Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Salt River In
The Salt River is one of the little known, larger size rivers
in the state of Wyoming. It flows out of the Salt River
Range into Pallisades Reservoir on the Snake River.
The stream flows through Star Valley between the Salt
River Range and the Caribou Mountains. Most of the
property it transverses is privately owned but the state
provides several access points along the way. It can be
fished by wading from these access areas or drifting the
river in a small pontoon type boat or canoe.
The Salt River has native fine-spotted cutthroats, mostly
in its headwaters, with brook, rainbows and brown trout
throughout its overall 70 mile long length. It's known best
for its large brown trout. It has plenty of resident brown
trout and during the Fall, huge ones move out of
Pallisades Reservoir up into the river to spawn. Part of
the river is closed during November and December but
plenty of it is left open to fish for the migrating browns.
Fly fishing the Salt River is best during the early summer
months and again in the Fall. The river drops to low
levels during the late Summer making fishing a little more
difficult. Some of its water is used for irrigation.
The Salt River has about all of the typical western
aquatic insect hatches including a good hatch of the big
Salmonflies. Pale Morning Duns, Blue-winged Olives,
Dark Red Quill, Tricos, Pale Evening Duns, Yellow Quills
and Green Drake represent the majority of the mayflies.
There are several species of caddisflies including
Spotted Sedges, Green Sedges, October Caddis, Little
Back Caddis and others.
Other than the Salmonflies, you will also find Golden
Stoneflies and Little Yellow Stoneflies. During the
summer, terrestrial imitations often produce well.
Terrestrials include grass hoppers, beetles and
No, the water in the Salt River isn't salty. It is as fresh as
fresh can be. It's a beautiful stream, especially in its
headwaters which take up about thirty miles of the river's
length. It's a small stream in its headwaters and begins
at about 10,000 feet in elevation. Small rainbows,
brookies and native cutthroats make up its trout
population. Several tributaries increase the size of the
river upstream of the little town of Afton.
The fishing season for the Salt River is open year-round
except some areas are closed during the brown trout
during the spawning season.
Springtime is okay prior to the runoff.
Early Summer is the best time for fly fishing the Salt
Early Fall is the best time for catching the large brown
Winter is usually a tough time to access and fish the
stream but when possible, it can produce some trout.
Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Trout Flies
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Photo Courtesy of Stephen Lamb
Salt River Wyoming
Recommended Tackle & Gear
5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 & 12 ft., 5 or 6X, Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Superb Five or Ultimate Six
For 5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Salt River Fishing Report -
January 19, 2017
(See bottom of page for Archive)
Salt River Fishing Report
10/18/14 Brown trout are moving out of the reservoir into the river to spawn. Two customers
reporting catching some nice ones on our Brown Sculpin.
12/05/14 Our local contact is back and we will be resuming these reports more often. The
river can fish good on warm winter days. Let us have your reports.
12/13/14 A few trout were caught in the tailwater this past week. Sculpin streamers and
Midges (blood or red) pupa and larva in tandem.
01/13/15 We have only received one report the past two weeks. Customer caught a few
browns on midges. The weather is only a problem for you, not the tailwater trout.
01/22/15 Another good report from the same gentleman fishing last week. Conditions are
about as good as they get during the winter months.
02/05/15 The weather forecast for mid winter in Wyoming couldn't be any better. Stream
conditions are also good.
02/12/15 Some clarity problems with the water but other than that, conditions are great. Let
us hear from you.
02/19/15 No reports from the past week
02/26/15 No reports but conditions are improving although there is lots of snow and it is
03/05/15 The first report we have had in a while. Customer catching a few on midges in
the lower section. The weather and levels have been fairly decent recently.
03/19/15 Sorry, still no reports from anyone fishing. The water has been stained from snow
melt due to the recent warm weather.
03/26/15 The river is still high and off color. No reports from the past week.
04/02/15 High stream levels continue with no fishing opportunity.
04/16/15 Stream levels have receded but we didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing.
05/07/15 Runoff is underway. High water levels.
06/04/15 The river is still blown out.
06/11/15 No change, it will be a while longer.
