The Snake started to fish consistently on the surface about a week and a half ago and that trend continues as the river clears and continues to recede. Larger fish – 16-plus – are now in the cards on almost all reaches. Smorgasbord hatches – smaller goldens, flavs, caddis, PMDs, and yellow sallies – also continue to emerge from approximately 10am until 5pm. Dry-dropper rigs are working best followed by tandem dry rigs. These are producing in riffles, troughs, seams, side channels, confluences, and banks and structure. Faster currents seem to be the best water to target, but hit slower stuff when you can.
Streamers have been producing respectably most days but there are some days that have been down-right good, especially in the mid-day hours of 10am to 2pm. Moderately sized imitations are your best bet for the most consistent action. Fish these on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range and target banks with slow to moderate current speeds, seams, and eddies.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Purple Bruces, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Mary Kays, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathews’ Sparkle Caddis Adult, U-Cons, Stimulators, Quigley’s Stacker Sally, Stimulator-X, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Rabid Squirrels, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Mercer’s Glass Tail Caddis Pupa, Copper Johns in red or olive or copper, Lightening Bugs, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Goldies, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Galloup’s Mini Peanut Envy, Lil’ Kims, Booty Call Minnows, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 13,650cfs. There is pretty decent action on the surface with opportunistic feeding by cutties and browns primarily with foam attractors as salmon flies continue to emerge on the lower river from Cottonwood down to Twin Bridges. Fish your imitations along banks, structure, and the inside turn of riffles and focus on faster water. Green Drakes are also popping and are actually offering better surface action when fished in riffles, side channels and along seams and eddy current margins. PMD imitations are also getting attention in riffles.
Nymphs are working better than anything else on all reaches with stonefly imitations trailing behind drake and PMD nymph imitations. Hit riffles, banks, side channels, seams, eddies, and troughs. Its best to go somewhat deep with nine feet of leader from trailing nymph to line/suspension device.
Streamers are fishing well on all reaches and working best on the lower river from Cottonwood down to Menan. INT sinking lines and sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips have been the most productive way to go. Fish both large and moderately sized imitations and target banks, structure, and troughs. Eddy current margins have also be producing in the afternoon hours.
Dry Flies – Barrett’s Ant, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Quigley’s Stacker Sally, Red Butt Sallies, Outriggers, Paralyzers, Stimulators, Paratroopers, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Olive Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Deep Cleaner Stone Nymph, MopScicles, Foxy Sally Stone Nymph, Silverman’s Red Tag Sally, Chez’s Biot Bug, Panty Droppers, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Copper Johns in red or copper, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Craven’s Swim Coach, Strolis’ Masked Avenger, McKnight’s Home Invader, Mojo Minnows, Goldies, Booty’s Tri Bunny, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Kreelux, and Galloup’s Mini Dungeon.
The Green is offering solid fishing on the surface, on nymphs, and with streamers. The downside is that water temps are now in the mid 60s by late afternoon and the action that comes has been early most days. Surface feeding can begin as early as 8am with hatches on gray drakes, PMDs, yellow sallies, and smaller golden stones emerging with decent to very good abundance (although gray drakes dominate most days). The action can slow noticeably by noon and then really shuts down around 2pm. After 2pm, the best bet is to fish deliberately with streamers and nymphs. Again, this is most days, but not every day.
An upside is that during those early periods of active feeding, just about every piece of water is offering production. Banks (especially those that are undercut) and submerged structure are go-to targets with streamers fished on floating line or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Seams and confluences are also worthwhile targets. Both large and moderately sized patterns are working equally well. Dry flies and nymphs are producing best in eddies, seams, and when fished along banks and submerged structure. If going with nymphs, use a dry dropper rig with dropper tippet lengths in the 18” to 30” range regardless of the depth of the water you are fishing.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Melon Bellies, Bart’s Lipstick, Quad Wing Drakes, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body Cahills and PMDs, Film Critics, Quigley’s Stacker Sally, Stimulators, and Paralyzers.
Nymphs – San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Duracells, Rabid Squirrels, Hares Ear Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red or olive, Two Bit Hookers, Halla Back Girls, Robins, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Bottoms Up, Galloup’s Flat Liner, Keller’s Nightmare, J.J Specials, Booty Call Minnows, Marabou Muddlers, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Kreelux, and Chickletts.
Yellowstone National Park
Lewis Lake – The most productive fishing is occurring on drop-offs or slightly off of them in deeper water. Water temps are warming, so be prepared to go fairly deep with clean sweep of depth charge lines to get you below the 10ft level of the water column. If feeding is active, it can be good. Flats are still holding fish in a surprising manner early in the day but they can be very spooky. Definitely lead them and go with hover or INT sinking lines and vary up your retrieve. Baitfish imitations are working best on drop-offs and submerged bars. Damsel, drake, and callibaetis nymphs are producing best on flats. Top water action is in the cards on days with cloud cover and precipitation with gray drakes and callibaetis on the surface.
Yellowstone Lake – Good fishing in the West Thumb and down the Arms with cutties feeding in the top three feet of the water column most days. Hover lines and INT sinking lines are producing best when fishing baitfish imitations. Surface action has also been good with beetle and carpenter ant imitations. Submerging a scud or midge imitation under a surface bug two to three feet can hammer it more so than streamers some days.
Lewis River – Gray drakes and some golden stones are out and this has turned the Meadows section of water between the Falls and the Canyon into a good place to be. This will probably last about a week or so, so hit it if you can. Be prepared for slow and measured takes with these browns, and your presentation should be spot-on with a solid dead drift, even with larger stonefly imitations. If hatches are heavy, there will be quite a bit of leeway, where presentation won’t be as big of a determinant.