It is mid-September and, as good as the fishing has been since runoff subsided, it is getting even better and should continue to do so over the next several weeks. Autumn is the time to be on the Snake.
Claassenia emergences and grasshopper sightings are waning noticeably, yet foam attractors and hopper patterns continue to produce well, even on those days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Target banks, structure, bankside troughs, and – in the afternoon – riffle pools and seams with your imitations to reap the benefits of these continuing hatches. Movement of these patterns with twitches and mends can imitate the movement of the naturals and generate strikes.
PMD emergences are still strong, and Hecuba and mahogany dun hatches are coming on strong, especially those days with cloudy and wet weather. Side channels are prime targets for imitations of these bugs. Riffles, riffle pools, seams, eddies, banks, and bankside troughs can be just as productive.
We are starting to see our first October caddis of the season. Just a couple from time-to-time or day-to-day, but fish are taking imitations in slow current along banks and in riffle pools. As with your larger foam attractors, give your flies a bit of movement to imitate the naturals and generate eats.
Dry fly action is good most days and great days are definitely in the cards. So fish hard with your surface patterns when you are on the water.
Streamer action is still not great, but action can be had on large and moderately size baitfish imitations if you vary up your retrieves and your sink rate. There is no consistency in terms of eats on size, retrieval, depth of water column, or targeted water. Nonetheless, streamers can be worth fishing if you are after the big boys. Just stick with it and fish as hard as you can.
Dry flies – Purple Bruces, Circus Peanuts, Water Walkers, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Green Machines, Parachute Hoppers, Paracute Extended Body Drakes, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emergers, Parachute extended Body PMDs, Pink Parachutes, Purple Parachute Extended Bodies, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Emergers, Comparaduns, Film Critics, Stimulators, Goodard Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, and Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red, copper, and olive, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Chicklets, Clouser Minnows, Coyote Uglies, Silvey Sculpins, Butt Monkeys, SRA Double Bunnies, Keller’s Nightmare, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Sundell’s Moss Fire, and Jointed Urchins.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir have been reduced to approximately 7,000cfs. Surface action is getting better with each passing week on the South Fork on most reaches, especially those from Conant down to the confluence with Menan. Vegetation suspended in the water column is still an issues anglers will have to deal with, Attractors imitating mutant stones and grasshoppers are producing on banks, structure, eddies and at the head of seams.
PMDs are still prevalent from day-to-day and mahogany duns are being observed with a bit more frequency. Mayfly imitations mimicking these flies are producing in the afternoon hours in riffles (which have come on a bit stronger over the past two weeks), seams, and on banks with slow to moderate currents. Caddis patterns can work in the same water, as well as on flats and along structure with shallow holding water.
Nymph rigs are still producing well and some days better than dry or dry-dropper riggings. Keep your length in the six to nine foot range and target riffles pools, seams, bankside troughs, and banks with moderate currents and moderate depths.
As on the Snake, streamer fishing is spotty. The best action has been of intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the intermediate to 6ips range. Give your patterns significant movement but pause for a one to two second count after several strips. Takes can be subtle, so make sure your strip set is not too quick or abrupt.
Dry Flies – Circus Peanuts, J-Slams, Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Chubby Chernobyls, Barrett’s Ant, Whitlock Hoppers, Parachute Hoppers, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Ausable Wulffs, Comparaduns, Parachute Mahoganies, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Dun Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Elk Hair Caddis, Tent Wing Caddis, and Stimulators.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red, black, or olive, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Pyscho Princes, Bubbleback Pheasant Tail’s, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Mercer’s Bead Tail Caddis.
Streamers – Ornaments, Kreelux, Chicklets, J.J. Specials, Murphy’s Bling Minnow, Silvey Sculpins, and Galloup’s Sex Dungeon.