Mid-January 2018 for the Snake and South Fork
Same story as we have had for the past month – variable temps with some chilly days and other days well into the 40s. There has been very little by way of ice flow on the river and even slow eddies and dead water back channels have been free of ice the vast majority of days.
Recirculating eddies with slow currents as well as slow water seams and the current margin of riffle tailouts have been the place to be with midge imitations. Most of the action is starting around 12pm, but this can vary from day-to-day based on the temps the night before. Regardless, it is happening most days. Purposely moving your pattern along the surface can generate strikes as long as your fly is not moving too quickly.
Nymphing is obviously working well in the same water. However, there has been a big uptick in action on small streamers retrieved slowly on float lines and hover lines. You may want to do a five second countdown before retrieval from time to time, but there is no need to go any deeper with your line choice.
Dry flies – Parachute Midges, CDC Wing Midges, Air-Flo Tricos, Parachute Adams, Furimisky BDEs, and Krystal Wing Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Rojo Midges, and Copper Johns in Black.
Streamers – Fruit Roll Ups, Rickards’ Seal Buggers, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnnow, and Woolley Buggers in olive or black.
What we are getting on the Snake is ditto on the South Fork. It’s the same kind of fishing that we have had for the past month. However, there has been more action on the surface with midge imitations over the past two weeks. This action is best on the lower reaches from Heise down to Lorenzo and is occurring squarely in the afternoon. Target seams, deep riffle tailouts, and the current margin of dead-water channels.
As on the Snake, smaller to mid-sized streamers are starting to work a bit more consistently. Nonetheless, nymphing has been the most consistently productive subsurface plan of attack. Double/triple nymph rigs that are six feet in length from lien-leader joint to trailer have been working best. A dry-dropper with a tippet length of two to three feet can also produce in shallower water where there is active feeding. BWO nymphs are producing, but put your money on chironomid imitations and target eddies, seams, and riffle tailouts.
Dry flies - Parachute Midges, CDC Wing Midges, Parachute Adams, Renegades, Furimisky BDEs, and Parachute Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Flashback Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Princes, Dorsey’s Mercury Caddis, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge, RS-2s, and Copper Johns in black or red.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Murphy’s Bling Minnow, and Krystal Buggers.