This is shaping up to be one of the best years of winter fishing on the Snake in recent memory. There has been good action in deep pools on days with colder air and water temperatures, but the big news is that we have had serious, multi-day warm spells (sometimes over 40 degrees) for the past month and a half that are putting the action in riffle tailouts, seams, and side channels into overdrive during the afternoon. Double nymph rigs consisting of #10 or #12 lead flies with #14 to #18 trailers are fishing best. Takes are subtle, so be prepared to set the hook at the slightest movement of your line or indicator.
Effective nymphs – BH Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Flashback Prince Nymphs, Biot Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Lightening Bugs, Robins, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Effective Streamers – Light Brite Zonkers, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Clouser Minnows, Beldar Buggers, and J.J. Specials.
It still feels like March on the South Fork many days over the past month Warm air temperatures and warm water temperatures as well. Riffles pools, riffle current margins, seam tailouts, and flats are all producing, especially in the afternoon. Surface action is good on the Swan Valley reaches and below Byington (flats and riffle tailout are producing best on these lower reaches). Double nymph rigs remain the most effective way to go, but double droppers on a large dry are also working.
Effective nymphs – BH Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Pat’s Rubber Leg, Foxy Stone Nymphs, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Prince, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Bionic Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Effective dry flies – Griffith’s Gnats, Renegades, Mating Midges, Krystal Wing Midges, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, and Parachute Adams.