Think Claassenia. But don't ignore the PMD
The Snake is in great form for dry fly action and we are finding larger fish on just about every section and reach. Claassenia and PMDs are on the water. Wetter days will produce thick emergening in the afternoon of the latter. There is also a smattering of BWOs and our first mahogany duns of the season of these wet days as well. You may see caddis in the dawn to late morning hours, particularly on the lower reaches from Astoria down to Sheep Gulch. Grasshoppers and carpenter ants are also present from mid-morning until late afternoon on most days and on most reaches of the Snake.
Banks with moderate depths and moderate currents are producing best with larger attractor patterns. In fact, banks are producing better than they usually do this time of year. Target them tight, but let them ride off a few feet when slower currents are at play. This water is producing as good as any other. Riffles, especially inside corners and riffle pools are fishing well with mayfly dun and emerger imitations. This activity intensifies on cooler and wetter days, especially in the afternoon. Carpenter Ant imitations are also working in this water on warmer and drier days.
Streamer fishing is more than decent but certainly not great at the moment. The best water to target is banks, structure, bankside troughs, seams, and the tail of riffles. Floating lines have been working best, with hover lines and intermediate tips a close second. Fish them with moderate retrieves. Slower retrieves can work better in slower holding water.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Mary Kays, Parachute Adams, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Parachute Hoppers, Dave’s Hoppers, Power Ants, and Sparkle Ants.
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns in red, black, or copper, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Pinky Jigs, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Jointed Urchins, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Sculpzillas.
Dry fly fishing is the name of the game on just about every piece of the South Fork. PMDs and mutant stones are the most prevalent bugs on the water. Caddis are around in the morning but wane in the afternoon. Tandem dry rigs, dry-droppers, and single dries are working in riffles, seams, eddies, and on flats. Larger surface patterns are producing best along banks, bankside troughs, and structure, particularly from dawn until about 11pm, when smaller mayfly patterns begin to become more effective.
Streamer fishing is best in the lower canyon and on the lower reach from Byington down to Lorenzo. The upper reach in Swan Valley is a close second. Fish your streamers close to banks and structure, but also target seams and the tail of riffle pools. Use floating or intermediate lines or intermediate to 3ips tips.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, J-Slams, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Film Critics, X-Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, and Stimulators.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Robins, and Copper Johns in Red, black or olive.
Streamers - Booty’s Quad Bunny, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, SRA Double Bunnies, J.J. Specials, Chicklets, Marabou Muddlers, Beldar Buggers, Bling Minnows, and Flesh Fry.