07/02/15 The river is down to 692 cfs, clear and in good shape. Lots of insects are hatching
including PMDs, Spotted Sedges, Golden Stones, Little Yellow stones, Green drakes and others.
07/09/15 Good conditions continue. Give us a call or send an email and we will help you with
07/23/15 Great opportunity from the highest headwaters to the Pallisades reservoir. PMDs,
little yellow stones, golden stones, spotted sedges and even more hatches taking place.
08/05/15 Terrestrials starting to work. Tricos starting to hatch. Little Yellow stones, plenty of
caddisflies, PMDs, Pale Evening Duns, and other hatches taking place. Good stream levels.
08/12/15 This may be the most under fished river in Wyoming. No reports from anglers but
excellent stream conditions.
08/20/15 Conditions remain excellent and one customer reported catching several nice size
trout the first of this week.
08/27/15 This may be the biggest sleeper trout stream in Wyoming. It produces great
catches from the few anglers that fish it. Good conditions exist right now.
09/03/15 Granted, there is a lot of private sections you can't fish but what you can fish
produces as well as any stream in Wyoming. Several insects are hatching, depending on the
section you fish. Send us an email and we will be happy to provide you with hatch and fly info.
09/10/15 Superb weather and good stream levels from top to bottom. Two good reports from
local anglers. This one is a very much overlooked fly fishing destination.
09/17/15 The river has been high for some time but the level is now up just above normal. That
and the fact it is going to be much cooler, should really improve the fishing, even thought it has
been very good.
09/24/15 Conditions are great right now. Good stream levels for wading and great weather.
Lots of hatches are still taking place. Browns are getting in the pre-spawn mode big time.
10/01/15 You can add October caddis to the fly list. They have started hatching along with the
Spotted Sedges, Green sedges and Pale Evening duns. Conditions are still very good.
10/08/15 Only the local anglers are taking advantage of great stream and weather conditions
on the Salt River. It doesn't get any better anywhere in the northwest at this time of the year.
10/15/15 If anglers knew what they were missing the river would be crowded. Great conditions
exist with very few anglers. Check the state regs for spawning closed sections.
Map of Salt River Wyoming
10/21/15 There are plenty of brown trout either spawning or in the pre-spawn stage taking
streamers like our Brown sculpin but be sure to check the regulations. Some sections are off
limit during the spawn.
10/29/15 No reports from anyone fishing this past week but conditions have been very good for
this time of the year. Blue-winged olives are the main insects hatching but there may still be
some October Caddis left.
11/05/15 Some of the brown trout that moved up into the river from Pallisades Reservoir have
already spawned and some are currently spawning. The post-spawn browns always feed heavily
for a few days. The Brown Sculpin streamer fly is a good one to fool the browns in both stages.
11/12/15 Stream levels are still running a little low and that is normal for this time of the year.
Use lighter, longer leaders and tippets. Snow is forecast today and the first of next week. By the
way, Blue-winged olives will hatch even when it is snowing.
11/19/15 No reports from anyone fishing this past week. Conditions were not that bad and those
that fished streamers should have done good on the post-spawn browns. I guess the snow
scared everyone away.
11/26/15 We have had questions regarding the season: Salt River drainage upstream from the
Upper Narrows Bridge (Wyoming Highway 238) in Lincoln County. All trout shall be released to
the water immediately from November 1 through December 31. Fishing is permitted by the use of
artificial flies and lures only from November 1 through December 31. Salt River from one quarter
(¼) mile below the Highway 238 Bridge downstream to the Diversion (Murray) Fishing Access as
posted in Lincoln County. Fishing is permitted by the use of artificial flies and lures only.
12/03/15 Stream flows and levels are in very good shape. The water is colder, ranging from
about forty to thirty-six degrees, depending on the exact area and time of day. Midges is the
only insect you need to imitate. The Brown sculpin should continue to catch some big trout.
12/10/15 Winter stoneflies are hatching. Fish the nymph near the banks early and late in the day
and fish the adult imitation only if you see them laying eggs. Midges are still the most important
insect to imitate.
