Four Rivers Online - Snake, South Fork, Green, and Salt!
Flows are receding and the river is clear and starting to hits its stride. Still not totally on but it’s getting better by the week. Actually, by the day. Hatches are waning a bit and this is a good time to go with larger attractors that get into opportunistic feeders. The reach from Jackson Lake Dam down past the Osprey Channel below the Buffalo Fork is offering the best dry fly fishing in riffles, seams, and along banks and structure. Nymphing is the way to go from this point down until Moose Bridge. Target the same water, but concentrate on riffle especially. From Moose Bridge down to South Park, the river dilutes the sediment coming in from the Buffalo Fork. Dries and dry-droppers become the name of the game. The catch is that the Snake really picks up steam and you be specific with the water you fish. Hit the head of riffles and back channels with slow currents. Also target side channels where you can get out and wade fish.
From South Park down to Sheep Gulch, the river looks pretty good but, as with the reach from Moose to South Park, you must target specific water with dries and dry droppers. Hit the head of riffles, eddies, and eddy seams.
Streamers are working well on all reaches and getting into some pretty decent size. Fish large and moderately size baitfish imitations on intermediate tips, 3ips tips and full sink intermediate lines. Target banks, structure, seams, and the full length of riffle pools and use a variety of retrieval speeds.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Winged Peanuts, Circus Peanuts, Chubby Chernbyls, Fast Franks, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, and Pink Comparaduns.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red, copper, or black, Prince Nymphs, and Lightening Bugs.
Streamers – Jointed Urchins, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Mini-Dungeons, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galoup’s Boogeyman, Keller’s Nightmare, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnows, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials and Arum’s Lil’ Kim.
Flows from Palisades reservoir are at 10,500cfs and the fishing on the South Fork is improving by the day. Each section is fishing in equal fashion with riffles, troughs, and seams fishing well in the afternoon and banks and structure fishing well throughout the day on double or triple nymph rigs. Keep the leader length in the 10 foot range from indicator to trailing fly. Streamer fishing has come on a bit stronger over the past week with large and moderately sized baitfish imitations fished tight to banks, structure, and in riffle pools and the entire length of seams. Use 3ips to 6ips tips or eight to ten feet of T-8 and go fast with your retrieves in just about every piece of holding water. Slowly but surely, there has been an uptick in surface action. This should only get better in the coming weeks. Moderately sized attractors are working along banks and structure on the lower reaches of the river from Wolverine down to Lorenzo. On wetter and cloudier days, there can be action in riffles and troughs with smaller mayfly and caddis imitations. Nothing off-the-charts yet. But its coming.
Dry flies – Winged Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Stimulators, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Sulfur Emergers, and Quigley Cripples.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red on black, Lightening Bugs, Pinky Jigs, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Zoo Cougars, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, Booty Call Minnow, Kreelux, and Bow River Buggers.
Still running high with flows around 1,300cfs at Warren Bridge but the Green is dropping and very clear. There are a fair amount of bugs around – gray drakes, PMDs, yellow sallies, caddis, and Acroneuria golden stones – on just about every reach from the Forest Service Boundary down to Hwy 351. Some green drakes are about below Warren Bridge. The best action on the surface and below continues to be squeezed into the 10am to 1pm period. The action is better before 10am than it is after 1pm, although there are bigger fish being taken in the afternoon than in the morning.
Dries and dry-dropper rigs should be used to target seams and riffles primarily. Banks are good targets as well. Many take are occurring a couple of feet off banks with moderate current speeds. There is also solid production in side channels and side channel confluences with the main current.
Streamer fishing isn’t red hot but it is bringing in the larger fish during most outings. Banks and bankside troughs are producing best. Eddy seams are a distant second, yet still worth targeting. Fish large and moderately sized baitfish imitations with intermediate to 3ips tips or full-sink intermediate lines. Slow retrieves in slower currents. Rapid retrieves in moderate to fast currents. And don’t shy away from pausing your strips every now and then.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Chubby Chernobyls, Bart’s Lipstick, Micro Peanuts, Quad Drakes, Parachute Adams, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Thorax PMDs, AuSable Wulffs, Quigley Cripples, Hackle Sallies, Last Chance Sallies, and Red Butt Sallies.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms, Foxy Sallie Stones, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive, Copper Johns in copper, red, or olive, Hot Wires, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Dali Llamas, Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunnies, Galloup’s Mini Dungeons, SRA Bunnies, Hog Hunters, Booty Call Minnows, McCune Sculpins, J.J. Specials, and Bow River Buggers.
Flows at McCoy Bridge are at 780cfs. Lots of clarity and dropping water levels and fishing is still good. Drakes and yellow sallies are waning, but there are still a good number of PMDs and caddis about. There is less pressure on the Salt now that other waters like the South Fork and the Snake are coming on strong. However, water temperatures are increasing and can measure over 60 degrees in the early afternoon. The best bet is to hit the salt early – before 8am – and fish it until mid-afternoon.
All reaches are fishing well. The upper reaches above Creamery has been the place for larger trout over the past couple of weeks. Now, there are more bruisers being caught from Creamery down to the Lake. You should still target eddies and bankside troughs, but now seams and banks are coming online strong. Fish the banks super tight, especially in the early afternoon hours.
If fishing a nymph, stick with a dry-dropper rig and go with 18” to 24” maximum.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Micro Peanuts, Circus Peanuts, Snake River Water Walkers, Stimulators Xs, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red or black, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive, Psycho Princes, Poxy Sallie Stones, and Bubbleback Pheasant Tails.