Here at Roam and Reel we aren’t about the size of the fish, we are more all about the journey you take, the people you’re with and the memories you make. Well sometimes you have that chances to make memories with great people and catch big fish all at the same time. We had the chance to make a trek to the Snake River in Idaho below American Falls to find lots of wonderful fish with shoulders to spare on them. The catch about making this trip is if you don’t have a drift boat you can only fish it in the winter time so you can’t be a fair weather fisherman and be willing to brave the cold. You have to watch the flow chart to make sure you can even get to fishable water. Know where you are going and the depth of the river or you might die and be able to rally your boys in and instant and hit the road. Lucky for us right after Thanksgiving we lucked out and were able to gather some of the Prostate and put the rubber to the pavement and it all came together for us.
Our journey started at 6:00am in Salt Lake City and we headed north on I-15 and continued on until we got to Pocatello, Idaho. From there we headed West on I-86 until we hit the town of American Falls crossed the river and headed down the fish hatchery road to park and gain access to the river. When we were there the flows coming out of the dam were 500cfs. Most of the year the flows are around 4000 and it makes the river unwadable becuase of the size a depth of the Snake. When the flows drop below 1000 its time to start thinking about heading that way. A word of caution though!!!!!! There are pockets and lava flow channels in this river that are really deep and if you have no idea where you are going you have the possiblity of stepping of a ledge with a 10ft drop into so really cold water with a decent current. PLEASE DONT DIE! If you watch the YouTube video at bottom of the post you will be able to see the water clarity and depending upon flows you wont be able to see ledges
We started the day off by running midges above a balanced leech all under a strike indictor. Any color from white, olive, black, chocolate and even some had a hot head on them. We started to pick up anthing from natural rainbows to stockers to big sucker fish and all seemed to be taking the leech and deep. The fish dont seem to be leader shy because of the clarity of the water we were running 2x-3x flourcarbon. The reason we bumped up is for abrasion resistance for when the bigger fish would go on runs and would take you over rocks and against a lava rock ledge. Most of the fish were not doing subtle takes especially to sucker fish. They seemed to smash the fly and when hooked would dive low.
As the moved on we worked our way up river finding the deep channel and switched to a caddis pupa, the one that seemed to be the big ticket later in the day was specifically Rio’s Pupa Scoopa in Caddis Green. Running that as the top fly seemed to be the hot fly for us and even the sucker fish seemed to be taking it. There seemed to be maybe a span of 5 minutes inbetween somebody hooking up with the 4 of us being able to fish the same run
There were even several times where we were doubled up and even once where three of us were hooked up but not all three fish were landed. The fishing got better as the day went on as the air and water temperature got a bit more warm. We were even able to pick up a large non hatchery rainbow later on in the day as well.
If you do end up going to American Falls please be safe and make sure you know what youre doing. We fished it in the winter months when it was wadeable but you can also pick up big browns and rainbows during the summer on float trips. If you want to float the river in the summer with a guide contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get you linked up with a fantastic guide. Feel free to watch the YouTube video below, visit our partners page before purchasing products because they help keep us on the water and visit our shop for Roam and Reel fishing lifestyle apparel and stickers and free shipping with every purchase.