Some intense precipitation last week put the Snake down for a few days from Pacific Creek down to Sheep Gulch, but the river has since cleared and we now have a low, gin clear stream and ideal autumn water temperatures. Fishing is good on every reach and the Snake is the place to be at the moment.
Tricos are the primary bug on the water from Jackson Lake Dam down to Pacific Creek. On the rest of the river, you will find decent numbers of Hecubas, mahogany duns, and PMDs throughout most days. Blue-winged olive are also appearing in bits and pieces, especially on the tailwater reach below Jackson Lake Dam. As has been the case over the past month or so, expect emergences of these bugs to intensify with cool, cloudy, and wet weather.
All holding water types seem to be fishing equally well. Banks and structure are best targeted with streamers, and they can produce throughout the day. Riffles, seams, side channels, and confluence points are fishing best from early afternoon until evening with mayimitations and small to moderately sized attractor patterns. These waters can also be fished effectively with moderately sized streamers.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Snake River Water Walkers, Chubby Chernobyls, Parachute Hoppers, Gorilla Hoppers, PMXs, Parachute Hare’s Ears, Parachute Adams, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Cahills, and Mahoganies, Comparaduns, Sparkle Duns, Parachute Tricos, Thorax PMDs, Purple Hazes, Copper Hazes, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Emergers, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Streamers – Chickletts, Kreelux, Sparkle Minnows, Lite Brite Zonkers, J.J. Specials, Baby Bunnies, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Cheech’s Leech, Keller’s Nightmare, Keller’s Miracle Mile Sculpin, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey’s Sculpin, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and McCune Sculpins.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Nymph Formally Known as Prince, Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Psycho Princes, Batmen, and Copper John’s in red, olive, or black.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir have been ramped down to 7,500cfs over this past several days. The storm from last week was a big help to the South Fork, bringing out PMDs and mahogany duns in force and bringing riffles, seams, and flats alive with surface feeding fish. With the storm’s passing, we now have more autumn like air temperatures, which in turn is cooling the water temperatures. Fishing has been good on the South Fork, and it’s even better now.
The upper reach in Swan Valley is starting to fish well after a couple of weeks of slower fishing. The Canyon reaches, as well as the lower reach from Byington to Lorenzo, are fishing best of all. The best fishing in the morning has been with double nymph rigs or with dry-dropper rigs in riffle pools, the current margin of riffles, and on seams. Riffles, flats, seams, and eddies begin to fish well in the afternoon and through the day until dusk as trout rise to emerging PMDs, mahogany duns, and, on some days, BWOs. We have been fishing tandem dry fly rigs with an adult pattern as the lead fly and an emerger as the trailer. This rigging is also working along bankside troughs and banks with moderate current speeds.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Barrett’s Ant, J-Slam’s, Bean’s Orange Crush, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Sparkle Duns, Rusty Spinners, Quigley Cripples, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Emergers, Film Critics, Pink Sulfur Emergers, and Halo Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, PR Muskrats, Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Bloody Marys, Bruised Mays, Psycho Mays, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Chickletts, Kreelux, Sparkle Minnows, Lite Brite Zonkers, J.J. Specials, Tequelleys, Baby Bunnies, Bow River Buggers, Marabou Muddlers, and Silvey’s Sculpin.
Flows on the lower Salt are down to their average level for this time of year and clarity has returned. The stream is fishing in typical autumn fashion from the narrows down to McCoy Bridge. Tricos are on the water throughout the day but subside noticeably after about 2pm. PMDs, mahogany duns, BWOs, and caddis start to appear later in the day and intensify as you get further into the afternoon. They are nothing extreme, but you will see some of them on most days.
Banks with moderate currents, eddies, and seams are the most productive waters to target with dry fly and dry-dropper rigs. They will fish well throughout the day. Riffles come online later in the afternoon and will fish good into the evening.
Dry flies – Winged Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, SRA Chernobyls, Grape Apes, Bart’s Lipstick, Parachute Adams, AuSable Wulffs, Royal Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, BWOS, and Mahoganies, Rusty Spinners, Comparaduns, Sparkle Duns, CDC Wing BWOs, Parachute Tricos, Furimsky BDEs, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Emerger, Cole’s ILR, Cole’s U-Con, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Zug Bugs, Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Cole’s LOF, Soft Hackle’s, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Flat Creek turned back on over this past week thanks in large part to more clouds and rain, which in turn has left us with much cooler air temps. While the afternoon and early evening hours (2pm until dusk) is still the prime period for surface action, the recent change in the weather has made the early morning hours (dawn until 10am) just as good of a time to be on the water. The mid-day period from 10am until 2pm is also fishing much better because of the cooler air temps. There is also less crowds at this time of day, but probably not for long.
Chironomids are everywhere in the early morning hours and trout are coming up to feed on them. PMDs are coming out in the afternoon, with some caddis entering the scene later in the day. All of these hatches will intensify with cloudy weather and precipitation. They will also be joined by BWOs when this weather roles in.
Dry flies – Comparaduns, Torax PMDs, Sparkles Duns, Rusty Spinners, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, and BWOs, Furimsky’s BDE, Film Critics, Elk Hair Caddis, Cole’s U-Con. Sanchez’s Parachute Midge Emerger. and Krystal Wing Midges.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in black, Robins, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Zebra Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.