Regional Reports-West

South Fork

Whether you use flies, bait or hardware, the time to catch a South Fork Snake River trout comes on either side of Independence Day. That's when the big stonefly hatch usually kicks up and you'll have the chance to catch cutthroats on the surface with flies the size of a wine cork. Also, the river's larger browns will slam Rapalas and big Panther Martin spinners or a variety of baits, including bullheads and hellgrammites. The first stoneflies show near Menan during the final week of June; the hatch might last as few as 10 days. Good fly patterns are the old-time Super Renegade, the Madame X on top or Yuk Bugs under the surface. But the best big-fish lure is a gold No. 7 Countdown Rapala. Idaho's state-record brown, a 26-pound, 6-ouncer, came out of the South Fork, and 18- to 24-inch fish aren't uncommon. Contact: Fin-Chasers, Idaho Falls (208-557-0333); Idaho Fish and Game,