Snake River Fly Fishing Report for July 21st, 2018

Snake River

With runoff over and visibility greatly increased, the Snake is starting to get really good below Pacific Creek. The upper reaches in Grand Teton National Park and mid-reaches from Moose down to South Park.  There is surface action primarily at the head of riffles, along banks with slower currents, and in seam current margins and side channels.  Most of this activity is coming on larger attractor patterns.  However, there are still a fair amount of yellow sallies, caddis, and PMDs around, so smaller, more imitative patterns will work in certain places and at certain times.

Nymphs are producing on every reach and can really rack up some numbers in Canyon below South Park. Double nymph rigs in the nine foot range from line to trailing fly are performing best in the Canyon when fished along banks, in riffles, and along seams.  Dry-dropper rigs are working best on the upper and middle reaches in the same water as well as in side channels.  Keep your dropper tippet in the two to three foot range but be prepared to make adjustments for deeper and shallower water.

Streamers are starting to produce a little better when fished along banks, structure, seams, and confluence lines. Pay particular attention to slower currents – they are definitely fishing better than faster ones.  Go with sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range or six feet of T-8 or T-11.  Faster retrieves are working better than slower ones.  Both larger and moderate sized patterns are performing equally well.  But go darker as opposed to lighter in terms of color and hue.

Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Mary Kays, Bart’s Lipstick, Fat Alberts, Fat Sallies, Stimulators, Chez’s Speed Stimulator, Parachute Adams, Royal Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Cahills, and Drakes, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley’ Cripples, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Pats Rubber Leg, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Soft Hackle Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Hot Wired Princes, Copper Johns in red or black, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Psycho Princes.

Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, Silvey Sculpins, SRA Bunnies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows,  Beldar Buggers, Chicklets, and Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow.


South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir have been rolling steady at just over 12,000cfs. The South Fork is a pretty good place to be at the moment with all reaches fishing well, and some of the fishing very, very, well.  Salmon flies have waned and for the most part are done.  However, golden stones, caddis (in the morning hours), yellow sallies, and PMDs continue to emerge.  Surface fishing has been best with larger stonefly and attractor patterns targeted at banks, structure, and current margins along seams.  Smaller mayfly and caddis patterns are working in riffles, eddies, seams, and flats.  These smaller patterns are producing best in the late morning to late afternoon hours.

Nymphs have been producing consistently in the same water as dries and are working well from early morning until late afternoon. Go with double nymph rigs in the seven to nine feet range.  Dry-dropper rigs with dropper tippet in the two to four foot range will also work, especially on flats, along banks, and in riffles.

Streamers can be fished all day with production, especially on the Swan Valley reach and in the Canyon. Larger patterns are performing better than smaller.  Go with sinking tips with sink rates between 1.5ips and 6ips.  Vary up your retrieves and target banks, structure, riffle pools, and eddy seams.  Flats can also offer action in the late morning hours and through the afternoon.

Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Convertibles, Barrett’s Ant, Kasey’s Creature, Chubby Chernobyls, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Elk Hair Sallies, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis, U-Cons, Parachute Extended Body Drakes and PMDs, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Comparaduns, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s PMD Emergers, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Sexy Sallie Nymphs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Duracells, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Copper Johns in red or olive.

Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Butt Monkey, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Teller’s Nightmare, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, J.J. Specials, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, and Kreelux.


Salt River

Flows on the Salt are low (just over 600cfs at Etna) and the stream continues to fish well on the surface as yellow sallies, caddis, and PMDs continue to pop on just about every reach. Eddies are not producing near as well, but banks and structure have had a definite uptick in action.  The tail of riffles and the entire length of seams are also good go-to water to target with surface patterns.

Nymphs are working well in the same water. Go with dry-dropper rigs with dropper tippet in the 18” to three foot range.  Providing a little bit of movement with swings and jigging maneuvers will help from time-to-time.

Keep in mind that there is a definite slow down between 1pm and 2pm (the lower reach as it enters the lake is hitting 71 degrees!). Both nymphs and dry flies will not produce quite the action as it does earlier in the day.  Try and target deeper pools in bankside troughs and riffles with nymph dropper.  This will produce better than anything else.

Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Bart’s Lipstick, Micro Peanuts, Elk Hair Caddis, Peking Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Copper Johns in red, olive or black, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Pinky Jigs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Mercer’s Beadtail Caddis Pupa.