Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for July 30th, 2020

Snake River

Substantial visibility on all reaches of the Snake is making dry fly fishing the standard way to go at the moment.  PMDs and caddis dominate the surface, although there are still yellow sallies and a few golden stones about.  Large to moderately sized attractor/stonefly patterns are working best on all water types, although mayfly, sallie, and caddis imitations are working just as well in riffles, seams, and confluences from around 10am until 1pm.  Water temps are getting into the mid-60s by 3pm, so an early start is the safer way to go.

Action on Nymphs is consistent yet productive approaches vary from reach to reach at the moment.  Double rigs in the five to seven foot range from trailing fly to line/suspension device is working best in the Canyon sections from South Park down to Sheep Gulch in the morning hours but wane some in the afternoon.  Dry dropper rigs are working best on all the other reaches, also waning in the afternoon before experiencing a rebound after 4pm.  No matter where or how you are fishing nymphs, target eddies, seams, riffles, and ledge rock pools.  Banks and structure are still productive targets, although noticeably less so than the formerly mentioned waters.

Streamers are now starting to work consistently on most reaches but are working best with larger (16”-plus specimens) on the tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam down to Pacific Creek and on the whitewater reaches from West Table down to Sheep Gulch.  On these sections of water, Moderately sized patterns fished on sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips and T-8 to T-11 (five to seven feet) tips are producing with slow to moderate retrieves (but focus on the slow).  On the rest of the Snake, fish are being taken on large to moderately sized baitfish imitation on intermediate sinking lines and a wide variety of sinking tips – everything from 3ips to 8ips.  The important tactic on these sections is to vary up you retrieve and look for consistent action.

Dry Flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Purple Bruces,  Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Stimulators, Hackle Stacker Sallies, X-Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Lawson’s Diving Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Thorax PMDs, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quiley Cripples, and Film Critics. 

Nymphs – Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Foxy Sallie Nymphs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns in red or copper, Ray Charles, Two-Bit Hookers, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.

Streamers – SRA Bunnies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Sculpzillas, Baby Gongas, Galloup’s Mini Dungeons, Doc’s Smelt, J.J. Specials, Booty Call Minnows, Chicklets, and Beldar Buggers.

South Fork

Salmon flies have subsided on the South Fork but still a smattering of golden stones about and grasshoppers are appearing on most all reaches.  Cicadas are also about.  So it is still a solid time to be fishing larger attractor and hopper patterns throughout most of the day.  Nonetheless, PMDs is where most of the action is at the moment from approximately 11am until between 3pm and 4pm  (think riffles first and foremost, followed by flats, side channels, and seam current margins).  Caddis also are around in the early morning hours until around 10am, making banks eddies, and bankside troughs, good targets when fished in tandem with dry attractor patterns.

Nymph rigs are producing throughout much of each day.  Like dries, the solid period is from around 11pm until 4pm.  Riffles shelves and pools and eddies are unquestionably the prime targets.  There is a wide variety of depths that are producing.  In a general sense, seven to nine feet is the most productive depth in the pre-noon hours.  After 11pm, this depth, as well as shorter rigs in the five to seven foot depth range, will produce.  Deep dry-dropper rigs – four to six foot tippet length – is working in riffles and eddies, but also along banks and structure.

Streamer fishing has become more consistent over the past week or so.  Larger patterns are working best in and along fast water targets like banks, structure, bankside troughs, and at the head of seams (especially on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Cottonwood).  Moderately sized patterns are producing in the same water but are working even better in riffle pools, seams tails, eddy current margins, and along banks and structure with moderate current speeds.  Vary up your retrieves and go with intermediate sinking lines, sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range, or short (five to seven foot) lengths of T-8 or T-11.

Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Chubby Chernobyls, Winged Peanuts, Barrett’s Ant, Bean’s Orange Crush, Fat Alberts, Parachute Hoppers, Elk Hair Caddis, Peking Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Robins, Copper Johns in red and olive, Lightening Bugs, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Sundell’s Sun Fire, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Strolis’ Masked Avenger, Galloup’s Butt Monkey, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Trevor’s Sculpin, SRA Bunnies, McKnight’s Home Invader, Booty Call Minnows, Chicklets, J.J. Specials, and Kreelux.

Green River

The Green is definitely a morning game at the moment with the best (and safest) action occurring from approximately 7am until around 2pm, after which rising water temperatures slow the fishing down noticeably.  PMDs dominate the surface scene.  There is also a smattering of caddis in the morning and gray drakes here and there from around dawn until around 10am (although some days the tail end of this time period can produce a fairly impressive emergence).  Banks and structure offer the best opportunities for surface action throughout the day.  Riffles, seams, eddies, and confluences are prime targets in the morning until just before noon. Slow water targets are key in the afternoon, especially with PMD adult and spinner patterns

Nymph rigs are producing well but, like dry flies, the action slows as mid-afternoon approaches.  As with surface rigs, nymphs are working well in riffles, seams, eddies, and confluences in the morning and along banks and structure throughout the day and especially after noon.  A dry-dropper rig (two to three feet of dropper tippet should suffice) is proving consistent slow water (especially eddies and banks with moderate depths) after 1pm.

Streamers fished on floating line or slow sinking tips produces in the morning when targeting banks, structure, seams, and eddies.  After 11am and until around 1pm, slow retrieves on deep sinking tips – 6ips to 8ips or six foot lengths of T-8 to T-11 – is working in slow water targets in eddies and along undercut banks.

Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Extended Body PMDS and gray drakes, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Stimulators, Foam Wing Caddis, X-Caddis, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, and Rusty Spinners.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Squirmy Wormies, San Juan Worms, Brillion’s Lucent Jigs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.

Streamers – Galloup’s Boogeyman, Silvey Sculpins, Sundell’s Ghost Dancer, McKnight’s Home Invader, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, Sculpzillas, and Kreelux.

Salt River

Decent fishing on just about every reach of the Salt at the moment.  It is not lights out fishing but it is giving consistent action from sun-up to sun-down.  PMDs are emerging throughout the day.  Morning hours can offer a smattering of caddis.  Trico’s are also about from late morning until around 3pm. If fishing dry flies, target eddies, bankside troughs, riffles, and confluences.

Nymphs are producing throughout much of the day, although there is a serious slow down after 3pm.  Dry-dropper rigs are working best.  Target riffles, seams, eddies, and bankside troughs.

Dry flies – Micro Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Mary Kays, Lime Trudes, Lawson’s Diving Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Air-Flo Tricos, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Hares Ear Nymphs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Two-Bit Hookers, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Copper Johns in red, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.