The Snake went into runoff earlier this week. Visibility is less than a foot but on those days when there is overnight freezing above 10,000 feet, clarity can reach the two foot levels– not great by any means but enough to give fly fishers OK action on streamers and nymphs. Remember that the Snake is full of spring creeks, and targeting the confluences even on those days of limited visibility can reap rewards on dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. Skwalas are about no matter what the clarity is, so hitting the limited clear water we have with #10 and #8 attractors is a good way to go. Give them some good movement at in the clear water, and especially at the margins of off-color water.
The best reach of clear water on the Snake is below Jackson Lake Dam and down to Pacific Creek. Flows are only at about 600 cfs, and this reach generally fishes substantially better at much higher flows. Nonetheless, nothing raises confidence like crystal clear water. Cutthroats and lake trout are being taken on lightly weighted double nymph rigs and small streamers. Don’t expect off-the-charts action, but a decent day can be in the cards.
Effective dry flies – Circus Peanut, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Kasey’s Creature, and Rubber Legged Double Humpies.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, BH Rubber Leg Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Zebra Midges in red, Lightening Bugs, Flashback Princes, and Copper Johns in red.
Productive streamers – J.J. Specials, Silvey Sculpins, Chickletts, Tequilleys, Beldar Buggers, and McCune Sculpins.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are currently at approximately 12,500 cfs. The ramp up of flows have calmed down quite a bit, making for better fishing on most reaches, but especially those in Swan Valley and in the canyon. Most tributaries are coming in with runoff conditions, but don’t let the somewhat off-color conditions throw you for a spin. There is good fishing to be had on double nymph rigs and streamers. Banks and structure, as well as riffle and seam tailouts, are producing best with streamers. Fishing is good on nymphs in a variety of holding water types. Target riffles, seams, eddies, and flat for the best results. Banks and structure are good with nymphs in the afternoon hours. There has been increasing productivity on mysis patterns and yarn eggs on the Swan Valley reaches below the dam.
Midges continue to be the primary bug on the water, but don’t expect a ton of surface action. As has been the case over the past several weeks, most of the dry fly stuff is happening in side channels. Still, with less clarity on the water, this action is fleeting. It is best to go with double nymph rigs as mayfly and caddis imitations. It is a good idea to have both a streamer rod and a double nymph rig lined up. But that is a good idea no matter where you are fishing currently.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Bitch Creek Nymphs, PR Muskrats, Rubber Leg Soft Hackle Princes, Yarn Eggs, Meyer’s Mysis, Galloup’s Mysis, Burkholder’s Veiled Eggs, San Juan Worns, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Zebra Midges, Bionic Midges, and Dorsey’s Mercury Midge.
Effective streamers – Galloup’s Bogeyman, Peanut Envy, Galloup’s T&A Minnow, Booty’s Quad Bunny Leach, Silvey Sculpin, J.J. Special, Kreelux, and Goldielocks.
The Henry’s Fork is a good place to be at the moment. Nymphing is very good on most sections. Streamer fishing has been decent and there is intermittent surface action on midge and blue-winged olive imitations (nothing fantastic but enough to keep most of us happy). Nymphs have been producing best at the head of riffles, riffles pools, seams, and submerged structure. Streamers are also producing in riffle pools and when fished along submerged structure. There is also bits and pieces of action with streamers along banks.
Midge adult patterns are the way to go if you are fishing on the surface. Action starts around 11am and will last until early evening. Blue-winged olives are still about but not like they were a couple of weeks ago. Rainbows will still be coming up to imitations, especially emergent patterns. Target the head of riffles and seams for best results. And don’t ignore eddies.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in olive or black, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Robins, Zebra Midges, Bionic Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Effective streamers – Gongas, Cheech’s Leech, Baby Bunnies, Strung-out Leeches, Bow River Buggers, Clouser Minnows, and Galloup’s T&A Minnow.
Effective dry flies – Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Midges, Parasol Midges, Griffith Gnats, and Booty’s BWO Emerger.