It’s been a good October on the Snake so far with decent to solid emergences of October caddis, mahogany duns and BWOs most days. Fishing has been best on the lower reaches from Wilson Bridge down to Sheep Gulch. Surface action has been best from 12:30pm to 4pm generally. Target riffles, seams, eddies, banks with slow to moderate currents, side channels, and confluences.
Nymphing is hit-or-miss most days but the best action has been on shallow rigs – 18” to three feet with dry-droppers and three to five feet with double/triple nymph rigs. Despite the inconsistency, the production has been best from around 11am until 5pm. Target banks, structure, riffles, and seams.
Streamer fishing has taken a big upswing and it is working well on the lower reaches from Wilson Bridge down to South Park. The top two feet of the water column is where you want to be with moderately sized baitfish imitations fished on floating and intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Fish these lines with variable retrieves. Six to seven feet of T-8 or T-11 can also work with faster retrieves. Letting you patterns descend in deeper pools can work from time to time. Target eddies, banks, submerged structure and ledge rock pools. Riffles and seams offer good secondary targets.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Purple Bruces, Micro Peanuts, Parachute Extended Body Mahogany Duns and BWOs, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Emergers, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Copper Johns in red and copper, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Mojo Minnows, Kreelux, Arum’s Lil’ Kims, and Booty Call Minnows.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir currently stand at 4,000cfs. Typical autumn fishing on the South Fork at the moment with hatches of BWOs, mahogany duns, and October caddis occurring sporadically each day. Surface action is sporadic as well, with the best opportunities for dry fly fishing happening on cooler days with precipitation. Riffles, side channels, seams, and flats are the most productive targets.
Nymph rigs are producing throughout the day and working best on the Canyon reach and on the lower reaches from Byington down to Menan. Leader lengths in the four to six foot range is working in most water types. Riffles, submerged structure, seams, and eddy current margins are fishing best.
Streamers are producing on the lower reaches from Cottonwood down to Lorenzo. Moderately sized patterns are working better than larger streamers. Go with retrieves that are moderate in tempo and incorporate hesitations with your line strips, particularly when getting chases and short strikes. Floating and intermediate sinking lines are working best. Target banks, structure, seams, the inside turn of riffles.
Dry flies – Tentwing Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Copper Hazes, Keller’s Rocky Mountain Mint, Booty’s DL Cripple, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Duracells, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Military Mayfy, S&M BWO, Perdigons, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Galloup’s Mini Peanut, Goldies, Beldar Buggers, Booty Call Minnows, and Arum’s Lil’ Kim.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – Decent fishing on just about every reach of the Firehole as minute caddis, mahogany duns, and BWOs emerge with the cooling and wetter weather. Riffles, seams, bank edges, and riffle tails are good water types to target with dry flies. The same water, as well as eddies, produce throughout the day with nymphs fished either as part of a dry-dropper rig or a light double rig fished with three to five feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device. Swinging soft hackles and small streamers can hammer fish during a tight window from around 1pm to 3pm.
Lewis Lake – Lake trout are being found primarily on the northern and northeastern shores of Lewis while brown trout continue to stage and run on the southern and northern ends. Browns are working their way in increasing numbers into the channel and there is an unusually high number of fish in the river below the lake. Small baitfish imitations and damsel fly imitations are outperforming larger and smaller patterns both on the lake and the river. Go with hover and intermediate sinking lines on the lake and in the channel. Floating line are working best on the higher gradient portions of the river. Slow retrieves are producing better than faster ones.
Snake River – More browns are appearing on the Snake above Jackson Lake. Not over the top numbers but certainly more than a couple of weeks ago. Go with intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Letting your flies swing and retrieving near the end of the swing is working well. Go with slow to moderate retrieves and use moderately sized baitfish imitations.