High flows and off-color conditions from recent rains have subsided and the Snake is getting back into shape. Finding 18-plus inch fish has been challenging, but there is good surface and dry-dropper action. There is a smattering of caddis in the morning before PMDs and yellow sallies take over in a bit more than a smattering fashion. Crane flies are also starting to make an appearance. Expect grasshoppers to be around on warmer days as well. Surface action is best from around 10 am until 2:30 pm. Riffles, seams, eddies, side channels, and banks with moderate currents are fishing best. Nymphs are best fished as part of a dry-dropper rig from the Dam down to South Park. Below South Park, double nymph rigs will perform just as well when targeting ledge rock pools.
Streamers are hit-or-miss on the mid-reaches from Moose down to South Park but working well on all other sections. Both moderately sized and larger articulated patterns are performing equally well. Fish these on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and go with moderate retrieves primarily. While downstream mends are working along banks, seams, and troughs, upstream mends with hesitations are doing the trick in eddies, riffles and slow current side channels.
Dry flies – Purple Bruces, Chubby Chernobyls, Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Joe’s Hopper, Parachute Hoppers, Whitlock Hoppers, Stimulators, Parachute Sallies, Cole’s Sallie Emerger, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mohagany Duns, Thorax PMDs, Purple Hazes, Booty’s DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Mellow Yellows, Egan’s Sallie Lotus, Psycho Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, CN Super Flash, Copper Johns in red, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, SRA Double Bunnies, Mojo Minnows, Sparkle Yummies, Booty Call Minnows, Marabou Muddlers, Lite Brite Zonkers, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir stand at approximately 8,000cfs. Grasshoppers are popping on all reaches, allowing larger hopper and attractor patterns to be fished with good results through much of the day. Aquatic-wise, there are still caddis around in the morning, and PMDs and yellow sallies in the afternoon. Banks, bankside troughs, and seams are key targets in the morning. In the afternoon, flats, riffles, seams, and parallel drop-offs dominate as productive water with tandem dry and dry-dropper rigs.
Streamers are producing on all reaches with moderately sized imitation performing better than larger variations, although the latter can work early in the day, before 10 am. No matter what you use, target banks, structure, bankside troughs, the tail and margin of riffles, and seams. The entire top half of the water column is performing best, so a wide variety of lines and sinking tips will produce – everything from floating lines to tips in the INT to 6ips range. Go with steady retrieves with short pauses every now and then.
Dry flies – Purple Bruces, Mary Kays, G’s Super Fly, Chubby Chernobyls, Parachute Hoppers, Jay-Dave’s Hoppers, Stimulators, Red Butt Sallies, Parachute Sallies, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Copper Hazes, Pink Alberts, Booty’s DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Jig, Foxy Sallie Stone, Egan’s Lotus, Psycho Princes, Panty Droppers, Lightening Bugs, Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns in red or olive, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Craven’s Swim Coach, Lynch Mobs, Mojo Minnows, Rustics, Goldilocks, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Booty Call Minnows, Sparkle Yummies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
The Salt continues to fish well with PMDs, yellow sallies, and tricos emerging at least intermittently most days on most reaches. Micro caddis are also around in the early morning hours before 10am. Eddies and seams dominate action in the morning until around 12:30pm. Action shifts to riffles and troughs by noon and continues until late afternoon.
As on most rivers in the area at the moment, grasshoppers and carpenter ants are starting to figure into the game on the Salt. Not huge hatches at the moment, but their imitations can be worth fishing most days along banks and waters with overhanging vegetation.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Micro Peanuts, Micro Bruces, Joe’s Hopper, Jay Dave’s Hopper, Sparkle Ants, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Lawson’s Sallie, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL Cripple, Klinkhamers, CDC Trico Emergers, Air-Flo Tricos, Film Critics, and Rusty Spinners.
Nymphs – Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Psycho Princes, Copper Johns in red or olive, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, GT’s CN Super Flash, Panty Droppers, Perdigons, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Not a lot by way of aquatic bug activity over the past couple of days, but we are seeing more craneflies, dragonflies, and damselflies from about 9am on. The most active time to be on the water has been from dawn until around 11am most days. There is some good action later in the evening after around 7:30pm until dusk. Afternoon thunderstorms can bring on decent emergences of PMDs and tricos. Dragonfly and damsel nymphs are getting into fish primary from dawn until 11am when retrieved with figure 8 or pinch retrieves and fished along undercut banks and submerged structure. Cranefly larva imitations are working well when drifted along submerged structure.
Grashoppers and, to a lesser degree, carpenter ants, are starting to make noticeable appearances mid-morning and allow for a chance at surface action when there is little by way of bugs on the water.
Dry flies – Dave’s Hopper, Whitlock Hoppers, Parachute Ants, Sparkle Ants, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Will’s Crane Fly Perfection, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, BWOs, Comaraduns, and Mahogany Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, Trico Emergers, Rusty Spinners, Parachute Midges, and CDC Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Mopscicles, Lucent Crane Larva, Simple’s Dragon Nymph, Fuzzy Wuzzies Dragon Nymph, Swimming Damsels, Hula Damsels, Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Psycho Princes, CN Super Flash, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.