Copyright 2018 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
Fishing Report - Salt River,
Wyoming - May 19, 2018
(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.
Stream levels are down to 1830 cfs
at 3.81 ft, which is high but not too
high to fish in some sections. The
water is stained. Use streamers for
the best results.
Note: We lost all 2016 reports due to computer problems up until July 06.
07/06/17 The stream is down to 1380 cfs at 3.27 ft. That is a little too high to wade safely in
many places but the river can be fished in many sections. The water is clear and there are
lots of insects hatching.
07/13/17 The river is at 1050 cfs at 2.84 ft. That is a little too high to wade in many places but
okay in others. There are some trout being caught by our customers. We received two good
reports from the past week. It is continuing to drop and should be low enough to wade
anywhere very soon. Lots of hatches are taking place.
07/20/17 The flows are at 872 cfs at 8.59 ft. That is a little high but it can be waded with caution
in many places, especially the upper sections. There are lots of insects hatching and trout being
caught. We had one customer send in a good report just yesterday.
07/27/17 The flows are still 767 cfs at 2.44 ft, or a little high, too high to wade most places, but
okay in some if you use caution. It should continue to drop rather fast. There are some good
hatches going on and trout being caught.
08/03/17 The levels are about the same as last week, a little above normal. Some sections can
be waded with caution but most can't. Drift boats could probably do okay. We didn't receive any
reports this past week from anyone fishing.
08/10/17 The river is at 767 cfs at 2.40 ft, or a good bit higher than normal. It can be fished from
a drift boat successfully, but wading isn't safe in most sections. Some headwaters can be waded
08/17/17 The river is still flowing a little above normal levels. Wading is tough to unsafe in most
areas. Drift boats are doing very well. The headwater are providing some wading opportunities.
There are still plenty of hatches taking place.
08/25/17 The stream levels are down to just a little above normal and there are plenty of places
that are safe to wade. We received two good reports from this past week. There are still plenty of
hatching insects and Carpenter ants and Japanese beetles are also working good.
08/31/17 The stream is flowing a little above normal but okay for wading in most places. We are
getting good report almost everyday. All sections are in good shape including the headwaters.
09/07/17 The river level is just a little above normal and in good shape. We continue to get some
good reports from customers fishing in all sections of the river. There are still some good
hatches and terrestrials are working.
09/14/17 The river is in running just a little above normal and in good shape. We received one
good report from a customer this past week. There are several hatches going on and terrestrials
are working good.
09/21/17 The stream levels are a little high, too high to wade safely in most places but with
caution, okay in some. There is a chance of rain or snow everyday through Monday, so the levels
will likely stay high for a few days. October Caddis have begin to hatch.
09/28/17 The flows are 788 cfs at 2.42 ft above the lake. That is still okay for drift boats but a little
to high to wade in most places. Some sections may be okay to wade with caution. BWOs,
Mahogany duns, Dark Red Quills, Western Ginger Quills, October caddis and Spotted Sedges
10/05/17 The flows are at 788 cfs at 2.42 ft. This is a little high but the stream can be waded with
caution in a few places and drift boats should do well at these levels. There are good BWO,
Mahogany dun, and October Caddis hatches taking place.
10/12/17 Conditions remain about the same. Flows are a little high but can be fished in some
sections provided caution is used. There are some nice size trout being caught on our Sculpin
10/19/17 The stream flows are still a little high but some areas can be waded with caution. We
received one good report from the past week. There are some good Blue-winged olive hatches
10/27/17 The stream levels are just a little above normal levels and in good shape. You can wade
some sections provided caution is used. There are good BWO and Midge hatches. There are still
some October caddis hatching in the lower river. Our sculpin streamers are catching the larger
11/03/17 The stream levels are a little high, too high to wade most places. Drift boats could do
well where it is legal to use them. Midges and little Blue-winged olives are the most important
insects. Sculpin streamers are getting the larger trout.
