The Snake continues to fish in typical pre-runoff fashion with good surface action for at least a few hours each day and a solid streamer bite throughout most days. Warm temps are producing high elevation temps that cause the river to be off-color in the morning. On the best days, the Snake is clearing by 11am to noon each day depending on the intensity of temps. It is crystal clear by 1pm. But we are getting more and more days where the river has a definite tinge to it throughout the day. Expect significant clearing when there are a couple of days back-to-back of overnight lows below 30 degrees.
Runoff is closing in fast on the Snake, so get out and hit it if you can.
There are a lot of Chironomids on the surface, more and more blue-winged olives, and we are starting to see our first skwalas of the year. This is allowing fly fishers to fish dry attractors and dry-droppers with some success. Don’t expect much, but one rod can legitimately hook into a half dozen trout in a day. We expect to see more of this over the next month, and they skwalas should dominate the dry fly scene before the runoff starts in earnest.
Surface action is still starting in the late morning hours – call it 11am – but is continuing and strengthening through the afternoon. Late afternoon – 3pm to 6pm – has been particularly good on most days. Target the head of riffles, seams, and eddies. Large attractors are getting into fish along banks and in troughs and along structure as well.
Streamers are working well throughout the day but, as with the dry fly action, they are most effective after 11am and continue to produce well during the afternoon hours. Don’t get too worried if the first hours of the morning produce lots of follows but no eats. Those eats start to happen later in the day. Structure and eddies are producing best. Riffle pools and seam are not far behind in producing. We are still using moderately sized streamers on floating, hover, intermediate sinking lines, and 3ips sinking tips, but larger, articulated patterns are starting to produce better and better each day.
Dry Flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Comparaduns, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Film Critics, Furimsky BDEs Griffith Gnats, Christian’s GT Tricos, CDC Midges, and Snowshoe Tricos.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge, Rojo Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Kreelux, Chicklets, J.J. Specials, Sparkle Minnows, Beldar Buggers, Silvey Sculpins, El Caminos, Dali Llamas, and Galloup’s Peanut Envy.
The South Fork has been fishing well over the past month and a half, but the action has really picked up over the past two weeks with more fish being taken on dry flies and streamers. Flows from Palisades Reservoir have been ramping up in small increments, but it only takes a 24 hour period for trout to acclimate and it is actually making the fishing even more productive. Flows currently stand at 2200cfs. There are slow days here-and-there. Nonetheless, things are starting to come on strong. There is no section really fishing better than any other. All are fishing equally well.
Nymphs are producing throughout the day when fished in riffles, on flats, and in seams and eddies. It is early, but we are starting to pick up fish on egg patterns on the upper reach of the rivers from Palisades Reservoir down to Spring Creek Bridge. Nonetheless, the most productive riggings have been those consisting of stonefly larva patterns fished with a general attractor trailers in the #12 to #18 range.
Dry fly activity is picking up in the same water where nymph rigs are producing. This action is happening in the afternoon on patterns imitating chironomids and blue-winged olives. Slower pools at the tail or current margins of riffles and seams can be fished with tandem dry rigs really effectively at these current floes from Palisades Dam. Expect an uptick in surface activity on wet and cloudy days.
Streamers have been working well on all reaches of the South Fork. Fish these on intermediate sinking lines and 3ips sinking tips and use slow to moderate speed retrieves. As on the Snake, moderate sized baitfish imitations are working best, but trout are starting to key in on the larger patterns when fished with faster retrieves.
Dry Flies – Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Film Critics, Furimsky BDEs, Pheasant Tail Emergers, CDC Midges, and Snowshoe Tricos.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Hares Ear Nymphs, Serendipities, Zebra Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge.
Streamers – Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Tequilleys, Bow River Buggers, Lite Brite Zonkers, Krystal Buggers, Poodle Divers, SRA Double Bunnies, Galloup’s Sex Dungeons, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, and Booty’s Quad Bunnies.
Flows at Warren Bridge are around 400 to 500 cfs. The Green is quite clear but is a little off color below Daniel Bridge. There is limited surface action, but nymphs and streamers have been producing very well. Streamers are working best when fished on floating lines and intermediate tips. A variety of baitfish imitations are getting into fish. Everything from moderate sized to large articulated and bright to dark. Focus on fairly fast retrieves and consistent rod lifts. Target submerged structure, banks, seams, and the tail of riffles.
Nymphing has been best on dry-dropper rigs. Target the same water as you would with your streamers, but also hit eddies and the head of riffles. And don’t be surprised if you get hits on your dry fly, especially if it is a #8 to #10 attractor. Double nymph rigs are fishing fine, but don’t go too deep – six to seven feet maximum – and use lightly weighted patterns in the #10 to #12 range for your lead fly.
Dry Flies – Winged Peanuts, Bart’s Lipstick, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, and Chubby Chernobyls.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Biot Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Psycho Princes, Robins, and Flashback Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Silvey Sculpins, J.J. Specials, Bow River Buggers, Polar Minnows, Kreelux, Chicklets, and Beldar Buggers.