Cooler temps after a pretty warm November. As expected, chironomid imitations are working best on the surface. Top water action has been in the afternoon from roughly 12pm until around 4pm, with the heart of activity from the 1pm to 3pm timeframe. Target slow water pools ate the tail and mid-section of riffles as well as backwater side channels.
Nymph rigs are producing from about 10am and through the afternoon in both the slow water targets mentioned above as well as faster currents in riffle pools, seams, and confluences. Midge and BWO imitations are working best with about four to five feet of leader from trailing nymph to live/suspension device. Egg patterns (also producing well) should be fished one to two feet deeper.
Streamers are producing decent in slower currents, particularly backwater side channels, eddy current margins, and riffle pools. Go with smaller patterns, fish them on floating or hover lines, and go with slow retrieves.
Dry Flies – Furimsky BDEs, CDC Midge Emerger, Parachute Midges, Cabin Fever Midge Pupa, Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger, and Bondage Midges.
Nymphs – Copper Johns in black or olive, Lite Brite Serendipities, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, Brassies, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Sculpzillas, Minch’s Perch Candy, Squirrel Zonkers, Slump Busters, and Rickards’ Seal Bugger.
Midges dominate but even on days with solid emergences surface action can be intermittent. When there is top water activity, it is occurring from around 1pm until 4 to 5pm. Riffle pools and tails are fishing best. Slower water pieces along banks and submerged structure are a good second option. Third most active are backwater channels at the edge of main channels seams.
Nymphing is unquestionably the best route to go in terms of hook ups on just about every reach. Chironomid larva/pupa imitations and BWO imitations have been most effective when fished in riffle pools, eddies, and seams. As on the Snake, egg patterns are working well, particularly on the upper reaches from Palisades Dam down to Cottonwood. Target riffle current margins and riffle pools primarily.
A bit of action on streamers, especially immediately below the Dam and on the lower reaches from Heise Bridge down to Menan. Go with small to moderately sized patterns on intermediate sinking lines or tips in the INT to 3ips range and target banks, structure, and riffles. Slow to moderate retrieves are working best. Fishing a tandem rig is worth considering. The best action has been from approximately noon until 4 or 5pm.
Dry flies – Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Snowshoe Midges, Parachute Midges, and CDC Wing Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Copper Johns in red or black, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Rainbow Warriors, Redemption BWOs, S&M BWO Nymphs, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Booty Call Minnows, Slump Busters, J.J. Specials, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Beldar Buggers.