Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for February 11th, 2020

Snake River

More surface action over the past couple of weeks, although it is occurring in specific water types – specifically backwater channels with limited currents as well as slow water at the tail of riffles with moderate depths. The upside is that we have been experiencing a wider window for top water action – roughly 11am until 4pm. As usual, midges dominate. No sign of the tiny Capnia stoneflies yet, but they should be coming soon.

Nymph rigs are working very well in a variety of water types. The slow water pieces where dry flies are producing are good places to target. Riffle current margins and eddies are also solid targets. Finding the productive part of the water column is the challenge. Sometimes it is only at the two to three foot level, while other times it is twice that. Make adjustments until you find the action.

Strangely, we have not had a lot of action on streamers. The little activity we are getting has been in the same slow water types where dry flies are working. Go with small baitfish imitations and floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Vary up your retrieves.

Dry flies – CDC Midge Emergers, Mating Midges, Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emergers, and Parachute Midges.

Nymphs – Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Copper John Jigs in red, Zebra Midges, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.

Streamers – Slump Busters, Rickards’ Seal Bugger, and Fruit Roll Ups.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at 1800cfs. That’s a good thing! As on the Snake, there is a noticeable uptick in surface action and in the same slow water types. It is in a tighter window, however, with the best action occurring from around 12pm and 3pm. Almost solely midge pattern are doing the trick. There has been better production on patterns fished in or slightly below the film.

Nymph rigs are working throughout the day when fished on seam margins, riffle current margins and pool tails, and along the margin of eddies. Target deeper portions of the water column in the morning hours and slower pieces – the top two to three feet – after 12pm.

Streamers have been working best on the lower reaches from Heise Bridge down to Menan. There is less consistency on the upper reaches. Target riffle pools, seam margins, and backwater channels with slow currents. Small and moderately sized baitfish imitations are the go-to. Go with slow retrieves on floating or intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range.

Dry Flies – Furimsky BDEs, Griffith Gnats, Trico Spinners, CDC Midge Emergers, Parachute Midges, and Parachute Adams.

Nymphs – Brush Hogs, Egan’s Blue Dart, Copper Johns in red or black, Zebra Midges, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.

Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Krystal Buggers, Kiwi Zonkers, Lite Brite Zonkers, Rickards’ Seal Bugger, and Pine Squirrel Zonkers.