Variable weather over the past week, but with pretty stable temperatures in the 50s and some days in the 60s. As a result water temperatures have been getting into the upper 40s on the lower river below Moose Bridge. We are now starting to see our first skwalas of the season (some days in impressive numbers). This is allowing fly fishers to use larger attractors with success along banks and structure, seams, the inside turns of riffles, and at the current margin of riffle pools. Blue-winged olive imitations are producing on most days in riffles and riffle pools and along seams. Action on these flies is best in the afternoon.
Nymphs – either a double nymph rig or dry/dropper rig – are still working best throughout the day. Larger stonefly imitations are producing almost as well as smaller mayfly and caddis imitations. Target riffles, banks and bankside troughs, seams, and confluence lines.
Streamer fishing has been inconsistent, although on those days when it is good, it can be really good. Intermediate sinking tips, 3ips and 6ips tips, and five to seven feet of T-11 have been effective. Target banks and structure, riffle and riffle pools, and seams. Both larger, articulated streamers and more moderately sized baitfish imitations are producing.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Will’s Chocolate Ant, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, Parachute Adams (olive), Furimsky BDEs, and Griffith Gnats.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Rubber Legged Soft Hackle Princes, Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or olive, and Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Bow River Buggers, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, Sparkle Minnows, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, and Teller’s Nightmare.
Flows from Palisades Dam have dropped from 18,000cfs to 14,000cfs this past week and, while the South Fork is still running a bit off color, the fishing has improved noticeably. The most productive sections have been on the upper reach in Swan Valley and the upper Canyon from Conant down to the confluence with Burns Creek. Double nymph rigs are working best in riffles, eddies, seams, and along banks. Blue-winged olives have been out in good numbers, so using general mayfly nymph imitations is the best way to go. Nonetheless, larger stonefly imitations, as well as worm and Mysis imitations are working just as well (and even better some days).
Streamers have been effective when fished along banks, structure, bankside troughs, at the head of riffles, on seams. A variety of sinking tips and lines – from hover lines all the way down to 15 feet of T-11 are working. As on the Snake, large articulated streamers and more moderately sized baitfish imitations are producing equally well.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worm, Meyer’s Mysis, Galloup’s Mysis, Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, and Copper Johns in red or olive.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Shaka Zulus, Bow River Buggers, J.J. Specials, Tequillies, Sparkle Minnows, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Double Bunnies, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, and Sundell’s Nightfire.