Flows from Jackson Lake Dam are at approximately 7,000cfs. We are still feeling the effects of lake turnover on the tailwater reach but it has cleared noticeably over the past few days and is much, much clearer than the rest of the Snake. Nymphing is producing best on the upper reach above Cattleman’s. Streamers are the way to go immediately below the Dam and from Cattleman’s down to the confluence with Pacific Creek. Nymphing has been best in eddies and in riffles and side channel confluences. Seven to nine feet of leader from line trailing fly has been working best.
Streamer action below the spillway remains good, but it is even better below Cattleman’s. Target structure and banks with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines. Long, slow retrieves are still working best. Speeding it up with one to two second pauses before another series of slow retrieves is a close second. Go with smaller to moderately sized imitations.
Nymphs – Pats Rubber Leg, Flashback Hares Ears, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red or black, Lightening Bugs, Psycho Princes, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Zulu Warriors, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Baby Bunnies, Booty Call Minnows, Fruit Roll Ups, and Rickard’s Seal Buggers.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are approximately 20,000cfs. Running pretty high and a little off color, but we have had success well above 20,000cfs and it much darker water. The key is to target the right water with the right tackle.
The Swam Valley reach and the upper Canyon reach is fishing best in riffles, eddies, and seams (in that order) with double and triple nymph rigs in the nine to twelve feet range from line-leader joint to trailing fly. This tactics/strategy is working throughout the day and is kind of the only game in town in the morning. One the Upper reach in Swan Valley, egg and worm patterns are outperforming just about every other fly, particularly from the Dam down to around God’s Riffle.
Streamers are working best in slow current riffle pools, at the tail of seams with slow currents, and along banks and structure. Going deep with 8ips tips or several feet of T-8 to T-11 has been producing best. Larger to moderately sized streamers fished with moderate retrieves is part of the game as well. Slower retireves will work better than faster ones if a standard retrieve is producing. Error on the side of darker patterns as opposed to lighter ones.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Veiled Eggs, Clown Eggs, Nuclear Eggs, Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs, Copper Johns in red, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Lightening Bugs, and Flashback Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, McKight’s Home Invader, Silvey Sculpins, Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Double Bunnies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Jointed Urchins.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – Flows on the Firehole at Old Faithful are approximately 300cfs and water temps
are in the low to mid-50s, making this stream a good option since it opened a week ago. Morning hours are mostly a time for nymphing with caddis and PMD imitations as well as yellow sallie patterns. There is a decent amount of caddis and PMD emergences most days and some BWOs on those days with cloud cover and a little precipitations. Sparkle Caddis, Soft Hackles, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and BWOs, as well as PMD and BWO emergers are a good way to go in riffles and seams. And as always this time of year, small baitfish imitations like Woolley Buggers and Fruit Roll Ups can get into fish when swung though deep pools and along undercut banks just about all day long.
Lewis Lake – Ice is off most of Lewis Lake and there has been some solid near-surface action on flats and drop-off edges with lightly weighted baitfish and damsel imitations. Go with fairly slow retrieves and incorporate pauses in your strips every now and then. Floating and hover lines are working best. Keep your flies in the top three feet of the water column.
Crawfish Creek – Just about ideal water temps in the low to mid 50s. Caddis are emerging in the afternoon hours. Adult and Pupa imitations of caddis, as well as general attractors like Lightening Bugs and Rainbow Warriors are working best in pooled water and alongside structure. With the forecasted temps coming up over the next month, it might be a good idea to hit Crawfish now before it gets too damn warm.
Salmon flies have advanced past Riverside Campground and caddis and a variety of mayflies (more broad than thick) dominate the scene just about everywhere. Surface fishing is best above and below Mesa Falls in the Canyon and in Box Canyon. Clarity isn’t perfect but that is not stopping the fish from coming up. Most trout are holding and feeding well off banks and structure. Feeding in riffles is occurring primarily in the center and tail of riffle pools.
Nymphing has been working just about everywhere and is really the way to go on the lower reaches below Warm River. Stonefly imitations continue to produce. These can be matched up with caddis and general attractor nymphs on double rigs. As with your dry flies, fish these well off of banks and structure but through the entire length of seams and riffles. The depth of feeding has been fairly inconsistent. Vary up the length of your dropper leader and find what length is working best. You might have to vary your length several times in a given day.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Henry’s Fork Golden, Luna Negras, Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Peacock Fluttering Caddis, Henrysville Special, Comparaduns, Purple Haze, Parachute Extended Body Cahills, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Olive Stone, Flashback Hares Ear Nymph, Mercer’s Beadtail Caddis, Soft Hackles, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.