With the recent warm weather, fishing has really picked up around the Jackson Hole and Teton Valley area. The spring months can offer some of the best, unspoiled and unpressured fishing in the Rocky Mountain West. Our rivers start to become alive again after a long winter. Warmer days begin to increase water temperatures where trout become more active and move around from their winter lies and holes. Spring also marks the beginning of the rainbow spawn. Unlike Cutthroats, who usually spawn in river tributaries, rainbows usually spawn in main stem portions of the river. If you do happen across a redd (especially on the Henry’s Fork), please have the courtesy to let the fish reproduce unmolested. As for the South Fork and rainbows, you are encouraged to harvest Rainbow trout has they compete with the native Cutthroat species. The decision to harvest rainbows resides with the angler themselves.
Be on the lookout for Midges on all river systems right now. You may even see some capnia stoneflies (black 14-18) as well. These bugs will consist of the main portion of the bug hatches for the next couple of weeks until the Baetis, March Browns and Skawalas get going. Fish have been spotted eating midges on the surface on the South Fork, Snake Henry’s Fork and Teton Rivers and have been providing some great early season dry fly fishing. Small parachute adams, purple parachutes, griffith’s gnats, and sprout midges have been taking plenty on top. Nymphing with rubberlegs, zebra midges, small baetis imitations, ptails, SJ worms and small lightning bugs can be very productive this time of year as well as fishing small thin profiled streamers very low and slow and even on the swing. Remember, water temperatures are still cold and fish are on the sluggish side. Look for slower water types, especially areas where trout do not have to expel allot of energy to feed. It is not as easy as finding a riffle or bank in the summer that usually always holds fish. However, if you are patient, selective and proficient in finding the fish and water types; you can reap the rewards of the early spring fishing that rivals some of the best fishing to be had during the year!