The Snake is clearing fast and, while the tailwater reach below the dam is still offering the best fishing, the rest of the river is starting to produce with nymphs and noticeably better on dry flies.
Flows from the dam are at 2,600cfs and there are a ton of PMDs, caddis, and a fair number of yellow sallies and smaller golden stones. Dry fly action rules the day on the entire reach with the best production coming in eddies, seams, shallow riffles, and along banks (although eats can definitely occur several feet off of banks). Nymphs are also working in the same water. A dry dropper rigs with two to four feet of dropper tippet will work just as well as a double nymph rig. Streamers are working best on the lower section below Cattleman’s with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines retrieved with moderate to fairly fast strips.
Fishing is picking up below the confluence with Pacific Creek, especially on the lower reaches from Wilson Bridge down to Astoria. The vast majority of this action is with double or triple nymph rigs fished in riffles, along seams and confluence lines, and along banks. There is also some action in the same water with larger attractor patterns. However, these surface patterns are working best in slower water types and at the head of riffles and seams where shallow water exists. Streamers are working less well, but action from larger cutthroats is coming on larger attractors fished on six to eight feet of T8 or T11 as well as 3ips to 6 ips tips. Target slower water types like currentless back channels and side channels with slow current inflows.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Chubby Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Film Critics, Comparaduns, and Snowshoe Duns.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Girdle Bugs, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, and Peach Fuzz Jigs.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Keller’s Nightmare, McKight’s Home Invader, and Booty’s Quad Bunny.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir at currently at 12,600cfs and the South Fork is fishing great on every reach with dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. The salmon flies moved fast this year and they are now deep into the Swan Valley reach and nearing the dam. You will also find golden stones, yellow sallies, pmd, and caddis just about everywhere. Drakes are prevalent in the canyon and on the lower reach below Byington. No matter what you fish or where, top water action has been best from about 10am until late afternoon.
Surface fishing has been best with large attractors and stonefly imitations fished along banks and structure, in eddies, and (to a lesser degree) on seams. Fast water seams have been particularly good. Riffles, wadable side channels, and flats are producing best with smaller caddis and mayfly imitations. These are also working where larger patterns produce and perform best on days with cloud cover.
As with dry flies, nymph rigs are working everywhere and in every water type. The big difference is that they are producing throughout the entire day – from sunup until dusk. Dry-dropper rigs and double nymph rigs are producing equally well. Go with dropper tippet in the two to four foot range and double nymph rigs with leader in the six to eight foot range from line to trailer
Streamers are working when fished along banks, structure, and seams. Larger, articulated patterns are producing best but smaller patterns can still get into fish in the same water and are worth turning to when the bigger baitfish imitations start to generate refusals consistently. Sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range are performing better than floating lines.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Trina’s Carnage Stones, Sanchez’s Convertible, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Barrett’s Ant, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Film Critics, Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Peking Caddis, Foam Sallies, and Hackle Stacker Sallies.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worm, Lightening Bugs, Duracells, Rainbow Warriors, Foxy Sallie Stones, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Copper Johns in red or black, Psycho Mays, and Bruised Mays,
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, McKight’s Home Invader, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Flesh Fry, Booty Call Minnows, and Chicklets.
Still some very good dry fly fishing on the Green but water temps are warming considerably so the best bet is to be out early and end early. The hatches – drakes, PMDs, caddis, yellow sallies, and small goldens – are all occurring in the morning hours and begin to wane by 11am. Target banks, riffles, seams, side channels, submerged structure and eddies.
Nymphing is the only game in town after noon in the same water that dry flies are producing. Still, things slow down after around 2pm. Go with a dry-dropper rig or a double nymph rig with leader four to six feet in length from line to trailing fly.
Streamers were working better in the afternoon as compared to the morning a couple weeks ago but that has now shifted and the better action in now from dusk until around noon. Submerged structure is out-performing most other water types. Banks and eddy seams are also worth hitting. Go with slow to moderate retrieval speeds, throw in some pauses, and use floating and intermediate sinking lines.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, Fat Alberts, Stimulators, Red Butt Sallies, Booty’s Gray Drake Emergers, Quad Drakes, Parachute Extended Body Drakes and PMDs, Parachute Adams, Thorax PMDs, Elk Hair Caddis, and Tent-Wing Caddis.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Robins, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, and Peach Fuzz Jigs.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Sundell’s Sun Fire, SRA Bunnies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, J.J. Specials, Chicklets, and Booty Call Minnows.
A lot of clarity on the Salt and flows have dropped to approximately 700cfs at Warren Bridge. Still a fair amount of PMDs, caddis, yellow sallies, drakes, and small golden stones about, all of which is making for some very decent dry fly fishing throughout the day with a slowdown not occurring until around 3pm. Eddies, seams, and banks are fishing best with mid-sized attractors and tandem dry rigs. Riffles are a close second.
Nymphs are producing just as well as top water flies. No need to go with anything more than a dropper nymph with two feet of dropper tippet. Deeper eddies will fish better with twice that length, but it is kind of splitting hairs.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Purple Bruces, Bart’s Lipstick, Cinnamon Bears, Christian’s GT Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Drakes, Thorax PMDs, Compadadun, Snowshoe Duns, Film Critics, Goddard Caddis, Peacock Caddis, Mathew’s X-Caddis, Fall Creek Caddis, Micro Frank Caddis, Agee’s Knobbler Caddis, Quigley’s Stacker Caddis, and Elk Hair Sallies.
Nymphs – Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Soft Hackles, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Psycho Princes, Idyl’s Holo Princes, Green Beans, Creepy Sallies, and Ninch’s Thunder Bug.