Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for April 16th, 2018

Snake River

Flows from Jackson Lake Dam at approximately 2,500cfs. Lot of water but there is substantial clarity.  The Snake is fishing best on the lower reaches from Moose Bridge down to Sheep Gulch.  Dry fly action is squarely in the late afternoon hours, primarily with BWO and midge imitations.  It is almost exclusively midges on the water but skwalas are just around the corner and should be appearing this week.  However, with high flows from Jackson Lake Dam, skwalas might be delayed.  Hard to say at this moment as flows for this time of year are kind of unprecedented.  No matter what you are fishing, most of the action has been in riffles and seams and side channels with minimal current.

Nymphing is decent throughout the day but better in the afternoons than in the mornings. As with the surface action, the most productive water has been riffles, seams, and bankside troughs, although riffle tailouts are producing later in the day.  Double nymph rigs in the six foot range are working in the morning hours.  From about 11am on, dry-droppers are working best (two to three feet of dropper tippet at most).

Like the last two springs, streamers are fishing very well with moderate sized-baitfish imitations. In fact, streamers are the only thing getting into fish consistently throughout the day.  Fish these on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the 3ips range.  Use slow retrieves in slower water types and faster retrieves in faster water.  Target bankside troughs, banks with moderate currents, seams, and confluence points.

Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Mary Kays, Circus Peanuts, Parachute extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Film Critics, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Parachute Midges, and Furimsky BDEs.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Rubber Legged Flashback Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or black, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Zebra Midges.

Streamer – Silvey Sculpins, Mini Sex Dungeons, Chicklets, Kreelux Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, Marabou Muddlers, and Rickard’s Seal Bugger.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at just over 18,000cfs. That is a lot of water for this time of year but there is a lot of clarity.  There is a little dryfly action in the later afternoon hours – 2:30pm to 5pm – on primarily on midge patterns and bwo imitations.  Some aggressive fish are hitting moderately sized attractors.  This is happening almost exclusively in side channels and in riffles with slow to moderate currents.  The best action has been in the lower Canyon reach and on the lower river from Byington to Menan Buttes.

Nymphing is the name of the game no matter what reach you are on Double nymph rigs that are eight to ten feet in length have been working best.  Target riffles, seams, and eddies.  Shorten up some and go four to six feet if hitting shallow side channels.  A dry-dropper rig with four feet of dropper tippet will work in this water as well.

Streamer fishing has been decent but also inconsistent at times. It is worth doing if the bite is on.  Intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range are producing better than other lines.  Go with moderate retrieves and vary up the lengths of you strips quite a bit.  Target banks, submerged structure, seams, and riffle pools.

Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Barrett’s Ant, Parachute extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Parachute Midges, and CDC Midges.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Bitch Creek Nymphs, San Juan Worms, Glo-Bugs, Veiled Eggs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or copper, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Zebra Midges.

Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Keller’s Nightmare, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Chicklets, Craft Fur Clousers, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, and Beldar’s Bugger.

Henry’s Fork

Good hatches and fishing on the Henry’s Fork at the moment. The best fishing is on the lower river from Ora down to Chester with Warm River to Ashton being a close second.  There are midges throughout the day but blue-winged olives have been coming off around noon and will last until late afternoon.  Most of the surface action is occurring in lower water pieces at the tail of riffles and seams.  You should see a number of fish rising in a given pool, so its worth sticking it out and working the water for an hour or more.

Nmyphing is working throughout the day but shorter rigs are working better than longer ones. The best water to target is submerged structure, and the heads of riffles and seams.  The entire length of riffles and seams will produce better than the heads in the afternoon, but with the dry fly fishing being good, why bother.

Dry flies – Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Cole’s Split-Wing Cripple, Film Critics, CDC Midges, Parachute Midges, and Renegades.

Nymphs – Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, Hares Ear Nymphs, Soft Hackles, Mercer’s Glass Tail Caddis, Zebra Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.