Things have really popped on the Snake. Pretty good earlier this past week but over the past several days (since the 23rd) it has turned on big time. The river is clearing fast with the Buffalo Fork and Hoback rivers receding and there are tons of bugs on the water. You cannot find a reach that is not producing in a solid fashion. Caddis dominate the scene, but there are LOTS of yellow sallies and PMDs and, on the upper river, the small golden stone are around quite a bit. Green drakes and Flavs are also on the water in bits and pieces. Its June dry fly action on the Snake like we have not seen since 2007, and MAYBE the best since 2001. Fishing is best from dawn until about 1pm and then can wane pretty substantially after that, but much of this depends on what reach you are on. It is more consisitent throughout the day from Pacific Creek to Moose and from Hoback on down through the Canyon. Fishing riffles and seams can rack in numbers with everything from large attractors to #16 caddis and mayfly emergers. There is also lots of action on the banks with #6 to #10 surface attractor. Don’t expect incredibly huge fish, but the 18 inch-plus specimens are out there and getting hooked.
Nymph droppers can bring in additional fish (no need to go with double nymph rigs, but it is probably just as good). They are working just as well as the dries in all the same water. Streamers are working just as well. Go with hover lines and intermediate lines and tips. 3ips tips are working, but it might be overkill. Do not go too large with your streamers. Articulation is producing, but it is not needed.
One note – Water temps are pretty damn warm for this time of year. Some readings are coming in at 62 degrees in late afternoon. So please pray for cooler temps. And rain!
Effective dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Fat Alberts, Elk Hair Caddis, Tent-Wing Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Jay’s CDC Caddis Dun, Sanchez’s Foam Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quilgey Cripples, Film Critics, Stimulators, Hackle Stacker Sallies, and Lawson’s Sallies Stone (LITTERALLY! THEY AE ALL WORKING!).
Effective nymphs – Biot Bugs, Foxy Sallie Stones, 20-Inchers (Smaller the better), Soft Hackles, Mercer’s Bead Tail Caddis Pupa, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Robins, and LOF Pheasant Tails.
Effective streamers – Chickletts, Kreelux, Clouser Minnows, Strung-Out Leeches, Flesh Fry, J.J. Specials, Kiwi Muddlers, and Marabou Muddlers.
Still a great place to be and it looks to be that way for several weeks despite the growing crowds (and don’t let that deter you). Surface action is getting better and better with the best action downstream of Cottonwood, although the upper canyon is having a lot of fish hit the surface. The river is filled with yellow sallies, PMDs, lots of drakes, and some caddis, but the salmon flies are the main focus at the moment. Their emergence has been delayed compared to standard years, but they are now progressing upstream in a faster than normal fashion and are currently above Cottonwood.
Adult imitations of all those mention above, as well as #8 to #10 attractors are getting into fish on the lower reaches in riffles, seams, confluence points, side channels, and on banks and submerged structure. Big eddies have also come on strong in the past couple of days. On the upper reach from Conant down to Cottonwood, #8 to #10 attractors are working primarily along banks and structure. But there is increasing activity with these patterns, as well as yellow sallie and PMD emerger imitations in riffles and seams. There has been a big surge in the number of cutthroats caught over this past week, and they are making up the lion’s share of trout caught in the Canyon reaches.
Nymphs are working as part of double nymph rigs and dry-dropper rigs everywhere, but especially the reach from Palisades down to Conant where surface action is only now starting to turn on. Riffles, seams, eddies, banks, bankside troughs, and submerged structure are all productive holding water. Don’t be afraid to let your patterns swing at the end of the drift. This tactic is picking up good numbers in riffles and seams, with both the trailing and point flies.
Effective dry flies – J-Slams, Chubby Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Will’s Winged Chernobyls,Trina’s Carnage Stone, Morrish Hopper, Stimulators, Lawson’s Sallie Stone, Sanchez’s Speed Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Sulfur Emergers, Film Critics, Booty’s Green Drake Emerger, Hair Wing Green Drakes, Furimsky BDEs, and Elk Hair Caddis.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, 20-Inchers (the bigger the better), Girdle Bugs, Biot Bugs, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or olive, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Flashback Pheasant Tail, Batmans, Soft Hackles, Hickey’s Auto Emerger, and Mercer’s Z-Caddis.
Flows at Warren Bridge have receded to approximately 1000cfs and the Green is still fishing in rare form, although there are some slower days out there is bits and pieces. Fishing has been very good from the Forest Service Boundary down to Sommers. To be honest, the whole river is fishing no matter where you go, thanks in large part to consistent hatches of golden stones, caddis, yellow sallies, and PMDs. And the drakes are starting to appear in greater numbers. Surface action has been squarely situated in the mid-morning to early afternoon hours (call it 10:30am to 2pm) with the best production happening along banks, submerged structure, and in riffles and seams. Some of the bankside action has been a few feet off of what appears to be the prime holding water if you are fishing above Daniel Bridge.
If you are fishing nymphs, go with dry-dropper rigs as opposed to double or triple rigs. The latter is still producing best, but not to the point that it is required for success. Riffles, seams, and banks is the best water.
Streamers may not bring in the numbers, but they are certainly bringing in the size and are moving trout more consistently than dries and nymphs in the morning and in the latter part of the afternoon. Fish these with floating lines, intermediate lines, and sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range. Movement is key. Moderate to fast retrieves with serious rod lifts and half-circle rolls (read Modern Trout Fishing) will get the browns attacking your baitfish imitations. Target banks, bankside troughs, and submerged structure.
Effective dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Trina’s Carnage Stone, Snake River Water Walkers, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Chubby Chernobyls, Fat Franks, Fat Alberts, The Closer, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Caddis. Quad Drakes, Parachute Hair Body Gray Drakes, Booty’s PMD Emergers, Film Critics, Comparaduns, Snowshoe Duns, Stimulators, and Headlight Sallies.
Effective nymphs – San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Robins, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Zug Bugs, Soft Hackle Princes, and Copper Johns in Red or olive.
Effective streamers – Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, J.J. Specials, Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Bunnies, Bow River Buggers, Cheech’s Leech, El Camino’s, Silli Streamers, Keller’s Nightmare, Chickletts, Wooley Buggers, and Kreelux.