Fly Fishing Report for February 20th, 2017
More variable weather in the Snake River area over the past two weeks. Some days have been in the mid-40s, while others have been in the low 30s. Either way, fishing has been much more comfortable, and better, than it was in December and January. Riffle, riffle pools, and seams have come on strong with a variety of nymphs; including smaller stonefly imitations, blue-winged olive patterns, and chironomids. You do not need to fish too deep. Generally six feet from the line-leader joint to the trailing fly is all you need to go.
There is some dry fly action in the mid-afternoon hours on midge patterns. This activity has been at the extreme head of riffle pools and at the inside corner on riffle shelves where the seam forms. You can get strikes down that seam for about 10 to 15 feet generally. But no more than that.
Dry Flies – Snowshoe Midges, Furimsky BDEs, Renegades, Krystal Wing Midge Emergers, and CDC Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Biot Bugs, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Rainbow Warriors, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Nice and warm temps on the South Fork. Some days have been near 50 on the lower river. Nymphing has been good in riffles, seams, and at the current margin of riffle pools. As on the Snake, a variety of nymphs are getting into fish, including smaller stonefly nymph imitations, mayfly imitations, chironomids, and general attractor nymph. Sizes in the #14 to #18 range have been most effective.
Surface action on midge adults and emergers is starting to pick up in the afternoon. There is some production at the head of riffles and on flats (the latter in the late afternoon), but nothing is producing as good as the tailout of riffle pools. These are active from about 1pm until 4pm and are definitely worth fishing before and after that time period.
A bit of a streamer bite is occurring in the afternoon hours as well. Smaller baitfish imitations are taking trout when fished along structure and at the tail of seams and riffle pools. Confluence lines are also worth targeting. Don’t expect blockbuster activity, but you can get a few hook ups and it is a good sign of things to come.
Dry Flies - Snowshoe Midges, Air-Flo Tricos, Furimsky BDEs, Griffith Gnats, Krystal Wing Midge Emergers, and CDC Midge Emergers.
Nymphs - Pat’s Rubber Leg, PR Muskrats, Bitch Creek Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Rainbow Warriors, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Copper Jogns in olive or black, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – Lite Brite Zonkers, Sculpzillas, Beldar Buggers, Marabou Muddlers, J.J. Specials, and Baby Bunnies.