Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for January 3rd, 2019

Snake River

A bit of a cold spell to start off 2019. As such, most of the action is happening later in the day.  No reason to get started any earlier than 10am.  Noon is best some days.  The whitefish spawn has completely come to an end, which means that fishing long, slow riffle pools isn’t in the cards as much as it has been.  Instead, the best targets are slow current side channels with significant volume, eddies, and seams at the edge of current-less side channels. These are fishing best with chironomid larva/pupa imitations.  Larger, soft hackle bugs can also get into fish.  There is still a chance at top water action with midge adults, although the consistency isn’t quite there most days. Small streamers fished on floating lines with long leaders are also worth a toss on warmer days.

Note – Temperatures for the upcoming week are forecasted to be between 29 and 37 degrees. Much warmer than what we had over the previous week.

Dry flies – Parachute Midge Emergers, Air-Flo Tricos, CDC Wing Midges, and Mating Midges.

Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, CDC Soft Hackle Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, Lite Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.

Streamers – Rickard’s Seal Bugger, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Slump Busters.


South Fork

Cold days and low flows (900cfs) is putting slow current side channel into no-go territory, at least over the past week or so. As such, the best fishing is found almost exclusively in riffle pools and the fast current side of seams, and confluences points.  Fish these with chironomid larva/pupa and BWO nymph imitations lightly weighted and on short leader in the four to six foot range. Surface activity has been strictly on adult midge patterns in riffle tailouts.  As for the sections of river that are fishing best, go with the Swan Valley reach from the Dam down to Conant and the lower reach from Byington down to Lorenzo.

Note – Much warmer air temperatures are forecasted over the next week for the South Fork Corridor.

Dry flies – Renegades, Griffith Gnats, Parachute Midges, and CDC Wing Midges.

Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red, black, or olive, Mercer’s Midgling, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Jujubee Midges.