The Last Day of Spring and everything feels better
Flows from Jackson Lake Dam have dropped to 3,100cfs and there is a world of difference in terms of action on the tailwater section below Jackson Lake Dam. Sure, we were getting into decent fishing prior to the drop, but there is a totally noticeable uptick in production now, especially on the upper reach above Cattleman’s.
Top water action has picked up significantly, especially on days with cloud cover and a little precipitation as blue-winged olives and PMDs emerge. This is mostly happening on the lower section from Cattleman’s down to Pacific Creek. Target eddies, banks and structure. It can definitely be worth it to use tandem dries or dun-emerger combos. A solid drift – easy on this section of the Snake – can pay dividends.
Nymph rigs are working best in eddies, on seams, and in riffles, and are your best bet above Cattleman’s. Banks are also starting to produce, including those that were devoid of fish just a week and a half ago. Deep eddy pools can still be fished with eight to nine feet of leader from line to leader fly. Riffles, seams, and banks are best fished with five to six feet of leader.
Streamers are working best below the Oxbow. Target banks and structure tight and go with variable retrieves on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines.
Dry flies – Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, PMDs, and Cahills, Booty’s BWO and PMD Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Flashback Rubber Legged Hares Ears, Copper Johns in red and black, Lightening Bugs, Psycho Princes, Rainbow Warriors, and Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Baby Bunnies, Booty Call Minnows, Light Bright Zonkers, Slump Busters, Silvey Sculpins, and McKnight’s Home Invader.
Some inconsistency on the Green as flows dropped significantly about a week and a half ago and then climbed recently due to precipitation and tributary inflow. The lower levels produced much more clarity and the first, true post-runoff dry fly fishing of the season on the upper reaches from the forest boundary down to Warren Bridge. Increased flows have resulted in reduced visibility but still decent to good action with streamers and nymphs.
The window of dry fly action was best on moderate sized attractors as well as yellow sallies and drake imitations fished in riffles, bankside troughs, and eddies. PMD and BWO imitations worked equally well as the former on those days with cloud cover and precipitation. Keep this in mind over the next couple of weeks as flows drop again and visibility increases.
Streamers have been producing no matter what clarity there is an is doing so with a solid size ratio. Intermediate to 3ips tips are working best with both moderate and larger articulated baitfish imitations. Vary your retrieval speeds. Banks, bankside troughs, seams and eddy seams are producing. But target faster currents. That should change in the coming weeks.
Nymphs are producing in the same water as streamers. No need to go super long with your leader length. Six feet from indicator to leader fly is sufficient. Eight feet can help in deeper water with slower currents.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, Mary Kays, Winged Will’s Chernobyls, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Red Butt Sallies, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and BWOs, Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Hot Wire Princes, Batmen, Lightening Bugs, and Bubbleback Pheasant Tails.
Streamers – Galloup’s Butt Monkey, McKnight’s Home Invader, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, and Clouser Minnows.
Yellowstone National Park
Lewis Lake – If the wind is down, Lewis Lake is about as good as any other top considerations in the region for fly fishing at the moment. Still a lot of action on flats and drop-offs with baitfish imitations fished with floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines. 3ips sink tips are also producing. There has been a big uptick in drakes and callibaetis merging in the late morning and afternoon hours. This is leading to some respectable surface action that will only get better over the next couple weeks. And then probably nosedive.
Firehole River – The Firehole still has some intense activity with hatches of PMDs, caddis, and yellow sallies just about every day. BWOs will come out with cloud cover and precipitation. Either way, the action is squarely focused in the morning hours with both dry flies and nymphs. There are opportunities in the afternoon hours, but focus on deeper pools and undercut banks with micro baitfish imitations and soft hackles.