can pretty much catch all day with various types of flies. Make sure you have adequate lighting if you go out at night. It actually gets pretty dark on the river. We were young and dumb one year, so had to portage to get back to Lorenzo.

Have fun it is a great river and you can catch a lot of fish.
 

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If you're talking about the stretch I think you are, you've gotta' go around Memorial Day and fish with Salmon Flies and Salmon Fly nymphs. There are also tons of Caddis flies on that section later in the Summer.
You're a month early for Salmon flies on that river. They don't start to come off until the end of June, early July.

Gary, be careful on that section, it changes all the time. Lots of snags that can pop your raft. Side channels get completely blocked by logs, trees etc. People die on that section pretty regularly. As for flyfishing, start looking for the Salmon fly hatch down there around the 3 week of June. You can be nymphing before then but all the dry fly action starts around then. By July 4th the salmon flies will be in Swan Valley. The most consistant hatch is PMDs. During PMD hatches look for risers on the gravel bars. You can stop on the gravel bars and spend hours fishing to rising fish. The flows last year were not normal. The snow pack was almost nonexistent. That said, IMO the SF fished better last year then it has in a while. Hopefully this year is even better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Salmon River growing up was a different river every year, with all the snags and whatever else came down with the spring run-off, so I've got good river experience dealing with that. I was hoping to have a drift boat for this year, but that isn't going to happen so I have to make due with what I've got.

Mid June sounds about right for the stone flies. I'll get on tying some PMDs. I'm thinking I'll do a lot of spin fishing this year as well, because it is just easier out of the raft, and will give a chance to get to know the river. I know there is probably better fishing up stream, but I can hit the Heise to Twin Bridges and Twin to Lorenzo segments after work pretty easy. So many great rivers around here, it can drive a guy crazy. The Henry's is amazing, but it's an hour to get up on the Caldera to where I like to fish. I'm excited for a fun summer of getting to know these rivers better.

When I moved here, I got office space right on the south fork of the Teton River with hopes of sneaking out for some mid morning hatches. Then last year, they turned off all water not once, but twice, for irrigation diversion repairs. They already turned it completely off once this spring so any hopes of trout by the office are crushed. Urrrggggg.
 

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I just bought my first drift boat and have the same questions. I was told the first section below the dam would be a safe place to get used to the oars. Is this true? From what I have seen that stretch of water looks pretty flat.

T.B.
 

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Personally I was glad I was well in tune with a drift boat before I floated any section of the Snake. So many rivers you can get away with out paying total attention - the Snake isn't one of them.
 
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