There is inconsistency from day to day and hour to hour on all reaches, but the Snake might be the place to fish at the moment. The hot period has been from about 11am to 3pm most days, but expect action on some reaches and some days either earlier or later. No heavy hatches anywhere except for the tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam down to Pacific Creek. PMDs are most prevalent, followed by caddis and little green stoneflies. Claassenia stoneflies are starting to emerge with a bit more gusto (again, quite early than the norm), but what is really surprising is the number of Claassenia larva that are present. This may foretell of good things to come in the next couple of three weeks.
Riffle, the tail of riffle pools, seams, and side channels are the most productive waters and outperforming banks, structure, and bankside trough in just about every way. But don’t make the mistake of skipping these “less productive” types of holding water altogether. They can produce if your patterns are razor tight. #8 to #12 attractors are the name of the game. PMD and caddis duns/emerger patterns are a distant second unless they are fished in the side channels where they are working very well
Streamers are producing better than nymphs below the surface. Go with moderately size patterns and fish them with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines, or with intermediate or 3ips sinking tips. Vary your retrieves and find a pattern in the strikes you get.
Effective dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Winged Chernobyls, Chubby Chernobyls, Bart’s Lipstick, Melon Bellies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Extended Body Cahills, Camparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Elk Hair Caddis, Peking Caddis, and CDC Wing Caddis.
Effective streamers – Chickletts, Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Baby Bunnies, Bow River Buggers, Beldar Buggers, Clouser Minnows, Silvey Sculpins, Rock Knockers, Marbou Muddlers, and Kiwi Muddlers.
Effective nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Robins, and Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymphs.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are currently at 9,500 cfs. Less surface action on the South Fork than we have had over the past month, but there is still some very good fishing to be had on every reach, particularly the upper reach in Swan Valley and on the Canyon reaches. PMDs and caddis are on the surface, with grasshoppers and a few golden stones and yellow sallies about. The best action with surface attractors have been on banks, flats, and along submerged structure. This is happening in the morning hours but kicks into gear during the late morning and mid-afternoon time period. A noticeable slowing occurs in late afternoon. Riffles, seams, and eddies are a good place to target dun/emerger imitations in the afternoon. There is some inconsistency in activity from day-to-day, but when it is on, it is really on.
Nymphs are working consistently throughout the day, but don’t expect the action to be off the charts. Double rigs are a good way to go in the early and mid-morning hours, but switch to dry droppers in the late morning and through the afternoon. A range of dropper depths are producing, but two to three feet in riffles and seams are the best way to go.
Effective dry flies – J-Slams, Trina’s Carnage Stone, Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Winged Peanuts, Parachute Hoppers, Whitlock’s Hopper, Jay Dave’s Hopper, Stimulators, Sanchez’s Foam Sallie, Tent-Wing Caddis, Comparaduns, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Film Critics, Quigley Cripples, and Booty’s PMD Emerger.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, 20-Inchers, PR Muskrats, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red, black, or olive, and Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph.
Flows at Etna are currently around 525 cfs. The Salt is starting to fish pretty well, although there are days of inconsistency on every reach. PMDs and caddis are the most prevalent bug on the water. Tricos are starting to appear as well as more terrestrials like grasshoppers and beetles. Seams and eddies are the best place to fish small dries and attractors. Moderately sized attractors will work along banks and structure, but it is nothing consistent. It is better to fish these larger bugs in seams and eddies with a dropper rig. Nymph droppers are producing almost as well as dry flies if they are fished throughout the day. Riffles will also have some action in them, but this is really only occurring in the afternoon.
Effective dry flies – Fat Franks, Micro Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, SRA Chernobyls, Parachute Adams, Furimsky BDEs, Comparaduns, Thorax PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Elk Hair Caddis, Tent-Wing Caddis, CDC Wing Caddis, Air-Flo Tricos, and Humpies in black.
Effective nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or black, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Mercer’s Bead Tail Caddis Pupa, and Soft Hackles.
Flows are dropping, water temperatures are warming, and the dry fly action is now in a very tight window from dawn until about 11am, with a smattering of activity after that. Target banks, structure, bankside troughs, and the tail of seams and eddies with dry attractors in the #10 to #12 range and PMD/caddis patterns, be they emergers or duns or spinners.
Nymphs and streamers are producing a bit better, but like dry flies, there is a noticeable decline in activity after 11am. Riffles, seams, banks, and structure are the best water for nymphs (dry-dropper is the best way to go). Streamers are working best on banks, structure, and bankside troughs. Go with floating lines and intermediate lines and tips. Anything more is kinda overkill.
Effective dry flies – Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Double Humpies, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Fat Alberts, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Cahills, and Mahogany Duns, Furimsky BDEs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Film Critics, Rusty Spinners, CDC Wing Spinners, Elk Hair Caddis, Sanchez’s Foam Wing Caddis, and Jay’s Dun Caddis.
Effective nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Zug Bugs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Mercer’s Z-Wing Caddis Nymph, Copper John’s in red or copper, Robins, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, and Soft Hackles.
Effective streamers – SRA Double Bunnies, Baby Bunnies, Lite Brite Zonkers, Kiwi Zonkers, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, Bow River Buggers, and Strung-Out Leeches.