It certainly feels like October on the Snake. We have cool temps maxing out in the mid-60s and low, gin clear water. Fishing has been solid over the past two weeks on the mid-reaches from Moose to South Park and just as good of fishing on the lower reaches from South Park down to Sheep Gulch.
Dry fly fishing is best from about 12pm until 5pm. It is a somewhat a tight window, but this five hour period is well worth exploring. Mahogany duns, blue-winged olives, and a variety of caddis (including our fist October caddis of the year) have been out on most days. There is also a lot of midges around. These can figure into you surface action, but you definitely have to get a picture-perfect presentation to get some eats. Target the full length of riffles, seams, and banks or submerged structure with moderate depth.
Nymphing is good throughout the day with mayfly and caddis larva/pupa imitations in the same water types that dry flies are working in the afternoon. Seven feet of leader from indicator to trailing fly will suffice. Four to five feet will work from time to time. A dry-dropper can also work in certain waters with two to three feet of dropper tippet.
Streamers are kicking into gear big time this October with both moderate sized and larger, articulated baitfish imitations working well in a variety of water types, especially along banks, structure, and the tail of riffle pools and seams. There has been better production on 3ips to 6ips tips than there has been on floating or intermediate lines. Standard retrieves are working best, but speeding up the stripping speed on larger streamers can outperform other presentations with larger trout from time to time.
Dry flies – Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, X-Caddis, U-Cons, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Purple Hazes, Copper Hazes, Comparaduns, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Dun Emergers, Film Critics, Quigley Cripples, Snowshoe Midges, and Parachute Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive, Psycho Princes, and Flahsback Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Chiclets, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Beldar Buggers, Marabou Muddlers, SRA Double Bunnies, Galloup’s Butt Monkey, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Silvey’s Sculpin, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Sundell’s Sunfire, and Keller’s Nightmare.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 3500 cfs and the South Fork is fishing very well. It should – Its OCTOBER! Blue-winged olives, mahogany duns, and October caddis are everywhere in the afternoon hours and there are impressive hatches of chironomids throughout the day. However, as on the Snake, you will need an almost perfect presentation. Surface action on the upper reach in Swan Valley and on the Canyon reaches in riffles, and seams. Shallow banks and bankside troughs, as well as flats, also have a decent amount of action with cloudy and wet weather.
Nymphing is good throughout the day but has been best in the afternoon hours in the same water where dry flies are producing. Seams and the head of riffles are producing particularly well. Six to seven feet of leader from indicator to trailing fly has been the standard over the past week.
Streamers are producing throughout the entire length of the South Fork are working particularly well on the lower reaches from Byington to Lorenzo where large, articulated patterns are getting into the big browns that are starting to stage for their spawning run. Going a bit deeper than usual is the way to go. 3ips to 6ips tips of 15 feet of length have been working best. Six to ten feet of T-11 or T-14 is also producing, particularly in the Canyon reach.
Dry flies – Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, X-Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Diving Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, AuSable Wulffs, Comparaduns, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Dun Emergers, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Film Critics, Quigley Cripples, Snowshoe Midges, and Parachute Midge Emergers..
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive, Psycho Mays, and Bruised Mays.
Streamers – Chiclets, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Kreelux, Shaka Zulus, Baby Bunnies, Muddy Buddies, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey’s Sculpin, Booty’s Quad Bunny, and Keller’s 3 Pack Shaker.
Yellowstone National Park
Lewis Lake and Lewis River – The Lewis System is starting to fish very well. On the Lake, lake trout are swarming on the shallow flats in Brookie Bay and in the vicinity of the inlets of the channel. There is also substantial activity in the vicinity of Mac Point and its shelves and deeper water. As usual, you can’t get to close, in the shallow water, but if you can give a good 60 to 80 foot cast, good things can happen. Fish moderate sized baitfish imitations like Mohair Leeches, Crystal Buggers, Kreelux, and Chiclets. Creepy-crawly retrieves of nymphs can produce just as well.
Browns have started to move up the channel in force and a good number are on the gravel downstream of Shoshone Lake. Still, you will find many more in the deeper water in the first mile and a half above Lewis Lake. Egg patterns are working well in the gravel. Streamers and jig nymphs are producing best in the deeper water with slow to moderate retrieves.
Snake River – Good fishing on the Snake in YNP as cutthroats and resident brown trout are starting to get very active in riffles, riffle pools, and seams with streamers and animated nymphs. Dry fly action is in the cards in the afternoon on October Caddis and blue-winged olive imitations. Little sign of the browns from Jackson Lake starting their spawning runs, but that should change in the next week or so.