By all accounts, Eastern Idaho is seeing its first real runoff of the year, and most of the feeder creeks and tributaries to the Henry’s Fork, South Fork and the Teton River are dirty and high. After recent snow and rain storms in February and March, snow pack levels for Eastern Idaho are all over or near 100% for this time of the year. This above-average precipitation is leading to a positive outlook for the water levels during our upcoming fishing season.
Back–to-back months of above average precipitation across most of Idaho boosted the water supply outlook according to the April report released by the Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service, which means Idaho farmers and fishermen may shake hands once again! The Upper Snake River basin as a whole should see early and continuing runoff if this weather trend continues with warmer days and more wet precipitation, and by all accounts, the Upper Snake’s water supply is in great shape to handle whatever weather this summer may bring.
This wonderful amount of early-season water may tease us and help deliver not only a fantastic mayfly season, but we may also finally see a hot hopper season to boot! This higher than average water supply, as well as the heavy snow melt forecasts, will also be extremely helpful in extending the longevity of our fishing season and aiding in keeping water temperatures down in the dog-day heat of August.
Many people think that runoff situations equal poor fishing, but I tend to disagree. Our fish are coming out of their 7-month icebox, during which, food availability is scarce and metabolisms are at their all-season lows. With weather such as what we have seen in our part of the country, fish are waking up to more food and slightly higher water temps, which will usually spark a feeding uptick. I can give you a great example – the Teton River. This is the time to catch the big fish off guard and usually the largest fish of the entire season come out of the early off-color water. Slow-twitching flashy streamers, nymphing larger presentations and making more casts should bring the average angler some decent success during a runoff situation.

Get out there and shake the dust off the fly rods and waders! Please contact any of our locations for the latest info and patterns, and to update your necessary gear as we have a wonderful selection of new waders, boots, rods and reels, and thanks from the Crew at Three Rivers Ranch!