The cooler weather that rolled in earlier this month has been a big benefit for fishing on the Snake. Still caddis in the mornings and PMDs in the afternoon, but that is starting to wane some.
There are LOTS of grasshoppers about and Claassenia stoneflies are still about. We are also seeing lots of activity by Hecuba larva and adults, which spells good things to come in the next few weeks or so.
Dry fly fishing has been good from the early morning until about 3pm, with 11am until 3pm being the true sweet spot. The best bet is to go with stonefly and hopper imitations with a nymph dropper or a large attractor/small mayfly tandem rig in the morning and target banks, submerged structure, riffles and seams. After 11am, a variety of surface patterns are working, especially smaller stuff in riffles and seams and (especially) side channels. Attractors and hopper patterns will continue to work on banks and structure. Giving them some movement will help generate strikes.
Nymphs have been working well everywhere, but no more so than in the canyon reaches from South Park to Astoria and from Elbow down to Sheep Gulch. Double nymph rigs are really bringing in the size down on these waters. Fish then well off of banks (three to six feet) and in the tail of riffle pools and seams.
Streamers continue to hit their stride, particularly from Moose down to South Park, when fished along banks, structure, bank eddies, and bankside troughs. Both standard sized baitfish imitations and larger articulated patterns are working equally well. Fishing floating and intermediate lines in the one foot depth of the water column is generating lots of follows, eats and hookups, but going deeper with 3ips to 6ips tips are leading to a lot more hookups than higher up in the water column.
Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Morrish Hoppers, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Turck’s Power Ant, Chartreuse Humpies, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Jimmy Zs, Sparkle Duns, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Film Critics, Henrysville Specials, and Fluttering Caddis.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red, olive, or copper, Hares Ear Nymphs, Psycho Princes, and Korbay’s Emerging Caddis.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Chicklets, Kreelux, Telleen’s Polar Minnow, Sparkle Minnows, Shaka Zulus, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Booty’s Quad Bunny, and Dali Lamas.
There has been a bit of a solid uptick on the South Fork since the weather cooled earlier this month. Still a “caddis in the morning, PMDs after noon” type of game, with a smattering of grasshoppers and carpenter ants thrown into the mix throughout the day. Fishing has been best on the Swan Valley reach and throughout the Canyon reaches on PMD imitations in riffles, on seams and flats, along banks with slow currents, and in eddies. This is primarily an afternoon phenomenon with the best action being from noon until about 4pm. Larger attractors and hopper imitations can bring fish up in an acceptable fashion in the morning and through the afternoon when fished along banks, structure, seams, and on flats. Movement can trigger takes, but there is also action on dead drifted flies.
Nymphing has been good in the same water as PMD adult imitations and are producing throughout the day. A variety of depths are working equally well. Nine feet of leader from indicator to trailer isn’t getting any more action than six feet. One noticeable difference is that the longer-deeper configurations are producing better in the morning, while shorter leaders do just as well at the longer versions in the afternoon.
Streamers are not hammering it home on the South Fork, but they are picking up solid-sized trout on all reaches. Banks and structure are producing, but so, too, are riffles pools and the tail of seams. Fish intermediate lines or sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range. And vary your retrieves.
Dry Flies – J-Slams, Snake River Water Walkers, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Morrish Hoppers, Whitlock Hoppers, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Thorax PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, Bior Bugs, Foxy Sally Stones, Copper Johns in red or olive, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Pyscho Mays, Bruised Mays, and Robins.
Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Double Bunnies, Silvey Sculpins, Kreelux, Chicklets, Sculpzillas, and Sparkle Minnows.
Noticeably more challenging fishing on Flat Creek since it opened two-plus weeks ago. There is not a lot of action on the surface on the standard aquatic invertebrate patterns. The upside is that there is some decent activity on terrestrials, primarily carpenter ant beetle patterns. Don’t expect anything off-the-charts. But it is possible to fish ant and beetle imitations during the traditional morning and evening periods as well during the mid-day period from 9am to 6pm. On those days when the weather is a bit more wet and cloudy, look for emergences on PMDs and baetis and be prepared to fish their imitations.
Nymphs are not hammering fish, but they are a better way to go no matter what time of the day you are fishing. Movement is not going to trigger strikes. Go with dead drifts along banks, on seams, and in riffles.
No matter what, don’t expect a dozen fish on Flat Creek unless the weather really turns. Instead, find a good fish and be prepared to cast to it for an hour or two. If you fish all day, four or five large cutthroats might be in the cards.
Dry flies – Galloup’s Ant Acid, Sparkle Ants, Parasol Ants, Hair Beetles, Foam Beetles, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Cahills, and BWOs, Comparaduns, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, and Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Emerger, Rojo Midges, and Zebra Midges.