The March warm up is officially underway. Temperatures over the past week have been in the mid-40s just about every day. This is making for some very comfortable fishing.
The main bugs on the water have been midges and Capnia stoneflies, both of which you will find on the surface during the afternoon hours. Midges, in fact, are everywhere and can carpet the water and the banks in many places. Fishing has been most productive in riffle pools and riffle margins, shallow inside turn of riffles, and on seams. There is also brief (one to one-and-a-half hours) of feeding activity along banks with shallow to moderate depths as Capnias make their emergence migration.
Nymphing is decent throughout the day with midge imitations (#18 to #20) and attractor nymphs (#12 to #18) the same water you will be using dry flies. A dry-dropper rig with a tippet in the three foot range is working best in shallower holding water. Nymph rigs in the four to six foot depth range will work in deeper lies.
Streamer fishing is picking up. Eddies and seams are still producing, but riffle pool are starting to become just as active. Use floating and intermediate sinking lines or an INT tip. Continue to use slow retrieve is eddies and seams. Moderately faster retrieves are doing the job in riffle pools.
Dry flies – Parachute Midges, CDC Midges, Air Flo Tricos, Furimsky BDEs, Griffith Gnats, and Renegades.
Nymphs – Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Brackett’s LBS, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Rojo Midges.
Streamers – Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, Rickard’s Seal Bugger, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, and Strung-Out Leeches.
Releases from Palisades Reservoir have gone up to 6,800cfs. Fishing is similar on just about every reach of the South Fork. Warm air temps are leading to warming water temps and this is leading to more midge activity and the appearance of more blue-wing olives, even on the sunny days we are experiencing. It is still primarily a nymphing game, but the afternoons are fishing just as good as the Snake on the surface with midge imitations. Target seams and riffle tailouts. Slow current flats are also offering some decent action for a couple hours in mid-afternoon.
Nymphing is producing in a variety of holding water. Riffle pools, riffle tailouts, seams, bankside troughs, and slow current eddies all have some actions. As with dry flies, flats are producing for a couple of hours in mid-afternoon.
Streamer fishing is moving in the right direction. Moderate sized streamers are working in riffles, seams, and along banks and structure with slower to moderate current speeds. Intermediate and hover lines, as well as INT to 3ips tips, are producing equally well. We have not found much consistency with retrieval speeds. Slow retrieves and faster retrieves with interval pauses are working equally well. You best bet is to experiment and find which one is working best on a given day.
Dry flies – Parachute Extended Body BWOS, Parachute Adams, Parachute Midges, CDC Midges, Air Flo Tricos, Furimsky BDEs, and Renegades.
Nymphs – Flashback Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Brackett’s LBS, , Ice Cream Cone Midges, Rojo Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Booty Call Minnows, Krystal Buggers, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, and Murphy’s Bling Minnow.