The Snake is officially in runoff now. Water levels are going up and clarity is going down. Fish can still be caught with nymphs and streamers, but it will be several weeks before most of the river gets into shape. Right now, the tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam down to Pacific Creek is offering the most consistent fishing. Currently flows from the dam are at approximately 380cfs. Clarity is almost ideal. There is some decent dry fly action on chironomid patterns. When there is cloud cover and precipitation, blue-winged olives will be out. In fact, the surface bite has gotten better each day over the past week, particularly from Cattleman’s Bridge down to the confluence with Pacific Creek.
Below the surface, there is good action on nymph droppers on the upper reach from the dam down to Oxbow. From Oxbow down to Pacific Creek the best action has been on streamers fished with an intermediate sink line or a 3ips tip.
Dry flies – Furimsky BDEs, Snowshoe Midges, Renegades, Airflo Tricos, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, and Booty’s BWO Emerger.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Zug Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, Robins, Flashback Princes, and Biot Bugs.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Chicklets, Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Angel Eye Sculpins, Silvey Sculpins, and McCune’s Sculpins.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are currently at 11,800 cfs. Fishing is still best on the Swan Valley reach, where egg patterns and mysis imitations are getting into good numbers of trout. These patterns are working down to the confluence with Palisades Creek. From Palisades Creek down to through the lower canyon, eggs and mysis will still work, but they are being outpaced by the standard nymph rig consisting Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms, and Lightening Bugs.
There can be some dry fly action in riffles, flats, and on seams on days with attractors and caddis imitations, but it is rather inconsistent. More consistency comes on midges blue-winged olive patterns on those days with inclement weather. Your best bet if you don’t want to fish nymphs is to go with streamers along banks, structure, riffles pools, and seams. Baitfish imitations have come on strong over the past couple of weeks, particularly on the lower reach from Byington down to Lorenzo. Intermediate sinking lines, intermediate tips, and tips from 3ips to 6ips are producing best.
Dry flies – Winged Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Elk Hair Caddis, CDC Caddis, X-Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Comparaduns, Film Critics, Booty’s BWO Emergers, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Snowshoe Midges.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, 20-Inchers, Copper Johns in red or olive, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, San Juan Worms, Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs, Bacon-And-Eggs, Veiled Eggs, Mayer’s Mysis, Beadback Mysis, Dunnigan’s Scud, and Agee’s Natural Sow.
Streamers – Kreelux, Chicklets, Bow River Buggers, Clouser Minnows, Beldar Buggers, J.J. Specials, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, and Keller’s Nightmare.
Flows are on the rise with levels currently at 750 cfs in the vicinity of Warren Bridge. The Green is slightly off color but is fishing good with streamers and nymph rigs. Mid-day hours – approximately 10pm to 1pm – has been the most productive time over the past week. Fishing has not been off-the-charts, but some big fish are being caught.
Nymphing is productive with double nymph rigs in riffle pools, eddies, and bankside troughs. Dry-dropper rigs are also producing in the same water, as well as along, banks and submerged structure. Leader length from dry to dropper or indicator to trailing fly does not need to be any longer than six feet, although there are deeper pools where eight feet might be necessary.
Streamers are getting into some large trout when fishing along banks, submerged structure, and in riffle pools and seams. Larger articulated patterns are working best, but there is some solid action on smaller single hook baitfish imitations when fished in the same water. Floating, intermediate, and sinking tips from 3ips to 6ips are producing equally well.
Nymphs – Pats Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Biot Bugs, Formerly-Known-As-Princes, Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Batmen, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Copper Johns in red or olive, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, and San Juan Worms.
Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Galloup’s Boogey Man, Silvey’s Sculpin, Booty’s Booty Call Minnow, Keller’s Nightmare, Sundell’s Ghost Dancer, Chicklets, Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, and Marabou Muddlers.