12/17/15 The Salt River is flowing along at a normal level but the water is very cold. There is
going to be little opportunity to fish without fishing when it is snowing because there is a chance
of it every day for the next week. The high temperature is only going to be 34 degrees for the
next seven days. It isn't impossible to catch a trout, but is sure isn't going to be easy. We
recommend fishing a tailwater like the South Fork of the Snake below Pallisades Reservoir.
12/23/15 The Salt River is a freestone River subject to change with the weather. In other words,
if the air is cold, it doesn't take long for the water to get cold. It is cold now, thanks to the cold
weather and snow the area has been having. You can catch trout, but you need to fish midges
and Winter stonefly nymphs in the slack water areas out of the current. That can be a hole in the
bottom beneath current or pools and pockets.
12/31/15 There is a chance of snow from Saturday through Sunday, otherwise it will be clear for
the following week. Stream levels should be fine. The water is very cold, just above freezing. You
may want ot choose a nearby tailwater.
01/07/16 Last week we recommended a nearby tailwater which would be the South Fork of the
Snake River. We don't like doing that if there is any other option. It is warming up just a little for
this coming week and maybe enough you could catch some trout from the Salt River. Midges are
the only flies you need.
01/14/16 The high temperatures will range from 27 to 32 degrees for the next week, with snow in
the forecast every day. The water temperature is only 34 to 35 degrees at the most with lots of
slush ice and ice around the banks. You would be much better off the fish the nearby South Fork
Snake river tailwater.
01/21/16 The air temperatures will be getting above freezing almost every day but there is snow
forecast every day for the coming week. When it does get above freezing it melts the high snow
along the banks and lowers the water temperature. Sorry. Head for the South Fork tailwater.
01/28/16 There is snow in the forecast from Friday through next Wednesday. The river level is in
good shape near normal but the water is very cold, in the low thirties just above freezing. Sorry,
but the water needs to get up to the mid thirties or higher to have any real opportunity.
02/03/16 The flow are at 381 cfs at 1.84 feet which is normal for this time of the year. The
problem is, the water has slush ice in it from the middle to the upper sections of the river and
everywhere it is moving slow or still. There is some 37 degree water on the lower end.
02/11/16 The weather is going to be much warmer this coming week and that may help get rid of
some of the ice. The section just about the Pallisades Reservoir is in the best shape. Fish
midges, winter stonefly nymphs and little BWO nymphs in the holes in the bottom of runs and
pools out of the fast current.
02/18/16 Recent warm weather has melted a lot of ice in the water and conditions have improved
but the water is still cold. It is mostly mid to high thirties. We still think the best option is to fish
near the reservoir. That is the warmest water you will find on the Salt. Midges are the key insects
02/25/16 The Salt River is still cold in spite of the warmer weather. Melting snow and ice in the
watershed keeps the water temperature in the mid thirties. The warmest water is in the lowest
section near the lake. Midges and winter stoneflies are hatching.
03/03/16 Stream levels are normal and the water clear. The weather is still warmer than normal
for this time of the year. If you fish, try just above the reservoir. Midges, both creams and reds,
with the larva and pupa fished in tandem works best.
03/10/16 The river is up just a little from melting snow due to the warm weather. It is also keeping
the water slightly stained and cold. High air temperatures have been in the fifties. Streamers, like
our White Belly sculpin would be a good fly choice.
03/17/16 The stream level is just a little above normal for this time of the year. The water is still
cold, averaging from the low thirties in the upper river to 40 degrees near the confluence of the
river and lake. Midges and Winter stoneflies are still the main insects to imitate.
03/24/16 The stream levels are still in good shape, it is just the cold water temperature you have
to deal with. The very lowest end of the river is the warmest, but it is in the high thirties and very
low forties at the highest. Midges, creams and red or blood midges, fish in tandem should work
03/31/16 The river is in pretty good shape for the end of March. The section just above the lake
is warmest and it's water isn't but about 42 degrees. Skwala stoneflies will be among the first big
insects to hatch.
04/06/16 Conditions are pretty good at this time. Skwala stoneflies should already be crawling
out of the water to later provide some great egg laying activity. The water temperature is a
degree or two colder than it should be for it to begin, but anytime now.
