Finally some warm (or warmer) weather in the area. This past December and January were colder than average for sure. I counted 27 days since December 1st where the overnight low was below zero. Over the past five years, we have average 11 days below zero for the entire winter. The main impact on our fishing has been significant ice flows (primarily on the Snake. A little bit on the South Fork). The extended forecast calls for February to be noticeably warmer. That could spell good things for those of you getting out on the water with rod in hand. In fact, the past three days have been in the high 30 to low 40s. Some of us have been out on the water this past week, and it now feels like a totally different winter.
Still mostly a midge game in riffles, riffle pools, and seams. Smaller patterns – #14 to #20 – have been working best in this water. Larger patterns are getting fish about half as much. It is still worth fishing both a large and a small pattern as part of a double nymph rig. The best action has been from approximately 11 am until 4pm, with the sweet spot between noon and 3pm. Keep in mind that some of the better action during this sweet spot has been in faster water just on the inside of current margins and the head of riffles. But target everything in front of you.
Despite the slightly warmer water temperatures, there has been little surface activity up to this point. We expect that to change in the coming weeks as temperatures warm even more.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Rojo Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Almost a mirror image of what is happening on the Snake – mostly midges, double nymph rigs in riffles, riffle pools, and seams, and the best action being from 11am until 4pm. Some differences, though – flats and riffle pool tailouts are also producing and there is at least respectable surface action, mainly between 1pm and 3pm. Target flats and tailouts with both nymphs and dry flies during this 1pm to 3pm sweet spot. Both of these waters can produce just as good as riffles and seams, and sometimes even better.
Dry Flies – Pheasant Tail Emergers, Snowshoe Midges, AirFlo Tricos, and Parachute Midges.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Copper Johns in black and olive, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Rojo Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.