Some pretty solid fishing over the past couple of months on the Snake. Warm temps over the past two weeks has put this stream into runoff. Nonetheless, the extended cool spells that we have had is allowing the river to clear significantly. So break out your skwalas patterns, because these bugs are starting to come on in force. The action on these bugs is coming in the afternoon hours from approximately noon until 6pm. Nymph droppers add to the production, but there can be more than enough surface activity to keep you happy. The fishing on #10 to #8 attractors has been really good. There is also a lot of caddis about and imitations of these bugs are working well in riffle pools and eddies. But hit it in the next week or so, because the Snake will definitely be in full runoff soon with the weather we have coming.
Currently, the best clarity is on the tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam down to Pacific Creek. Flows are only at about 400 cfs and you have to work for your fish. Fishing has actually been pretty good on dry-droppers on the upper part of this section from the Dam down Oxbow Bend. The lower reach below Oxbow Bend is fishing well with streamers on intermediate sinking lines and 3ips tips. Don’t expect off the charts action, but the fish are there, so just fish hard. You will most likely be happy with the size.
Dry Flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Winged Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Stimulator Xs, Pav’s Yellowstoner Chubby, Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, Furimsky BDEs, Snowshoe Midges, Serendipities, and Renegades.
Nymphs – Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupas, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, and Flashback Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Clouser Minnows, Strung-Out Leeches, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Wier’s Sculpin, Bow River Buggers, Booty’s Quad Bunny, and Galloup’s Zoo Cougar..
Flows are consistently on the increase from Palisades Reservoir and currently stand at approximately 10,000 cfs. Visibility is good from the dam down to Palisades Creek. From there down the river is a bit off color due to runoff of the few tributaries entering the river. Nonetheless, this is fishable water as it usually is at this time of year, and that is very much the case when you go subsurface with nymphs and streamers.
We have had a big upsurge in spawning rainbows on the upper reach of the river in Swan Valley over the past two weeks. This has made egg patterns very productive on active beds. Expect this to continue and be even more productive over the next month or so. In addition, there has been a noticeable uptick in action on mysis and scud patterns on the upper reach and in the upper canyon. No doubt this is due to the increased flows from Palisades Reservoir. This should also continue for at least a month or so. Still there is significant production on double nymph rigs consisting of Pat’s Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms, and mayfly larva imitation like Lightening Bugs and Rainbow Warriors (although the latter two can also imitate mysis and scuds).
Streamers have been producing on the entire South Fork, but especially in the Canyon reach. We are picking up fish along banks and structure, on seams, and at the tail of riffle pools. Using Intermediate sinking lines and tips in the 3ips to 6ips range has been most productive.
At times we are getting trout on the surface with #8 to #10 attractors when fished along banks and in riffles. This action is occurring in the afternoon, generally from about 1pm until early evening. This is also the time when blue-winged olive imitations have been producing in riffles. These are coming out on those cool, wetter days that we have been getting as of late.
Dry Flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Bart’s Lipstick, Grape Apes, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Comparaduns, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Furimsky BDEs.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Biot Bugs, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Zug Bugs, HH Green Machines, Robins, Glo-Bugs, Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs, Veiled Eggs, Meyer’s Mysis, Dunnigan’s Scud, and Otter’s Dead Mysis.
Streamers – Galloup’ Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Keller’s Boat Luanch Creep, J.J. Specials, Chicklets, and Kreelux.
Flows at Warren Bridge are currently at 360 cfs. Clarity is at that nice tannic color that we find ideal for streamers and nymph rigs on the Green. The further downstream you go from Daniel Bridge, the less clarity there is, but it is still quite fishable down there.
A wide variety of holding water is producing, including submerged structure, banks, seams, bankside troughs, and riffles. There has been less action in eddies, but it is still worth hitting them. The one big take away from our outings over the past two weeks is that action has been best from about mid-morning (let’s call it 9:30am) to early afternoon (approximately 2pm).
Floating lines, hover lines, intermediate lines, and sinking tips from 1ips to 3ips are working best with moderate to rapid retrieves. Nymphs have been most productive when fished as a part of a dry-dropper rig with tippet lengths running from two to three-and-a-half feet.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Buggy Stones, San Juan Worms, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, Batmen, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Psycho Princes, Flashback Princes, and Green Hornets.
Streamers – SRA Double Bunnies, Keller’s Nightmare, Silvey’s Sculpin, Chicklets, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, Bow River Buggers, McCune Sculpins, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Weir’s Sculpin, and Sculpzillas.