The Snake is slowly dropping and fishing is good but, as with almost all the streams in the area, water temperatures are warming – hitting 64 to 66 degrees by 6pm. Still, the fishing has been solid in almost all types of holding water whether you are fishing a dry, a nymph, or a streamer. And more larger trout are appearing on the scene on just about every reach. Focus on the morning and early afternoon hours.
PMDs dominate the surface scene. Caddis and yellow sallies are also around, as are grasshoppers, damsel flies, and carpenter ants. Dry-dropper rigs are getting the lion share of fish in the morning when fished along banks, structure, the head of riffles, and the head of seams. Don’t go too big with your surface attractor. Trout are taking #10 to #12 patterns far more than they are the larger stuff. In the afternoon, PMD and caddis imitations are the way to go in riffles, seams, and along banks and structure. One very effective tactic has been to swing soft hackles at the end of a drift in riffles and seams. Not a lot of big trout are being taken, but you can seriously rack up some numbers.
Streamers are picking up larger fish throughout the day when fished along banks, submerged structure, deep riffle pools, eddies, and dead back channels. Floating and intermediate sinking lines are working fine in the morning and early afternoon hours. In the afternoon, however, 3ips to 6ips tips are the way to go.
Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Mary Kays, Circus Peanuts, Micro Peanuts, Luna Negras, Paul’s Purple Passion, Fat Franks, Fat Alberts, Stimulators, Jimmy Zs, Mellow Yellow Sallies, Amy’s Special Yellow, Royal Wulff, AuSable Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parawulffs, Christian’s GT PMD, Carlsons Yellow Haze, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Copper Johns in red or copper, Robins, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Soft Hackles.
Streamers – Shaka Zulus, Kreelux, Chicklets, Doc’s Articulator, Keller’s Nightmare, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Jointed Urchins, Teleen’s Polar Minnow, and Coffee’s Sparkle Minnows.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are starting to drop after a long run at over 14,000 cfs. This has improved the fishing in some ways, but water temperatures are warming a bit and there has been a fair amount of pressure. Nonetheless, fishing can be very, very, good most days as long as you are willing to work and stay focused.
PMDs are still the main fair on the South Fork, particularly in the afternoon. Caddis dominate the morning scene, although not to the same degree as PMDs do in the afternoon. There is also a smattering of yellow sallies, grasshoppers, and fly ants. Trout are still eating large (#10 to #8) attractors off the surface, especially on the Swan Valley reach and in the upper Canyon, when fished along banks, submerged structure, and seams. Nymph droppers will also work in the same water as well as in riffles. A dry-dropper system is really the way to go in the morning.
By noon, trout are focusing more on the surface as PMDs really start to come out. This is the time to focus on riffles, seams, eddies, and banks with slow currents. Fishing tandem dry rigs consisting of a dun-emerger combo has been very productive. However, there is a distinct slowdown in action after about 3pm (although trout can still be had in after 3pm with double nymph rigs.
Streamers have been effective throughout the day and are getting into more fish in the early morning hours than anything you can throw out there. Don’t be shy of fishing baitfish imitations in riffles, seams, and eddies in the afternoon when trout are focusing on the surface. They will crush your streamer almost as much as any dry fly pattern you might be fishing.
Dry Flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Winged Peanuts, Parachute Hoppers, Morrish Hoppers, Stimulators-Xs, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Tent Wing Caddis, Hackle Stacker Yellow Sallies, Ausable Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Thorax PMDs, Comparaduns, Pink Alberts, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Sparkle Ants.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Mays, and Bruised Mays.
Streamers – Kreelux, Hog Hunters, Sculpzillas, Keller’s Nightmare, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Flash Fry, Bow River Buggers, and Sparkle Minnows.
Flows are at approximately 475 cfs at MCoy. The Salt is a very fun place to fish at the moment, although things are definitely trending towards dry flies in the morning and much more by way of nymphs in the afternoon. PMDs, tricos, and yellow sallies are the primary bugs on the water, with trout definitely focusing on PMDs and tricos. #18 to #20 is the size to use. We have not experienced a lot of action on anything bigger. Target eddies, banks and structure with slow currents, and seams with slow currents.
In the afternoon, dry-dropper rigs is the way to go, with dropper nymphs taking the lion’s share of fish. Hit riffles, seams, and submerged structure. Dropper depth shouldn’t be anything longer than three feet. A foot and a half has been as productive as anything longer.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Showshoe Tricos, Air-Flo Tricos, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Film Critics, Stimulators, Lawson’s Sallie Stone, and Hackle Stacker Sallies.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Batmen, Foxy Sallie Stones, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Zebra Midges.