Copyright 2015 James Marsh
Hatches and Trout Flies for the Snake River- Yellowstone National
The hatches on the Snake River are usually not very prolific but they are varied and plentiful.
The meadow sections of the stream have some aquatic insects that are not present in the fast
water sections of the stream.
Like most other western trout streams, PMDs, or Pale Morning Duns, are the most consistent
hatches of the mayflies on the Snake River. They are usually hatching when the water first
clears and last into the middle of September.
Spotted Sedges are very plentiful, especially in the meadow sections. They start hatching
around the first part of July and last through August. Little Sister Caddisflies hatch during the
same time period. Green Sedges are very plentiful in the fast water sections. Species of these
caddisflies hatch from about the middle of July all the way into October. Little Short-Horned
Sedges hatch during the second half of July. There are some Long-horned Sedges in the
meadow sections of the river.
Gray Drakes hatch from about the middle of July until the first week of September. This hatch
occurs in the lower meadow sections of the stream. Pale Evening duns, or Heptagenia species
of mayflies, hatch from about the first of August until September.
Salmonflies are present in the fast water sections. They start hatching about the first or second
week of July and can last into the first of August depending on the water and weather. Golden
Stoneflies will start hatching about the same time. They will be present in the fast water
sections of the stream. Yellow Sallies, or Little Yellow Stoneflies, are also present. They start
hatching the later part of July and last until the first of September.
You will find Yellow Quills, or the Eperous species, hatching from about the end of July through
August. Western March Browns start hatching about the same time and last through August.
Both of these mayflies prefer the faster sections of the stream such as the riffles and runs.
Grasshoppers, ants and beetles are very plentiful in the meadow sections of the Snake River.
They provide the perfect habitat for them. Imitations of these insect will work during late July,
August, September. Don't fail to have some flying ant imitations with you in August and
September. We have seen some of the largest flying ant falls we have ever seen on this river.
Our "Perfect Flies" have been tested on the Snake River in the park as well as though out its
length They have proven to be more effective than any of the generic or attractor flies, even
on the cutthroat trout. We have specific imitations of everything that hatches and in all stages
of life that the trout eat them in. If you haven't already tried them, we certainly hope you will.
Snake River, YNP
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