The drop in flows from Jackson Lake Dam and the cool, wet weather over the past week produced some very good dry fly and streamer action on the Snake. We had periods of off-color water, but when there was clarity fishing was solid. Flows are now at their winter levels, so expect low, gin clear water until runoff next spring.
Hecubas are still about, but they are dominated by infrequen PMDs, blue-winged olives, and mahogany duns. Our first October caddis of the year came out last week and we are seeing them intermittently on most days. Riffles, seams, and confluence points are the prime producers at the moment with tandem dry fly rigs and dry-droppers. This water can also be targeted with moderately-sized streamers fished with floating and intermediate sinking lines. Look for the hotspot to be between 11am and 4pm with both dry flies and streamers. Streamers are actually producing in decent fashion before 11am.
Flats are starting to become active now that we are at winter flows. These are fishing best in mid-afternoon with adult and emerger patterns. Expect them to fish well for three to four hours each afternoon.
Dry Flies – Winged Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Chubby Chernobyls, Bart’s Lipstick, PMXs, Pearl Bellies, Parachute Adams, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Cahills, and Mahogany Duns, Comparaduns, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Last Chance Cripples, Booty’s PMD, BWO, and Mahogany Emergers, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, and Rusty Spinners.
Streamers – Chickletts, Kreelux, Lite Brite Zonkers, J.J. Specials, Marabou Muddlers, McCune Sculpins, Murphy’s Bling Minnow, Sparkle Minnows, Polar Minnows, and Sculpzillas.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Bruised Mays, Robins, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Flashback Princes, and Soft Hackles.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir remain stable at approximately 6,300cfs. Cooler and wetter weather has brought riffles, seams and flats on the South Fork alive with surface action, particularly in the upper Canyon and the Swan Valley reach. Afternoon is when this water is fishing best. In the mornings, nymphs are working just about everywhere, although not in lights-out fashion. As with dry flies, nymphs are working best in the afternoon.
Mahogany Dun emergences have been pretty intense during wet weather periods, especially on the upper reach from the dam down to Conant. Blue-winged olives have been more consistent from day-to-day. And as on the Snake, October caddis are starting to appear.
Streamers are worth throwing and are producing pretty good throughout the day, including the morning hours. Action has been best on the lower river from Wolverine down to Lorenzo. Use floating lines, intermediate sinking lines, and sinking tips in the intermediate to 3ips range.
Dry Flies – Chubby Chernobyls, J-Slams, Turck’s Tarantulas, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, BWOs, and Mahogany Duns, Snowshoe Duns, Comparaduns, Sanchez’s Bi-Viz PMDs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Emergers, Cole’s Split-Wing Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Streamers – Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Bow River Buggers, Silvey Sculpins, Cheech’s Leech, SRA Bunnies, Baby Bunnies, and Gongas.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Flashback Princes, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Psycho Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Copper Johns in red or black, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
The Salt has been fishing solid so far this autumn, particularly on the lower river from Etna down to Palisades Reservoir. We are still seeing tricos, in bits-and-pieces, but they are being overshadowed by more and more infrequen PMDs, blue-winged olives, micro caddis, and some mahogany duns. Fishing has been best from approximately 10am until between 3 and 4pm. Eddies are fishing best in the morning with dries and dry-dropper rigs. Eddies will continue to fish well in the afternoon, but seams and riffles come online strong at this time as well. Banks and structure are fishing well, but not to the same degree as other holding water types.
Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Fat Franks, Bart’s Lipstick, Elk Hair Caddis, Buchner’s Dun Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and BWOs, AuSable Wulffs, Booty’s PMD and BWO Emergers, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Copper Johns in red or black, Hares Ear Nymphs, Psycho Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, LOF Pheasant Tails, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Lake – The West Thumb has been fishing very well over the past two weeks with large cutthroats and lake trout taking small to moderate sized streamers and nymphs. Three to six feet on the flats is the ideal depth fished with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines. Drop-offs can be fished with effectiveness with the same lines, as well as 3ips to 6ips sinking tips.
Lewis Lake – Lewis is starting to fish very well. Lake trout are swarming on the flats in Brookie Bay, the Inlet, and in deep water in the vicinity of Mac Point. Same gig on Lewis as on Yellowstone Lake: streamers and nymphs on floating and intermediate sinking lines on the flats. Use sinking tips with slower retrieves in the deeper water.
More browns are moving into the river above the lake (and to a lesser degree below the lake). We are fishing deeper water with baitfish imitations and larger nymphs, both with a fair amount movement.
Snake/Lewis Confluence – There is some very good fishing on the Snake and the lower Lewis. PMDs and October caddis are the main bugs on the water. Dry fly fishing is best with small to moderate sized attractors as well as mayfly adult/emerger patterns. Streamers fishing has been very good. Floating, hover, and intermediate lines are all that you will need. Retrieves with moderate speed are working best.