Cooling autumn temps and some more consistent precipitation have provided an uptick in an already upticking surface game as PMDs and – FINALLY- hecubas are move of a given most days from the late morning hours until mid to late afternoon. Heavy precipitation may cause some off color water some days. Nevertheless, it has not been enough to eliminate any chance of top-water action.
Mayfly imitations are working best in eddies, side channels, bankside troughs, and banks with slow to moderate currents. There is action in riffles and seams from time to time, but it pales in comparison to what is happening in the former holding water types. Larger attractor, grasshopper, and attractor patterns are still good choices along banks, structure, in side channels, and riffle pools.
Double/triple nymph rigs and dry droppers are providing solid results in the Canyon reaches below South Park and in shallower water types on the middle and upper reaches. Go with six to eight feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device in riffle pools, seams, and eddies. Two to five feet – especially with dry-dropper rigs – is doing the job in shallower holding water at the head of riffles and seams, in bankside troughs, and in confluences with moderate currents.
Streamers continue to produce with floating line, intermediate sinking lines, and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Much of the action is in the top foot of the water column. Target woody structure, eddy seams, riffle pools, riffle heads (especially those running parallel to main currents, and seams. Go with lighter colored patterns and give some speedy rod lifts and jigs.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Parachute Hoppers, Nascar Hoppers, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Carlson’s Purple Haze, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Psycho Princes, Copper Johns in red, black or olive, Flashbank Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear Nymphs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Keller’s Nightmare, SRA Bunnies, Baby Bunnies, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, J.J. Specials, McCune Sculpins, Galloup’s Mini Dungeons, Sculpzillas, and Bow River Buggers.
As on the Snake, the South Fork is benefiting from cooler temps and precipitation with intensified PMD emergences and our first mahogany duns (just a smattering but more are coming) of the year. And, as on the Snake, there is still some decent to solid action with attractor and stonefly patterns when fished in the right places.
Mayfly imitations are working best from around11am until late afternoon in riffles, flats (especially when there is light to moderate rainfall), seams, eddies, and side channels. Emergent patterns are performing better than full-on adults, but both are working well. Attractor and stonefly patterns can get fish to the surface starting around 9:30am but are doing better after noon. Fish banks and structure with moderate currents, riffle pools, the tail of seams, and recirculating eddy currents. Side channel banks with moderate currents and tight side channel riffles are also worth targeting.
Nymphing isn’t as much of a go-to strategy as it was a couple of weeks ago but can outperform dry flies some days when fished all day and can be close to the only game in town pre-10am outside of streamers. Those early morning are best spent fishing somewhat deep with seven to nine feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device in riffle pools, eddies, and seam tails. After 10am, going noticeably shallower – four to seven feet depending on the water you are fishing – is the ticket. Target riffle pools and shelves, seams, side channel confluences, bank with slow to moderate currents, and bankside troughs.
Streamer have been hit or miss but partly because there is no real definitive pattern size, color hue, or retrieve that is doing the trick. It is best to change things up as much as possible. One thing that can be said is that throwing tandem rigs is outperforming singles (separated by three to five feet or so. Target banks, bankside troughs, structure, riffle current margins, confluence seams, and eddy current margins.
Dry flies – Kasey’s Creature, Gold Members, Snake River Water Walkers, Barrett’s Ant, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahoganies, Comparaduns, Rusty Spinners, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Emergers, Booty’s DL PMD and Mahogany Cripples, Film Critics, and Quigley Cripples.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann Black Stones, Copper Johns in red or copper, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Silk Kitties, Sundell’s Night Fire, Silvey Sculpins, Strolis Head Banger Sculpins, Galloup’s Zoo Cougars, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Murphy’s Bling Minnow, Chicklets, Galloup’s Barely Legal, and Slump Busters.