Just downstream of the South Fork Lodge and the Conant boat ramp is the storied canyon stretch of the South Fork of the Snake River. For 22 miles, the river slices through basalt cliffs and a roadless, verdant cottonwood forest. It’s a wild float through wild country on a river bursting with trophy trout.
The canyon is a remnant of the last great eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano that deposited lava throughout the region. The river cuts through this volcanic past, giving anglers the opportunity to see with their own eyes how this stunning landscape came to be.
That’s only if the fishing allows for some sightseeing.
Anglers are just too busy to take in the geologic wonders of the canyon, at least to any great degree.
Instead, they’ll be exploring hidden side channels, backwater sloughs, or walking among the many riffles in search of the next trout they’ll tell stories about for years to come.
During the early-summer stonefly hatch and the late-summer terrestrial season, the canyon is where any enthusiastic dry-fly angler wants to be. Big browns seemingly lose their innate sense of self-preservation when the big bugs are on the water, and equally big cutthroats and rainbows key in surface flies.