Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for September 18th, 2020

Snake River

Continued emergences of Claassenia and Hecuba and still a decent amount of PMDs around.  Both surface and subsurface action has been consistent on all reaches from around 10:30am until 4pm.  It might be the widest window we have had on the Snake this year.  Attractor, hopper, and stonefly imitations have been working well in all water types.  It is also worth trying carpenter ant imitations in the #14 -#16 range (naturals have been very prevalent over the past two weeks).  Banks and structures have been solid producers.  Banks with moderate depths and currents are holding trout well off prime lies, up to six feet in some cases.  May fly imitations are also working in most water types and especially from around noon until late afternoon.  Target banks with moderate currents, side channels, and riffles especially.

Nymphs are producing when fished as droppers with tippet in the three to four foot range or as a part of a nymph rig with four to six feet of leader/tippet.  Tandem dropper rigs are working particularly well.  Target banks, structure, riffle pools, seams, and troughs.

Streamers have been hitting it home more and more over the past couple of weeks as flows have dropped.  Moderately sized imitations are working best by far when targeting banks, structure, troughs, and the inside turn of riffles.  Fish these on floating and intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range.  Keeping you streamer in the top 18 inches of the water column is important.  Varying up your retrieves is important as well. Larger patterns have decent action, especially with sinking tips in the 6ips to 8ips range.  But this has been late in the afternoon in deeper pools and seams.  It is worth trying if things slow.

Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Purple Bruces, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Hi-Viz Parachute Ants, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Turck’s Power Ant, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s DL Cripple,

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Lightening Bugs, Perdigons,

Streamers – Craven’s Swim Coach, Weir’s Love Bunny, Doc’s Articulated Smelt, Mojo Minnows, Chicklets, Lil’ Kims, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Keller’s Montana Mouthwash, Philippe’s Hot Shot, and Beldar Buggers.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir are in the 6,700cfs range.  Fishing is good on all reaches, with the Canyon taking the cake in most instances. Mutant stones are still popping, as are PMDs in the afternoon hours.  Stonefly and larger attractor patterns continue to work in a variety of holding water types, including banks, structure, riffles, flats, and eddy current margins.  PMDs are coming off around 11am most days but some days don’t really begin to hit a consistent pitch until 1pm or so. Riffle pools and flats are the prime targets.  Side channels and seams are a good second choice.  Keep in mind that PMDs are waning but the emergences you observe are worth hitting.

Nymphing has been solidly consistent in riffles, eddies, and flats.  Seams and banks are secondary but still worthwhile targets.  Stonefly imitations are working best, although PMD and chironomid patterns should not be ignored.  Go as deep as six feet with dropper tippet and seven and a half feet with Nymph rig leader/tippet in eddies, riffle pools and seams.  The same lengths will work on flats and along banks but going shorter by a third can work better.

Streamers have been working better on all reaches of the South Fork with the upper reaches from the Dam down to Wolf Eddy being a bit more productive than the lower reaches (keep an eye out for suspended vegetation, particularly on the upper reaches).  Moderately sized baitfish imitations are working well when fished along banks, structure, troughs, and seams. Go with moderate to fast retrieves.  Brighter patterns are outperforming darker ones.  Larger, articulated streamers have been less consistent but are picking up sizeable trout when fished along banks and structure, riffle pools, and eddy current margins.  Fish these with sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range. 

Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Kasey’s Creature, Bean’s Orange Crush, Barrett’s Ant, Mosh Pit Hoppers, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Pink Parachutes, Booty’s DL Cripple, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Panty Droppers, Psycho Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red, Rainbow Warriors, Brassies, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Sundell’s Ghost Dancer, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, Goldies, Lil’ Kims, Kreelux, J.J. Specials, and Booty’s Tri Bunny.

Flat Creek

Nice, challenging fishing on Flat Creek at the moment.  Visible trout just about every day but be prepared to work hard for each one. Fishing trico, PMD, mahogany duns, and, to a lesser degree, caddis pupa patterns has been the most productive approach.  Chironomid and crane fly larva imitations are worth turning to if all else fails.  Target undercut banks, structure, seams, and riffle pools.  There is increasing action on small streamers fished along banks and tight to submerged structure.  Dragonfly and damsel fly imitations are also finally working, especially when fished in tandem with a small streamer.  Early morning hours are less consistent than was the case over the past several weeks.  Mid-day hours (after 9am) and early evening is the time to be on the water.

Dry flies – Purple Bruces, Micro Peanuts, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Comparduns, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, and Rusty Spinners.

Nymphs – Mopscicles, Lucent Crane Larva, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Two-Bit Hookers, Panty Droppers, Pheasant Tails, Cole’s LOF Pheasant Tail, Mercer’s Bead Tail Caddis, Soft Hackles, Zebra Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.

Streamers – Krystal Buggers, Slump Busters, Rickard’s Seal Bugger, Mercer’s Sac Fry, Gummy Minnows, and Chez’s Clump Dubbing Leech.