Warm air and water temps call for an early start. Luckily, we are now going into more seasonable temps and the fishing should benefit. Claassenia stoneflies and hoppers are still evident throughout the drainage, so larger hopper and attractor patterns continue to work well. PMDs and Hecubas are popping in intermittent fashion from time to time from noon until 3pm. Faster currents along banks structure, at the head of riffles, and along seams are producing better than slower currents in riffles, eddies and side channels. Surface action on larger attractors are working best on the lower reaches from South Park to West Table. Production upstream of South Park can work well when placement is exact and movement is well timed.
Nymphs are best fished as part of a dry-dropper rigs with two and a half to three feet of dropper tippet, although the canyon reaches below South Park are productive with up to six feet. As with dry flies, faster currents are fishing better than slower ones.
Streamers are still hit or miss but are working better in the morning than the afternoon when fished on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. The afternoons can produce with deeper sinking tips in the 6ips to 8ips range or six to ten feet of T-8 to T-11. Vary up your retrieves and target banks, structure, confluences, deep bankside troughs, and deep seams separating side channels from main channel currents. Vary up your retrieves.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Snake River Water Walker, Purple Bruces, Hair Wing Hecubas, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Adams, Parawulff Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Thorax PMDs, Booty’s Dl PMD Cripple and Film Ciritcs.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Duracells, CDC Hustler Lights, Panty Droppers, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Hares Ear Nymph, Flashback Peasant Tail Nymphs, Copper Johns in red and olive, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Strolis’ Headbanger Scuplin, Silvey Sculpins, Rustic Trombones, Goldilocks, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Sparkle Minnows, Booty Call Minnow, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Craft Fur Clousers, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir stand at just over 11,000cfs. With a low reservoir at this point of the season for three years in a row and warmer than average water temps, fishing on the South fork is challenging at the moment. Still, good action can be had on nymphs, streamers, and dry flies with focused fishing.
Mutant stone flies continue to wane but there are still a good number around to the point that large attractors are getting into fish when fished and moved with purpose along banks, structure, the inside turn of riffles, the heads and tails for seams, and in side channels. There is also a wee bit of PMD emergences that give fly fishers some action in riffles, bankside troughs, and in side channels from approximately 11am until 2pm. It’s a tight window, but worth focusing on.
Nymphs are a good way to go throughout the day but pay attention to increasing suspended vegetation in the water column. Stonefly imitations are taking the cake in most waters, followed very closely by CDC soft hackle patterns. It is best to go somewhat deep with nine feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device from dawn until 11am, and then go shallower – six to seven feet – for the rest of the day. Dry-dropper rigs should be fished in the five to seven foot range throughout the day. Target banks, structure, riffle pools, bankside seams, eddies, and seams running along main channel and side channels confluences.
Streamers have been producing in inconsistent fashion. There is no rhythm or reason to what is working best. The most productive approach is to go with floating or intermediate sinking tips on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Cottonwood, sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range on the mid-reaches, and floating lines again on the lower reaches below Byington. Moderately sized patterns are out-producing larger counterparts. Target banks and structure with slow to moderate currents, side channel seams, drop-offs, and the inside turn of riffles. Vary up your retrieves as much as possible, as no single presentation is taking the cake at the moment.
Dry flies – Kasey’s Creature, G’s Super Fly, Snake River Water Walkers, Hippy Stompers, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, and Douche Bags.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Howell’s Shuck It, Copper Johns in red or olive, Egan’s Dart, and Perdigon.
Streamers – Rustic Trombones, Geisha Girls, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Silver Bulletts, Marabou Muddlers, J.J. Specials, Kreelux, and Booty Call Minnows.