Variable air temperatures again over the past month but when it has been warm (35 degrees-plus, particularly the first half of the month) fishing has been decent on the surface and better than decent below the surface on nymphs and streamers. Midges continue to dominate the scene with afternoon top water feeding occurring along riffle margins, riffle tailouts, the tail of seams, and in eddies. These are good place to fish both midge adults/emergers, and larva or pupa imitations.
Just within the past few days we have started to see our first winter stones of the year. By no means are there a lot of them, but we should be seeing more and more over the next month or so. Afternoons are the best time to fish these emergences. Target shallow bank edges and the slower, inside turns on riffles.
Slow retrieves and floating lines are the name of the game with streamers. And go small to moderate with your patterns. Target slow water areas like recirculating eddies and backwater channels at the margin channels with faster currents.
Dry flies – Parachute Midges, CDC Wing Midges, Air-Flo Tricos, Parachute Midge Emergers, Furimisky BDEs, and Griffith Gnats.
Nymphs – Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Mercer’s Zebra Midgling, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Copper Johns in black.
Streamers – Fruit Roll Ups, Rickards’ Seal Buggers, Krystal Buggers, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnnow, and Booty Call Minnows.
As on the Snake, fishing on the South Fork has been best in the afternoon with midge adults and emergers in slower water like riffle margins and tailouts and eddies and seams. Flats are also worth targeting, although they are not as consistent.
Nymph rigs are working more consistently than surface patterns and are producing earlier in the day ( around 11am in some cases). Midge imitations and general attractor are working in the same water as surface patterns. It is best to go with a dry-dropper rig in most situations unless fishing water with sufficient depth for double or triple rigs. Dropper depth can be in the two to three feet range. Double and triple nymph rigs can be in the four to six foot range.
Streamer fishing is decent both morning and afternoon with floating and intermediate sinking lines retrieved slowly. In some of the deeper pools (4-plus feet) we have taken some big fellas on six feet of T-8 and T-11. Don’t count on anything consistent, but this can be worth a try if you are facing a slow spell in shallower water types.
Dry flies – Parachute Midges, CDC Wing Midges, Griffith Gnats, Renegades, Furimisky BDEs, and Krystal Wing Midges.
Nymphs – Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge, RS-2s, and Mercer’s Midgling.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Murphy’s Bling Minnow, Strung-out Leeches and Krystal Buggers.