Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for August 18th, 2021

Snake River

Water temps remain warm on most of the river with gauges going over 70 degrees by 4pm.  There is still good surface action with Claassenia stoneflies and caddis emerging primarily and a smattering of PMDs around in the afternoon.  The best surface action has been in the morning from approximately 8am until noon.  Dry fly eats slowly starts to wane in the afternoon most days.  Submerged structure, banks, side channels, seams, eddies, and riffle are all waters worthy of targeting during those hours of consistency. 

Dry-dropper rigs are working well with dropper tippet in the four to six foot range on the upper river from the Dam down to South Park when fished along banks, structure, seams, and eddies.  Below South Park, going this length or shorter is working well in riffles, seams, ledge rock pools, and along submerged structure.  Double/triple nymph rigs are also working fine below South Park in the same water.

Streamer has slow noticeably from a month ago but is decent in certain parts of the river, primarily below West Table and from Moose down to South Park.  While floating lines are working fine, deeper sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range and short lengths of T-8 or T-11 are producing larger fish in deeper ledge rock pools, eddies, and backwater side channels.  Swimming your nymphs in currents with moderate speed is working well in the afternoon when traditional retrievals slow noticeably.

Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Chubby Chernobyls, Parachute Hoppers, Grande Hoppers, Morrish Hoppers,

Nymphs – Duracells, Rabid Squirrels, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Howell’s Shuck It, Mathews’ Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Craven’s Swim Coach, Mojo Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Sparkle Yummies, Chicklets, and Kreelux.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 9,400cfs.  Surface water temps are warming to 69 degrees on the lower reaches and just over 67 degrees above Conant.  Nonetheless, fishing remains good from top to bottom with caddis popping in the morning hours and mutant stones being around in a consistent enough fashion that stonefly and attractor patterns can be fished throughout the day with a fair amount of activity. You will also find some PMDs on the water in riffles after 2pm, especially on the Swan Valley reach.  Fast and moderate currents are producing more so than slower currents, especially along banks, submerged structure, and in side channels.

Nymph rigs are working in the same water as surface patterns, although there can be action in riffle and eddy pools with slower currents, although not to the same degree as faster currents.  Double/triple nymph rigs are definitely doing the trick, dry-droppers are working just as well.  Go with four feet at minimum.  Six to seven feet does the job even better.

Streamers have been hit-or-miss for the most part.  There is a bit more consistency on the lower reaches from Byington down to Lorenzo with bright (mainly white) patterns of small to moderate sizes.  Heavier sinking tips in the 6ips range or short lengths of T-8 are also getting a little bit of action in the right waters, primarily deeper banks and side channels seams.

Dry flies – Mary Kays, Snake River Water Walkers, Kasey’s Creature, G’s Super Fly, Chez’s Foam Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathew’s X-Caddis, Film Critics, Parachute Midges, and CDC Midge Emergers.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Brush Hogs, Soft Hackles, Copper Johns in red or olive, Lightening Bugs, Jake’s Double Money, Devil Jigs, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Rustic Trombones, Galloup’s Mini Peanut Envys, Goldilocks, Lil’ Kims, Woolley Buggers, Clouser Minnows, and Coffey’s Sparkle Minnows.

Flat Creek

Flat Creek is warming to almost 70 degrees in the Refuge but there is safe fishing with the best action still occurring from dawn until around 10am and slowing most days until 3pm.  Early afternoon cloud cover and precipitation can bring out some decent PMD and trico hatches. Mahogany Duns are making an early appearance, as they are on most waters in the area. Midges are working well before 8am.  Terrestrial activity has been good with grasshoppers and beetles, but feeding by trout is minimal unless it is before 10am.  Nymph rigs have been working best with PMD, caddis, and cranefly imitations dead drifted along banks, structure, and eddy seams or with slow retrieves of damsel and dragonfly nymphs in deep water with slow to moderate current speeds.

Dry flies – Parachute Hoppers, Joe’s Hoppers, Whitlock Hoppers, Will’s Cranefly Perfection, Chez’s Mega Beetle, Foam Beetles, Cole’s U-Con Caddis, Mathew’s X-Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMD and Mahogany Duns, Pink Parachutes, Thorax PMDs, Comparaduns, Booty’s Mahogany Emerger, CDC Trico Emergers, Snowshoe Tricos, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Film Critics.  

Nymphs – Mopscicles, Fury Dragons, Lucent Cranefly Larva, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Psycho Princes, Bruised Mays, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Perdigons.