11/10/17 Flows are at 746 cfs at 2.34 ft, which is a little high. It is tough to not safe to wade most
places. There are good hatches of cream and red or blood, midges along with lots of Blue-winged
olives, especially on cloudy days. Sculpin streamers are catching the larger trout. We had one
good report from a customer this past week.
11/18/17 The river is still flowing a little high, too high to wade in most places. Midges and BWOs
are hatching. We didn't receive any reports this past week.
11/25/17 The river is still running a little high but can still be fished with some success. The water
temperature is in the mid forties. Midges, creams and reds (blood) are hatching alon with some
Blue-winged olives on warmer, cloudy days. We didn't receive any reports this past week.
12/02/17 The stream levels are still a little high for wading. The water is cold in the middle and
upper sections and about 40 degrees in the lower section. Sculpin streamers have been working
along with Blood and cream midges.
12/09/17 The stream levels are still a little above normal but could be waded with caution in a few
places. Midges are the most important insects to imitate.
12/24/17 The stream levels are high, too high to wade safely most places. The water is cold with
some slush ice and lots of bank ice and snow. Midges and Winter stoneflies are hatching good.
01/08/18 The stream levels are still a little above normal for this time of the year but probably can
be waded in some places. Midges, creams and blood midges, and Winter stoneflies are hatching.
01/23/18 The stream levels are a little above normal levels but it can still be fished and waded
with caution in some areas. Midges and Winter stoneflies are hatching.
02/02/18 The stream levels are still up. It is flowing at 5.92 cfs at 2.11 ft. That is a little high, too
high to wade most places. The water is cold, averaging from 32 to 35 degrees. You can catch
trout on midges and winter stoneflies.
02/16/18 Conditions are the same as last week. The stream levels are still high, too high to wade
most anywhere. The water averages just above freezing to freezing in places.
02/22/18 The stream levels are still a little high with few places low enough to wade safely. Fish
the lower section of the river. Midges, creams and reds and winter stoneflies are hatching.
Sculpin streamers should work. There is some slush ice, lots of bank ice and snow and some
shelf ice where the water slows down.
03/02/18 The river is a little warmer but still very cold. The water is about 35 degrees above the
confluence of the Snake. Midges, winter stoneflies, Skwala stoneflies and Sculpin are the foods to
03/09/18 The stream levels are down to just a little above normal. The coming week is going to be
warm and melt much of the slush ice in the water. Midges, sculpin, Skwala stoneflies are the main
foods to imitate.
03/16/18 Skwala stoneflies and a few Winter stoneflies are hatching. Cream and Light Green
midges are hatching good. Stream levels are just a little above normal.
03/23/18 03/23/18 The stream levels are up very high, too high to fish. It is flowing at 823 cfs at
2.45 ft. It should fall out fast and get back into decent shape very soon. Check back with us.
03/30/18 The river is still high, too high to wade safely in most places. It is mostly from melting
snow and should fall this coming week. Midges, Skwala stoneflies and March Brown mayflies are
04/06/18 Flows are at 1340 cfs at 3.14 feet above the near Etna. This is too high to wade safely.
Conditions should improve this week with warmer weather and less rain/snow.
04/13/18 The stream flows are still a little high and the water still cold, in the high thirties and low
forties. It may can be waded in some areas if caution is used. Trout can be caught on midges and
Skwala stonefly nymphs.
04/21/18 The stream levels are still high, too high to wade safely most places. The water is
stained from melting snow runoff. March Browns, Blue-winged olives and Skwala stoneflies are
still hatching in some sections.
04/28/18 The river is flowing around 1860 cfs at 3.85, or too high to fish. This will likely continue
for the coming week. There is rain and snow in the forecast for the next week.
05/12/18 The river is flowing at 2300 cfs at 4.35 ft., or very high. Make sure you check the level
before traveling far to fish it. Check back with us. We will keep you informed.