Dry Fly Action is "Kinda" Starting Now
The Snake is dropping and clearing and there can be fish caught on streamers and nymphs fished deep and heavy of most reaches above the confluence of the Hoback. There is also decent dry fly action at clear tributary confluences. Nonetheless, the best fishing is still found on the tailwater reach below Jackson Lake Dam where flows are at 4200cfs and the water is damn near crystal clear. Lots of bugs on the water – caddis, yellow sallies, gray drakes, acroneuria golden stones, and especially infrequen PMDs. Surface activity is solid and most prevalent in eddies, riffles, and along banks, although the bank action can be several feet away from the prime target areas. Nymphing is also good in the same water with moderately weighted double nymph rigs and dry-dropper rigs with a dropper leader of three to four feet in length. Streamers are working almost exclusively along banks and submerged structure. Fish these on intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the intermediate to 3ips range.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Winged Peanuts, Mary Kays, Parachute Sallies, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body Gray Drakes, Parachute Adams, Booty’s Gray Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Pink Parachutes, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red and black, Lightening Bugs, Psycho Princes, Pinky Jigs, RS-2s, Booty’s Day-2 Midges and Zebra Midges in olive or black.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Krystal Buggers, Chicklets, and Kreelux.
Up and down with flows as snowmelt continues at variable rate. Nonetheless, there are a lot of bugs on the water, primarily gray drakes, yellow sallies, infrequen PMDs, caddis, and Calineuria golden stones. This is giving anglers a decent shot at racking up respectable dry fly numbers from the campgrounds down to Daniel Bridge. Don’t expect a dozen fish in a day of fishing. Six to eight is definitely in the cards. The upside is that these can be good specimens in the 1 to 22-inch range. Definitely go big with you pattern choice. Target submerged structure, banks, eddy seams and the tail of riffle pools.
Nymphing is not really out-producing dry flies, but they are getting into slightly better average size. Target the same water as you would with your dry flies. Also hit bankside troughs and seams.
Streamers are getting into few fish for sure. However, they are averaging fish over 18” on almost every outing. Use intermediate to 6ps tips with moderate retrieves and go big with your baitfish imitations. Target banks and seam primarily.
Dry flies – Winged Peanuts, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Melon Bellies, Parachute Adams, Booty’s Gray Drake Emerger and Stimulator Xs.
Nymphs – San Juan Worms, Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Copper Johns in red, black, or olive, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Zug Bugs.
Streamers – Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Sun Fire, Dali Llamas, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Silvey’s Sculpin, J.J. Specials, Jointed Urichins.
The Salt is perhaps the best river to be on for consistent dry fly action. Clarity is at about three feet and flows are currently at just under 1200cfs. Not a lot of size to the fish, but there are fish being caught in the 16” range. Lots of bugs in the water, including PMDs, yellow sallies, caddis, gray drakes, and a few calineuria stones. Patterns that imitate gray drakes are taking the lion’s share of the fish on the surface. Eddies have by far been the most productive water to target. Banks with slow currents are also producing. Takes can be well of banks – sometimes by three feet or more. Riffles and seams have had little activity. That should change as water continues to recede and clarity increases.
There can be a lull in the afternoon in both hatch activity and rising trout. Switching to a nymph can be a good way to go in the same water that dry flies are doing best. Just go with a dry-dropper rig, as there will still be fish looking up and eating.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Turck’s Trantulas, Jimmy-Zs, Parachute Sallies, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body Gray Drakes, Parachute Adams, Trina’s Carnage Drakes, Booty’s Gray Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Elk Hair Caddis, and Sparkle Caddis.
Nymphs – Copper Johns in red and black, Lightening Bugs, Flashback Hares Ears, Purple Jigs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, and Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in red or olive.
Still some difficult fishing on the South Fork with flows at 20,000cfs and clarity still at around a foot and a half. There are still fish to be caught for those who target the right water aggressively. If it almost exclusively a nymphing game at the moment. Current margins of seams and riffles, as well as the tail of riffle pools, have been the most productive water with double and triple nymph rigs ran deep at 12 feet or so from the indicator to the lead fly. The best reaches have been from the dam down to Conant and in the upper Canyon from Conant down to Wolf Eddy. Don’t expect stellar numbers, but a good rod can get into a half a dozen fish if they are focused and deliberate with their presentation. Solid size is in the cards as well.
Nymphs - Pat’s Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red, Prince Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Lightening Bugs.