Cooler temperatures are slowing morning action on Snake, but things pick up in the afternoon significantly. Mornings are fishing best with double nymph rigs and dry-dropper rigs fished along banks with moderate depths and slow currents, submerged structure, and riffle pools. Surface action picks up after 12pm with the most significant activity occurring between 2pm and 6pm. Blue-winged olives can be out in force at during this time period along with a smattering of October caddis. Target riffles and seams with imitations of these bugs, as well as #10 and #12 attractors, and good things can happen. Chironomid patterns are also producing in slower riffle pools and inside of seams.
Production on streamers have slowed a bit, but using moderate-sized patterns with slower retrieves are still working from late morning until late afternoon. Target banks, submerged structure, riffle tailouts, and the tail of seams.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Winged Chernobyls, Grape Magic, Circus Peanuts, Stimulators, X-Caddis, Tent-Wing Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Emergers, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Midge Emergers, and Air Flo Midges.
Nymphs – Pats Rubber Leg, Formally-Known-As-Princes, Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Batmen, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, Kreelux, Baby Bunnies, and Chickletts.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir have been raised to 1,200 cfs and should remain there for most of the winter. As on the Snake, cooler air temperatures have slowed the fishing in the morning but it picks up significantly in the afternoon. In fact, the South Fork is almost a carbon copy of the Snake in terms of fishing at the moment. Dry-droppers and lightly weighted double nymph rigs are working OK in the morning in slow riffles and riffle tailouts, as well as the tail of seams. These rigs continue to work in the afternoon, but true surface actions comes on imitations of Chironomids, blue-winged olives, and October caddis. Riffles and seams are the places to target these patterns. The tails of holding water are producing best. Submerged structure is also producing where currents are slow.
Dry flies – J-Slams, Chubby Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Cahills, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Snowshoe Duns, Film Critics, Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Furimsky BDEs.
Nymphs – Biot Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Robins, Copper Johns in red or olive, Kyle’s C-N Super Flash, Psycho Mays, Zebra Midges, Brassies, and Disco Midges.
Upper Snake – There has been a good, solid push of browns coming up from Jackson Lake over the last couple of weeks. Don’t bother focusing on the head of riffles and squeeze points. Most pods are holding in slower, but deeper, water in the middle and tail of runs. They have been fairly active and you will see them breaching quite a bit. Dead drifted nymphs and egg patterns are producing OK. Better action is coming on small and moderate-sized streamers fished with variable retrieves. Floating, hover, and intermediate lines, along with intermediate and 3ips tips, are all equally effective.
Jackson Lake – Jackson Lake reopened to fishing this past Sunday. Not necessarily the same action we had last year at this time, but fishing has still been pretty good. Spawning lake trout are swarming in their typical places on flats with depths of three to eight feet. You cannot get too close to them, but casts of 60 feet or more can easily pull it off. Moderate-sized streamers – Kreelux, Clousers, Sparkle Minnows, and Gummi Minnows – are producing best when fished with slow retrieves of one to two feet at a time. Floating lines and hover lines are all you will need.