The Snake has the clarity few of streams in the area are achieving and is fishing good on every reach from Jackson Lake Dam down to Sheep Gulch and should fish even better with each passing week over the next month. Keep in mind that water temps are fairly warm upstream on Wilslon Bridge with late afternoon readings in the 64 degree range. They have been peaking three to four degrees cooler below South Park Bridge.
Caddis are the primary hatch in the morning until around 10am or so. PMDs begin to appear around 11:30am and will last into the late afternoon hours most days. There is a smattering of yellow sallies in the early afternoon hours. We also have the appearance of terrestrials – grasshoppers and carpenter ants mainly – just about everywhere. Ant patterns are outperforming hoppers, but both are worth considering at the end of your leader.
Attractors and terrestrials are working best when fished along banks and structure, although there is certainly action in riffles and riffle pools and eddies. Caddis and PMD imitations should be targets at every holding water type, especially riffles, riffle pools, seams, and in side channels.
Streamer fishing is not necessarily getting into truly large cutthroat (except for the upper reach from Jackson Lake dam down to Deadmans Bar), but they are picking up good numbers of fish. Go with moderately sized baitfish imitations and fish them on 3ips to 8ips tips. Moderately fast retrieves with hesitations is the most productive presentations. Larger imitations are working, but are clearly playing second fiddle.
Dry Flies – Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Jay-Dave’s Hopper, Grande Hoppers, Joe’s Hoppers, Power Ants, Sparkle Ants, Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, Stimulators, Royal Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, AuSable Wulffs, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, and Quigley Cripples.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Copper Johns in red or copper, Psycho Princes, Duracells, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – McKnight’s Home Invader, SRA Bunnies, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, Bow River Buggers, McCune Sculpins, Lil’ Kims, and Marabou Muddlers.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir currently stand at 11,300cfs and water temps are a consistent 57 to 61 degrees. A true sweet spot to many. The South Fork is offering some of the best surface action in the region at the moment. Rhycolphina caddis (think #12 or so) are the primary bug in the morning on every reach. Salmon flies have waned but there is still a smattering on the upper reach in Swan Valley. Calineuria Golden stones are the primary “big bug” throughout the canyon. But without question, PMDs dominate the scene everywhere (particularly on the the Swan Valley Reach and throughout the Canyon), and their imitations will get you into fish from 11am until late afternoon.
Larger attractor patterns – with or without droppers – can be fished through the day along banks and submerged structure and in riffles and riffle pools, as well as at the head off seams and the head of recirculating eddy currents. PMDs will get you into more fish in the late morning to late afternoon hours when fished in riffles, flats, seams, side channels, bankside troughs, and banks with slow to moderate currents and moderate current speeds. Riffles and flats are key in the afternoon. The action is good enough that it is wise to post up on a riffle or flat and pound out fish as much as you can. Tandem dry rigs – dun or spinner as the lead with an emerger as a trailer – will get the job done in a big way.
The surface action is good enough that a trailer will suffice. If need be, a double or triple rig fished with six to seven feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device will work just as well. Target banks, submerged structure, Riffle pools, seams, eddy currents and confluence currents.
Not a lot to say about streamers, primarily because the surface action is so good at the moment. Nonetheless, going with floating, full sinking intermediate, and sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range will get into larger fish when targeting banks, submerged structure, bankside troughs, riffle pools, and eddy currents. Go with moderately sized baitfish imitations and variable retrieves.
Dry flies – J-Slams, Chubby Chernobyls, Barrett’s Ant, Bean’s Orange Crush, Snake River Water Walkers, Parachute Hoppers, Whitlock Hoppers, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Pink Parachutes, Pink Alberts, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Booty’s DL PMD Cripples, Pink Sulfur Emergers, Quigley’s Loop Wing Cripples and Quigley’s Film Critic.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Duracells, Brush Hog Jigs, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Mercer’s Bead Tail Caddis Pupa, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Redemption PMD Nymphs, Prince Nymphs, and Cole’s LOF Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Booty Call Minnows, Chicklets, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Tequilleys, Flask Fries, and Lite Brite Zonkers.
Flows are around average for this time of year at Warren Bridge but water temps continue to rise with readings in the 70 to 72 degree range by late afternoon/early evening. This makes getting an early start critical to your production on the water and the health of the fish you hook into.
The action has been from around 9am until around 4pm, with the best action coming in a somewhat tight window between roughly 11:30am and 2:30pm. The most significant hatches have been gray drakes and yellow sallies, although they will be in intense pockets and not occurring throughout the day on any piece of water. Your dry flies – not just drakes and sallies but surface attractors as well – will produce when fished along banks and structure as well as on eddy current margins, bankside troughs, and riffle current margins. Dropper nymphs fished in the same water can produce in similar fashion. Go with two and half to three and a half feet of dropper tippets and pay special attention to bankside troughs and submerged structure.
Streamers are not getting into numbers as they have been but are definitely getting into solid size. Go with large to moderately sized baitfish imitations fished on floating lines or sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range. Target slow to moderate currents along banks, bankside troughs, eddies, and confluences. Streamers are fishing best during the morning hours from about 7:30am to around noon before action wanes noticeably.
Dry flies – Gold Members, Chubby Chernobyls, Fat Freds, Snake River Water Walkers, Double Humpies, Turck’s Tarantulas, Parachute Hares Ears, Quad Wing Gray Drake, Cole’s Split Wing Cripple, Booty’s Gray Drake Emerger, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Red Butt Sallies, and Sparkle Sallies.
Nymphs – Sexy Lexy Sallies, Biot Bugs, Biot Sallies, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, Hare Ear Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Psycho Princes, and Copper Johns in red, copper, or olive.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Bunnies, McKight’s Home Invader, Strolis’ Head Banger Sculpin, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Booty Call Minnows, Bow River Buggers, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and J.J. Speicals.
Flows at McCoy’s are around 550cfs and the Salt is as clear as it has been since before runoff. Still decent hatches of PMDs and yellow sallies and a smattering of caddis and the smaller golden stones, all of which are emerging from around 9am until 2pm. Dry flies and dry-droppers should be fished during these hours along banks and bankside troughs, eddies, and seams. After 2pm the best action is coming in side channels. Submerged structure is also worth targeting after 2pm. Dropper tippet should be in the two to three foot range.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Bart’s Lipstick, SRA Chernobyls, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Parachute Sallies, Cole’s Sallie Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Booty’s PMD DL Cripple, Film Critics, and Loop Wing Cripples.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Lightening Bugs, Matte Deamon Sallies, Biot Sallies, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Redemption PMDs, Psycho Mays, and Flashback Pheasant Tails.