Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for January 1st, 2018

Snake River

Variable weather over the past two weeks with some days in the mid-40s and a few chilly days here and there. However, there has been little by way of overnight lows below zero.  This means we have had almost no ice flow on the river.  The few times that it has happened it has melted off by 2pm generally.  All this adds up to open water just about everywhere.

Much of the fishing at the moment is nymphing with chironomid imitations doubled up with small-ish attractor nymphs (Princes, Lightening Bugs, Pheasant Tails, etc.). We have been targeting the slow water margins of seams and riffles. Adjust your depth accordingly.  Generally four to six feet will do it. Slight rod lifts and swinging your rigging at the dangle can produce from time to time.  Another piece of water worth targeting is currentless sloughs.  If fish can be sighted, try fishing without an indicator and slowly retrieve your nymphs with slow hand-twist and pinch retireves.

Don’t expect off the charts activity no matter what water you target, but few hours on the water can produce a few fish. Concentrate on the hours from 1pm to 4pm.

Nymphs – Prince Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, Mercer’s Zebra Midglings, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.

South Fork

Mostly warm-ish days over the past two weeks with some colder day thrown in to make things interesting. Still some decent fishing on the upper reach below Palisades Reservoir and on the lower reaches below Byington (and a little warmer down there).  As on the Snake, double nymph rigs of four to six feet in length are doing the trick.  The best water to target is seam margins and the tail of riffle pools.  The former is probably producing best, particularly on the low reaches which still have ample flows in a number of the side channels that characterize the vicinity of the river around Heise Bridge and Lorenzo.  Chironomid imitations are taking the majority of fish.  Moderately sized stonefly imitations can pick up a fish here and there as well.  Approximately 12:30pm to 4:30pm has been the sweet spot. You probably won’t have a 20 fish day, but a half dozen can be in the cards.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Biot Bugs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or black, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Rojo Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.