04/13/16 The river is very high and off color right now and it is going to take some time to drop
and clear. There is snow forecast through tomorrow. The Brown Sculpin streamer would be a
good fly choice when it gets down some.
04/20/16 The stream levels are still very high and the water stained. It is cold from melting snow
as well. The lowest section would be he warmest but right now, there isn't much opportunity for
fly fishing at all. Watch the stream levels.
04/28/16 The Salt is running high due to melting snow and rain. There is a chance of snow every
day for the next week, so this is likely to continue. High temperatures reach the low 50's and
low's the 30's. Streamers are about the only choice.
05/05/16 The flows are a little high and the water slightly stained. Streamer fishing, especially
using our Sculpin patterns, should be good in the lower section. The water is near the 50 degree
mark and the Mother's Day Caddis hatch could start anytime now.
05/12/16 The Salt River is in fair shape. The river is still a little high and off color. Blue-winged
olives and little Black Caddis are still hatching. One reports is all we received this past week and
it was two fish both on sculpin streamers.
05/19/16 The river can be fished but it is high and dingy from runoff. There isn't very much
opportunity. Streamers are the best option if you choose to fish at this time.
05/26/16 The stream level is still very high and the water badly stained. It is in the runoff mode
and likely to be that way for several more days. We will continue to make weekly reports as to
06/02//16 The flows are at 1470 cfs at 3.38 ft., which is very high. The runoff is expected to be in
the full mode this coming week and it is likely to continue most of the month of June.
06/09/16 The flows are at 1650 cfs right now just above the lake. That means it is too high to fish
anywhere. There isn't a tailwater on the Salt River, thank goodness, and that means it is going to
be a while before any fly fishing opportunity comes along. Keep checking back with us.
06/16/16 The flows above the lake are running 1270 cfs, which is high, but not extremely high.
You could fish it from the banks or via drift boat easily. The water is still dingy. The headwater
should be falling out and getting into good shape.
06/23/16 The flows above the lake are running 894 cfs, at 2.62 ft.,which is high, but not
extremely high. You could fish it from the banks, possible wade in selected spots, or via drift
boat. The water is still a little dingy. The headwater should be falling out and getting into good
06/30/16 The conditions are very good, with good with levels at 685 cfs above the lake and
better upstream. There are a lot of insects hatching including the big stoneflies, Yellow sallies,
Green drakes, Yellow Quills, Gray drakes, Spotted sedges, Green sedges and more.
07/07/16 The stream is flowing at 618 cfs at 2.22 ft,, which is a good level. It is clear and in good
shape from the headwaters down to the Pallisades Reservoir. Much of the river can be safely
waded. There are a lot of insects hatching, but they vary depending on the section you fish.
07/14/16 The river is in very good shape with levels a little below normal and easy to wade water.
There are numerous insects hatching and lots of trout being caught by our customers. Send us
an email and we will send a list to you.
07/21/16 The stream is in good shape, flowing a little below normal but offering good wading
opportunity in many places. There are lots of hatches taking place including Pale Morning duns,
spotted sedges, little yellow stoneflies and more.
07/28/16 Stream levels are getting low and the water a little too warm in the lower section of the
river. Fish early and very late. The headwaters are still in good shape but the water is a little low.
08/04/16 The river is still low and warm. Water temperatures are reaching the high sixties in the
late afternoon. We recommend fishing only in the mornings. The headwaters are small and low
but cooler. There is little to no rain in the forecast.
08/11/16 The stream level is still very low. That makes wading easy but also easy to spook trout.
Stay low and hidden as best you can. The upper and middle sections should be a little better
option but the weather is going to be cooler and we think the water temps will be okay this
08/18/16 The stream levels are down making it easy to wade about anywhere. The river is in
good condition from the headwaters to the lake. Customers are catching lots of trout. Big Trico
hatches, lots of two caddis species, PMDs and Little Yellow stones are still hatching in the
08/25/16 The stream levels are lower than normal for this time of the season from the
headwaters to the lake. Be careful not to spook the trout. Stay hidden as best you can and use
longer, lighter leaders and tippets. Fish during low light situations, early or late in the day.
