River: Snake River in Wyoming – fishing in the shadow of the Tetons

May 1, 2019

If you’ve never taken in the glory of the Teton range, take our word, it’s a sight to remember. In the riffles and pools of Wyoming’s Snake River hide some of the best Cutthroat fishing you’ll find anywhere and you’ll be in the company of some of the greatest scenery in the U.S. No matter what time of year you choose to visit this area you’ll love the activities, people and culture that surrounds every aspect of the notorious Jackson Hole area of Wyoming.



Originating within the legendary Yellowstone National Park, the Snake River scoots along the Jackson flats at the very toes of the bare rock spires of the Tetons. Eventually, it spills into Jackson Lake which is great for fishing in its own right.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, the river takes brave adventurers through the Bridger Teton Forest where seclusion and scenery are the names of the game. Don’t be surprised to encounter moose, bison, elk, mule deer and more.

Because of the high elevation, deep snow can remain until late spring. You can thank the rugged geography for the relatively short season of fishing though if you’re willing to brave some nasty weather you may be able to eke out a few extra weeks.


Aquatic Species

  • Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat


Food by Season

Bug – Griffith’s Gnat

Season – April through August

Sizes – 16 – 20


Bug – Sparkle Dun

Season – April through June

Sizes – 16 – 20

Bug – Vernille San Juan Worm

Season – April through September

Sizes – 14

Bug – Zebra Midge

Season – April through July

Sizes – 16 – 20

Bug – Quick Sight Ant

Season – June through August

Sizes – 14 – 18

Bug – Parachute Beetle

Season – June through August

Sizes – 12 – 16

Bug – Foam Park Hopper

Season – June through July

Sizes – 10 – 12

Bug – Adams

Season – During Mayfly Hatches

Sizes – 12 – 18


Fishing Techniques

Mayfly Hatches: Throw just about any dry mayfly imitator during a hatch and you’re bound to get a good fight out of the Snake River Cutthroats. Adams and Parachute Adams bugs may be one of the most versatile and widely used bugs for this approach, but many others will work.

Midge Hatches: During midge hatches, you’ll need to be ready to throw something like the Zebra Midge bug we mentioned above. Get creative and try both wet and dry midge bugs including nymphs to see which they like better!

Caddis Hatches: If you find yourself on the river during a caddis hatch, try various forms of elk hair Caddis bugs and bead head caddis bugs.

Fall Fishing: Snowmelt from the nearby ranges can last well into summer so a late summer or early fall trip can be a little more predictable. Try a fall trip to sidestep crowds and capitalize on changing colors of the beautiful landscape.

Float Trips: Book a float trip (or take your own boat) to get the best fishing you can find on the Snake. Shore access can be tricky and crowded at times in the areas that are readily accessible.

Timing: Try fishing the best slice of the year from mid-June to mid-September and get on the river during the middle of the day.

Rod: 5 or 6 wt rods will work just fine here.

Line: Be ready with both floating and sinking line to tackle the various parts of the river, especially if floating.



Flying into Jackson Hole puts you smack dab in the middle of some of the best outdoor recreation in the U.S. During those summer months, all eyes turn to the Snake River and anglers compete for a bite from the native Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat trout.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently, you can fish this river from the bank or from a float. Beware early season crowds, however, as the locals are avid anglers and the area is a destination stop.

Sign up for a FREE bonus starter kit box from BugClub to get a quick jump on preparing your gear bag for a Snake River trip! We send you quarterly boxes with bugs for every season so no matter what time of year you decide to step up and challenge the Snake we’ll have your back! Click here to learn more.

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