Flows from Jackson Lake Dam have been steady at 3,500 cfs for a solid week now, and the Snake is showing signs of its typical early spring clarity. It’s certainly not crystal clear, but it has improved from what it was a week and a half ago. Without question, the best fishing has been in slower runs and current margins at the mid-section and tail of riffles, seams, and confluence lines with double nymph rigs. Dry flies imitations of blue-winged olives and midges will work in the same water, but that action is far more spotty. Surface feedin is best at the confluence of spring creek tributaries (which makes the reach from Moose down to South Park a good place to be). Getting the picture perfect drift is crucial. Matching size is important, too, although going up one size is working as good as the exact size match.
Streamer fishing has been producing best with moderately sized streamers in the #6 to #4 range on hover lines, intermediate tips, and 3ips tips. Target the same water as you would with your dry fly and nymph rigs, but also target bankside troughs and structure with moderate depths and slow to moderate speed currents.
NOTE: The tailwater reach on the Snake from Jackson Lake Dam to Pacific Creek should be in prime form at 3,500cfs, and will continue to be up to 6,000cfs. The snow should be off these ramps soon, so be ready to hit it!
Dry flies – Furimsky BDEs, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Snowshoe Tricos, CDC Midges, Booty’s BWO Emergers, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, and Parachute Sparkle Ants.
Nymphs – Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Copper Johns in red, black, or olive, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Soft Hackle Princes, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Thunder Minnows, J.J. Specials, Sculpzillas, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Bow River Buggers.
The South Fork has a fair amount of clarity, but flows are high and the river is running pretty fast as 17,000 cfs. Fishing is at least respectable with cutties, browns, and rainbows being primarily on riffles (the entire length of riffles) and along banks with slow to moderate currents. It is a nymphing game primarily with the most productive rigging being nine to ten feet of leader from the indicator to the trailer. 12 feet of leader can work in deeper, slower runs.
Dry flies – primarily midge imitations – are working sporadically but worth trying after 2pm at the tail of riffles with moderate to minimal depths and on flats with slower current speeds.
Streamers are working in bits and pieces along slower banks and structured water and on the current margin of riffle pools. Moderate sized imitations and larger articulated bugs are working equally well. Go with 3ips to 6ips tips and use retrieves that are moderate to slow in speed. And don’t be afraid to vary up the length of each retrieve.
Dry flies – Furimsky BDEs, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Parachute Midges, CDC Midges, Air Flo Tricos, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – – Meyer’s Mysis, Galloup’s Mysis, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and San Juan Worms.
Streamers – Kreelux, Clouser Minnows, Tequilleys, Sparkle Minnows, Silvey’s Sculpin, and Sundell’s Sunfire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Boogey Man, and Galloup’s Sex Dungeon.