Fishing has been excellent on the Snake and this should continue for at least the next month if the current water and weather conditions remain the same. Look for blue-winged olives to be active as well as lots of chironomids. We have also had a big increase in activity on the part of our October caddis. There is noticeably more of them now then there was a couple of weeks ago. Surface action has been best from about noon until 4pm. On certain days there is activity on dry flies that starts earlier – approximately 11am. The best water to target is the head of riffles and seams, especially the shallow water at inside turns and the margin of faster currents (which is where larger fish are being caught). There is also action on slower current margins in wider side channels. These have been the bread and butter water types over the past two weeks and are working just as well with double nymph and dry-dropper rigs as they have been with surface patterns.
Streamers are producing throughout the day and have been working very well in the morning when surface patterns aren’t rockin’ it. Floating lines are producing best if holding water is targeted properly and retrieval speed and action (rod-lifts and one to two foot strips with moderate speed) is spot-on. Full-run intermediate sinking lines as well as 3ips tips are also working. Anything heavier has been over-kill.
The lower reaches from Wilson Bridge down to Sheep Gulch remains the best part of the river to fish at this time from a dry fly and streamer standpoint. These is actually a lot of surface action on some of the upper river – from the Dam down to Deadman’s on midges and smaller BWO imitations, but drifts have to be picture perfect.
Dry flies – Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Hares Ears, Purple Hazes, Copper Hazes, Parachute Extended Body BWO and Mahogany Duns, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Snowshoe Tricos, and Parachute Midges.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive, Copper Johns in red, Psycho Princes, and Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis.
Streamers – Chicklets, Ornaments, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnows, Marabou Buggers, Shaka Zulus, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Silvey’s Sculpin, Galloup’s Butt Monkey, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Tellen’s Nightmare, Jointed Urchins, and Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir remain steady at approximately 2750cfs. Good fishing on the South Fork at the moment, although you might have to work a bit harder then you did over the previous month or so. The best action has been on the lower reaches from Wolverine down to Lorenzo where most of the spawning activity by brown trout is taking place. The upper reaches from the dam down to Cottonwood are still worth fishing if you stay focused and fish with vigilance.
As on the Snake, most of the bugs on the water have been BWOs and chironomids (the latter of which are dominating the scene in the morning). There are some October caddis on the water, but not much more than there was a month ago. Dry fly fishing is starting kind of late – about 1pm – but lasting until dusk. Expect more and earlier surface action when there is cloud cover and precipitation. The inside turns at the head of riffles, the current margins of riffle pools and seams are fishing best. Slower currents along banks and structure are worth hitting as well.
Streamer fishing is solid on the lower reaches where much of the brown trout spawn is occurring. In fact, you can fish streamers all day long on this part of the river and get into as many fish as you can with double or triple nymph rigs. Target flats, riffles pools with moderate to shallow depths, banks, and structure. A variety of sizes are producing. Darker patterns seem to be working best, even on those days with plentiful sunshine. Fish floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines.
Nymphing is good everywhere and is working bettern than anything else on the upper reaches. Standard double rigs composed of stonefly imitations, aquatic worms, and mayfly or caddis larva imitations are working equally well, although stonefly larva tend to be getting into more fish than other nymphs. It is also worthwhile to incorporate egg imitations into your nymphing scheme. Not only are brown trout into their spawn, but whitefish are starting to get into theirs, and is occurring on every reach of the South Fork.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, J-Slams, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Henrysville Specials, Parachue Extended Body BWO and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Furimsky BDEs in olive of brown, and Snowshoe Tricos.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, Bitch Creek Nymphs, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Mays, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Glo Bugs, Nuclear Eggs, and Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs.
Streamers – Chicklets, Ornaments, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, El Caminos, SRA Double Bunnies, McCune’s Sculpin, Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Butt Monkey, and Galloup’s Boogeyman.
Jackson Lake opens up to fishing again today. As was the case last year, there will probably be good action on shallow water flats (two to six feet of water) from Hermitage Point North to Wilcox Point where spawning lake trout are holding or, maybe, still spawning. These flats usually fish best with small-ish baitfish imitations like Clouser Minnows, Mohair Leeches, Kreelux, Sparkle Minnows Seal Buggers, and Lite Brite Zonkers. Damsel and dragonfly imitations can produce just as well (think of using Rickard’s Stillwater Nymph). Floating lines, hover lines, and full sinking intermediate lines are the way to go. This is a fun place to fish flies until the water turns to ice.
There will continue to be good fishing on the Snake above Jackson Lake where brown trout will continue to make their spawning run. Fish long pools with moderate to significant depth below riffles where the browns will be pooling or, potentially, spawning. Moderately sized streamers on floating and intermediate sinking lines, as well as 3ips to 6ips tips and T-11 of five to seven feet of length, will produce best. Larger streamers will also produce. Nymphing can be good on egg patterns and moderate-sized stonefly imitations in the same pools.
Keep in mind that Yellowstone National Park is closed to fishing on November 1st.