09/01/16 The river is in good shape with lots of trout being caught in all sections of the river.
Stream levels are a little low but that makes it easy to wade. You do have to be careful not to
spook the trout.
09/08/16 The salt river is a little low but easy to wade in most all sections. The hatches vary with
the section and elevation. Send us and email with the dates you plan on fishing and approx.
location for a fly list.
09/15/16 The river is low, but otherwise in great shape. There are plenty of hatches taking place
and trout being caught in all sections. You just have to stay hidden from the trout and use
longer, lighter leaders and tippet.
09/22/16 The stream levels are still just a little low but rising. It is raining and will be off and on
through Saturday. Fishing is excellent right now. The higher water and cooler weather is got the
river in great condition in all sections.
09/29/16 It rained this week and the stream is back up near normal and in good shape. There
are lots of October Caddis, Mahogany duns and Blue-winged olives hatching.
10/06/16 The stream level is in good shape flowing at the normal level for this time of the
season. We had one good report this past week from a local customer. He caught some good
size fish on the Brown sculpin streamer. There some insects hatching, including October caddis
and Blue-winged olives.
10/13/16 The river is good shape with flows just a little below normal and great for wading. There
are lots of Pale Evening duns, October caddis, Yellow Quills, Dark red quills and Western ginger
quills. You can fish anywhere from the upper to the lower sections and catch trout.
10/20/16 The stream levels have been high most of the time during this past week. We didn't get
any reports from customers. Western Ginger Quills and Pale Evening Duns should be hatching
as well as the Blue-winged olives and October Caddis.
10/27/16 The stream levels are just a little high but falling. It should be in very good shape within
a day or two. Blue-winged olives are hatching good. Brown trout are spawning.
11/03/16 The river is in very good shape from the upper sections to the lake. Our customers are
catching some nice trout. Blue-winged olives and Cream midges are hatching good.
11/10/16 The stream levels are just fine and the water clear. The weather is turning much colder
and you will see a big drop in the water temperature. Midges and Blue-winged olives will be the
only hatches. Sculpin streamers should still work good.
11/17/17 We received a good report of some large trout caught from the lower section of the
river this past week. The White Belly sculpin streamer worked good. The only hatches of
importance at this time is red and cream midges and little Blue-winged olives. They hatch good
especially on cloudy days.
11/24/16 We didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing this past week. The discharges have
been rather heavy and few, if any, are fishing the tailwater. Of course, the upper river is closed
until next season. Streamers, like our Brown and White Belly sculpin were catching some large
12/02/16 The stream levels are in good shape. The water is cold in the middle and upper
sections of the river. We recommend fishing the lower section. Water temperature there is about
12/08/16 The stream levels are fine but the water is too cold to be very productive in our opinion.
The lower end of the river is in the mid thirties. Midges are the only insects hatching. Falling in
the water could be a disaster.
12/15/16 The high will get up to 35 degrees only one day this coming week and will average
below 20 degrees during the day. There will be a lot of slush ice in the water. We don't
recommend fishing under those conditions.
12/22/16 The highest air temperature for this coming week will be 33 and the average in the mid
to low 20's. There is a lot of slush ice in the water and it is just too cold to fish with any real
12/29/16 The water is still very cold and the high temperature this coming week is only going to
be 30 degrees and averaging much colder. The water has lot of bank and slush ice and in our
opinion, won't be worth fishing this coming week.
01/05/17 You may be able to get in some decent fishing opportunity this weekend. It will be a
little warmer but the water will still be in the mid thirties at the highest. Midges will hatch at that
temperature. Fish the larva and pupa in tandem, otherwise, try the tailwater below Pallisades, or
the South Fork Snake.
01/12/17 The weather is going to be much better with snow ending today and warmer weather
but it isn't going above freezing all week. That means the freestone Salt River will still have a lot
of ice and be barely above freezing. It is possible to catch trout feeding on midges in 33 degree
water, but very unproductive. Choose a tailwater.
This is going to read like a repeat
each week, but the conditions are
still rather lousy. You can catch
trout under this condition in the
lower river near the lake on midges.
There is heavy snow forecast
everyday this coming week and that
may be a bigger problem.