Variable weather this past week with some days topping out in the high 30s with snow flurries and other days in the high 50s with sunshine all day long. The coming week is showing more stable weather with temps in the mid-50s to low 60s. The Snake is still the dry fly powerhouse in the region with riffles and seams producing in the afternoon as cutthroats feed on midges and, to a far lesser degree, blue-winged olives. We are also getting some surface action on #8 and #10 attractors. Nothing off the charts, but fishing a dry-dropper rig can get surface takes three or four times during the afternoon if it properly placed.
Nymph rigs are working throughout the day in a variety of holding water. Bank troughs are producing particularly well, as are riffle pools and eddies formed at the confluence of dead back-channels and main channels. Streamers are very much worth throwing. Bright and natural colored patterns (as well as olive patterns) are working on sunny and mostly sunny days when fished in slow current riffle pools, seams, and banks. Intermediate and Type III sink tips are working best.
Effective dry flies – Krystal Wing Midge Emergers, Griffith Gnats, Air-Flo Tricos, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Furimsky BDEs, Quigley Cripples, Booty’s BWO Emergers, Wills Winged Chernobyls, Turck’s Tarantulas, and Trina’s Carnage Stones.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, Flashback Rubber Legged Hares Ear Nymphs, Rubber Leg Soft Hackle Princes, Lightening Bugs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, and Copper Johns in red, olive, or black.
Effective streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Chicklets, Baby Bunnies, Booty’s Quad Bunnies, and Kiwi Muddlers.
The South Fork is a very good place to be with consistent action throughout the day, although the intensity is center around the noon to dusk period. Expect a bit slower action early on those cooler days when temps are in the 40s (but just a bit slower). Double nymph rigs rule the day with riffles, seams, eddies, and, to a lesser degree, banks producing the best. There are times when lightly weighted nymph rigs are killing it on flats and on shallow banks. 2pm to dusk is the magic hour for these rigs in this king of hour. Streamers are also effective, particularly in the Canyon reaches, throughout the day when fished in a variety of holding water. In the afternoon, they will also produce at the head of riffles and on flats.
Dry fly action is not quite there yet, but a little work will get you into surface activity. Everything seems to be focused on side channels, so you will need to do some wading. Look for rising fish on small riffles and flats. There is not much by way of bigger 16-inch plus trout, but who cares. Its April! And it’s the South Fork – its gorgeous this time of year.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Flashback Rubber Leg Hares Ear Nymph, PR Muskrats, Bitch Creek Nymphs, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, and Copper Johns in red or black.
Effective streamers – Zoo Cougars, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Peanut Envy, Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Bunnies, Bow River Buggers, J.J. Specials, Tequelleys, and Silvey Sculpins.
Effective dry flies – Krystal Midge Emergers, Parachute Midges, and Air-Flo Tricos.
The Henry’s Fork is all about size and numbers at the moment. As has been the case for the past few weeks, every single reach that is open to fishing is producing well. This is mostly a nymphing game, with midge, BWO, and caddis patterns bringing in trout on riffles, seams, and along banks with moderate depth. You do not have to go too deep, so lightly weighted nymphs can be the way to go, especially in the afternoon hours.
Streamers are working on the lower reaches of the Henry’s Fork below Vernon Bridge throughout the day. Don’t expect over-the-top action, but there are some very big 20-plus inch browns and rainbows being taken. Go small, but not necessarily lightly weighted patterns.
Dry fly action is sparse at the moment, but if you see trout rising consistently in riffles, seams, and at the tail of eddies, target them with midge adult, emerger, and cluster patterns, and get a picture perfect drift.
Effective nymphs – Bionic Midges, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Rojo Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Copper Johns in black or olive, Psycho Princes, and Mercer’s Z-lon Nymph.
Effective streamers – Baby Bunnies, Kiwi Muddlers, Mohair Leeches, Flesh Fry, and Pickled Livers.