There was a spell of inconsistency on the Snake for about a week, but with the return of cooler weather over the past few days, the river is back to its typical early autumn self. PMDs continue to emerge and we are seeing more mahogany duns and hecubas, as well as caddis.
Dry fly fishing is getting back to normal with surface action happening in riffles, seams, bankside troughs, and submerged structure. Fish has been best in the afternoon hours from about 12pm to 4pm, with more grabby fish being taken in the latter morning hours than after 4pm.
The lower reach of the river from South Park down to Sheep Gulch is fishing best, and much of this is due to the action on a wide variety of patterns and riggings. Dry flies are working fine, but streamers and nymphs (especially nymphs) are producing very well. Double nymph rigs and dry-dropper rigs are working best in riffles pools, seams, along submerged structure, and in the plethora of ledgerock pools that exist in this part of the Snake.
Streamer fishing has been inconsistent throughout the entire reach of river. However, when it is on, it is really on! A wide variety of streamers are producing, with everything from moderately-sized single hook pattern to larger, articulated baitfish imitations. Floating lines with seven and a half to nine feet of leader is working best, but at time going deep with six to nine feet of T-8, T-11, or T-14 will get into big cutthroats when patterns fished higher in the water column are failing. Target structure, bankside troughs, and riffle pools.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Purple Bruces, Chubby Chernobyls, Parachute Hares Ears, Parawulffs, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Klinkhamers, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Dun Emergers, Purple Hazes, Parachute Adams, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red or copper, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Ornaments, Sparkle Minnows, Krystal Buggers, Silvey Sculpins, Keller’s Nightmare, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, and Dali Llamas.
Flows from Palisade Dam have dropped to 5,5000cfs over the past week. Inconsistency is the name of the game on the South Fork. You can’t count on great fishing, but there is certainly good on the upper reach in Swan Valley and throughout the Canyon reach, the latter of which can have spectacular fishing with the right approach and conditions. So great fishing is totally in the cards. Going subsurface is the best bet everywhere with stonefly and mayfly imitations. Dry fly action is happening on cooler, wetter days with BWO and mahogany imitations.
Nymphing has been best from approximately 11am until dusk in riffles, seams, eddies, and along banks with moderate depths and a decent amount of structure. 7 feet of leader from indicator to trailing fly will suffice, although nine feet can come in handy from time to time. Dry-dropper rigs can come in handy on flats and shallow rffles.
When it gets cool and wet, fish will start coming up as blue-winged olives, PMDs, and mahogany duns start to emerge. Target riffles, seams, flats, bankside troughs, and eddies. You may want to go with lighter leader (5X) and smaller emerger imitations. Several passes over feeding fish might be required, but the payoff could be a 20-plus inch trout. This has been happening quite a bit, actually.
Streamers are producing on all reaches of the South Fork. As on the Snake, floating lines with 9 foot of leader will work fine. If you feel the need to go deeper, intermediate to 3ips tips will suffice. Target riffle pools, banks, and submerged riffle primarily. Flats can also have action on days when there are significant hatches of mayflies and trout are actively feeding on flats.
Dry flies – J-Slams, Circus Peanuts, Snake River Water Walkers, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, BWOs, and Mahoganies, Comparaduns, Parachute Adams, AuSable Wulffs, Booty’s PMD, BWO, and Mahogany Emergers, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Kreelux, Shaka Zulus, Chicklets, Arum’s Lil Kim, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnows, and J.J. Specials.
This is a favorite time of year for many Flat Creek enthusiasts. There are still a number of fly fishers hitting this body of water, but we now have cooler and, at times, wetter weather. This is allowing for an increased tempo of mahogany dun, tricos, PMD, and blue-winged olive emergences. Nymphs are a good way to go in the morning to early afternoon hours. Around 2pm, hatches have been kicking into gear and last into the evening. When it is wet in the morning, they have a chance of occurring around noon. Riffles, seams, eddies, and undercut banks can all produce. Don’t expect a dozen fish in a half day on Flat Creek at this time of year. But a half dozen is certainly in the cards. And they can, of course, be some big boys!
Dry Flies – Parachute Extended Body BWOs, PMDs, and Mahoganies, Comparaduns, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD, BWO, and Mahogany Emergers, Film Critics, Air-Flo Tricos, Snowshoe Tricos, Parasol Midge Emergers, and Krystal Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Copper Johns in red or olive, Brassies, Day-2 Midge Pupas, and Soft Hackles.