Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for July 5th, 2024

Snake River

Flows continue to drop, visibility continues to increase, and hatches continue to pop.  The Snake has been fishing good since the summer solstice outside of an increase in level when the last surge of melting snow occurred.  Golden stoneflies, caddis, PMDs, yellow sallies, and green drakes are all emerging each day.  Expect to see caddis dominate in the morning and PMDs in the afternoon, with the other bugs mentioned above around in the afternoon as well.  The most consistent surface action occurs from around 10am and lasts well after 4pm.  Dry-dropper rigs and tandem dry rigs are the best way to go.  It is a little bit of back-and-forth interms of what holding water is fishing best and when.  There are days when riffle are the key features to target.  Other days, banks and seams with fast currents are the most active holding water.  Target all of it, and don’t neglect hitting eddies, troughs, and confluences.

Streamers are working well on all reaches, but it is important to go with small to moderately-sized patterns.  Fish these on floating lines or sinking tips in the 3ips to 8ips range and vary up your retrieves as much as possible.  Going with double streamers with five to six feet of separation is worth doing go with.  Double hook-ups are completely in the cards.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades Reservoir stand at a little over 12,500cfs.  Water temps are starting to hit the sweet spot and we are seeing very good visibility on all reaches.  While nymphs and streamers remain the most effective strategies at the moment, dry fly opportunities have expanded greatly with salmon flies appearing on the lower reaches below Wolf Eddy and are now at least halfway into the canyon reach.  Green drakes are also out as well as some PMDs.  Riffles and the head of seams are primary targets with mayfly imitations and CDC soft hackle patterns. These flies will also work well along banks, structure, troughs, and eddies, where larger stonefly imitations dominate productivity. Salmon fly imitations and larger attractors – Stimulators, Water Walkers, Chubbies, and Winged Chernobyls – are working well just about everywhere from 11am until 3pm and along banks, structure, and bankside troughs throughout the day.

Streamers are working well on all reaches with the Dam down to Cottonwood giving the best action.  Go with both large and moderately sized patterns and target banks, structure, troughs, seams, and confluences primarily.  Floating lines and sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range are producing best.  Slow to moderate retrieves  work best from around 8:30 am until 1pm, after which faster retrieves with focus line strip hesitations is the best tactic to use.

Green River

The Green is in great shape with all reaches fishing well.  Golden stones, yellow sallies, PMDs, and gray drakes are all emerging each day (although golden stones are waning).  The action can start early – 8am some days – with the most consistent action occurring from 10am until 2pm.  Banks, troughs, structure, riffles, eddies, confluences, and seams are the best water to target.

Streamers are probably the best way to go, particularly on the upper reaches from the Forest boundary down to Daniel Bridge.  Go with floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range and target literally everything you are with dry-dropper and tandem dry rigs.  Large articulated patterns are working just as well as moderately sized baitfish imitations.  The same goes for bright colors vs darker hues.

Salt River

The Salt is in good shape with two feet of visibility and lots of surface action, especially from the Narrows down to Tin Cup/Freedom and Swimming Pool down to McCoy Bridge.  Caddis, PMDs, and yellow sallies are the main fare on the surface, although carpenter ants have been out in good numbers. Dry-dropper and tandem dry rigs are producing well when fished in eddies, riffles, troughs, and confluences.  Fish at or near the top of the water column, so don’t bother going any deeper than 18” with your dropper tippet.  Emergent PMD patterns and yellow sallie adult are your best bet for getting into consistent action.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lake – Cutthroats continue to cruise the flats and at the edge of drop-offs in almost the same numbers as a month ago.  There is also solid action down to the 15 foot level in the water column.  Fishing has been most consistent from around 9:30am until around 3pm before a big slowdown occurs.  Clean Sweep, Leviathan, and Depth Charge lines are getting into good-sized cutties in deeper water.  Hover and intermediate sinking lines are working best on flats and just off of drop-offs.  Damsel and dragonfly nymphs working best unless going deep, where baitfish imitations are the ticket.

Lewis Lake – Good fishing on flats and drop-offs with baitfish patterns in the morning until around 12pm, after which a good number of callibaetis, gray drakes, and carpenter ants are active on the surface.  This will last until around 4pm when it surface action tapers significantly.  Productive surface patterns to use include micro ants, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Booty’s Gray Drake Emerger, and Parachute Extended Body Cahills.  Striping in a callibaetis or gray drake nymph during intensive surface action can get you into just as many fish as adult imitations.

Lewis and Snake Rivers – A broad spectrum of bugs out, but green drakes are dominating on the meadows section of the Lewis and this water should be your focus, especially on days with cloud cover and some precipitation.  Light leader is key unless there is decent wind disturbance.  The Snake has a good number of golden stones, PMDs, and yellow sallies, and a smattering of drakes and caddis.