Flows are at average for this time of the year on the upper reaches and is only around 10-12% above average on the lower reaches. What is more, the Snake is pretty much crystal clear. Don’t expect a lot of hatches. PMDs are the primary aquatic insect and caddis are about in the morning. You will find a plethora of crane flies on certain sections of the river. Grasshoppers seem to be everywhere and we are starting to see our first Claassenia stones on the water. No what you see, stay on the surface if you want. Dry fly fishing is happening everywhere. And going big with foam attractors has its advantages.
The largest fish are being taken on the Pacific Creek to Deadman’s reach, Moose to South Park, and Astoria to West Table. No matter what size fishing, time of day has been variable. 10am to 2pm has been the hot spot, with more fish being caught before 10am than after 2pm. Yet there are days when the afternoon fishing is the best. And mornings can be hot some days. Target water is also variable – banks, structure, troughs, riffles, seams, and eddies can all produce equally. It all depends on what is happening on a particular day. Be prepared to vary things up and fish hard.
Streamer action is good and has been getting better by the day. Banks and structure are the best waters to target. Bankside troughs, seams, and the tail of riffle pools are a distant second but still worth targeting. Intermediate to 3ips sinking tips are most effective using moderate retrieves and six to twelve srips. Slower retrieves are working better in slower water.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Will’s Winged Peanuts, Parachute Adams, Sanchez’s Foam Wing Hopper, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Sundell’s Night Fire, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Bow River Buggers, and, Krystal Buggers.
You will see come caddis, yellow sallies, and grasshoppers about, but, as on the Snake, PMDs are the major hatch occurring at the moment. Surface actions continues to get better by the day with more and larger fish being taken as the South Fork continues to drop and clear.
Fishing in the morning is good. Expect better actions (sometimes 2-1 in terms of number) in the afternoon until about 4pm. Riffles are the best water to target with most dry flies. There is also action seams and eddies. However, as has been the case over the past week and a half, the best action has been in dead water channels with side channel in-flows and in wadeable side channels. Bankside troughs are worth targeting as well.
Nymphing is still producing and will do so throughout the day from sunup until sundown. Target the same water as you would with solo or tandem dry rigs, but also hit banks and the tail of riffle pools.
Streamer fishing is fully ON, particularly in the upper Canyon reach and on the lower reach from Byington down to the confluence with the Henry’s Fork. Fish floating, hover and intermediate sinking lines as well as 3ips to 6ips tips and target banks, structure, troughs, eddy margins, and the inside turns of riffles and seams. Vary your retrieves, but lean towards slow strips in slow water and faster strips in faster currents.
Dry flies – J-Slams, Fat Alberts, Circus Peanuts, Grape Apes, Barrett’s Ant, Bean’s Orange Crush, Paracute Hoppers, Dave’s Hopper, Parachute Adams, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Sulfur Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worm, Biot Bugs, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Lightening Bugs and Flashback Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Night Fire, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Shaka Zulus, Kreelux, Chicklets, Bow River Buggers, Booty Call Minnows, Tequilleys, and McCune Sculpins.
You will find damsel flies, crane flies, caddis, and terrestrials in the form of grasshoppers and beetles on Flat Creek, but PMDs dominate the scene and should be the focus of your fishing. There is good action on nymphs and film flies in the dusk to 9am period. Noticeably better action is occurring on the surface with PMD dun and terrestrials patterns from 9am until about 1pm. Spinners are also in the cards. Fish tight to undercut banks, the margin of riffle currents, and eddies (the latter particularly with spinner patterns when naturals are present.
Dusk – 7am until dark – is producing with PMD dun and spinner patterns, and sometimes better than what we are experiencing in the morning hours. The same water will produce, but also target the entire length of riffles as well as the head of seams.
Dry flies – Parachute Hoppers, Whitlock Hoppers, Foam Beetles, Mini Beetles, Manuka Beetles, Royal Humpies, Will’s Crane Fly, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Sulfur Dun Emergers, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Rusty Spinners, and CDC Spinners.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Christian’s GT, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, and Soft Hackles.