A traditional western freestone stream, it originates in the Gros Ventre Range roughly 40 miles South of Jackson, and flows steadily North West only fifteen miles flowing into and feeding its big-water cousin, the mighty Snake River at Hoback Junction just ten miles South of Jackson.
Accessing the Hoback
The Hoback River has definite advantages for fishermen. It is easy to access and easy to wade in. A vast amount of fishable water is easily accessed along highway 189/191 (north of Bondurant as you enter Hoback Canyon) at various pull-offs, rest areas, and camping areas. While the upper part of the river is mostly private as it meanders along open meadows through private ranches, the mid and lower sections of the river provide anglers opportunity to work pockets, fast riffles, and deep holes.
A first impression of the river is that it doesn't look like much, meaning it appears shallow, too fast, and deceptively small. While the widest part of the river is only twenty feet near its confluence at the Snake, the average width of the river along the highway is only fifteen ft.
The Canyon section of the river snakes its way along the steep cliff walls making it hard to focus on the river because many anglers find themselves looking up at the six hundred foot walls of sandstone and red rock.
When you find a spot that suits your fancy to dip a line, make sure your vest contains some medium sized attractors. Dry flies are the most fun to fish as these fish usually charge the surface hard. Hoppers, beetle patterns, orange stimulators, and parachute adams are great fish-finders and fish-catchers. Putting a cast over the right spot is sure to rise a native Fine Spotted Snake River Cutthroat Trout. An 8 1/2 ft. or 9 ft. 4 or 5 weight will be the desired rod for your fishing pleasure.
The fish average 8-13 inches in the Hoback however, in the late Spring and early fall, you may have the chance to catch a Cutthroat in the 16 inches plus range. Remember, the Hoback flows into the Snake, and many larger fish from the Snake will travel up the Hoback for cooler water and natural spawning areas. The river typically clears earlier than the Snake making it a fun destination while most other river are running off-color during the Spring run-off. You can expect to find good fishing from late June through October. The Hoback is sure to do anything but disappoint even the most discriminating angler.