If its September, think the Snake and South Fork
The Snake is fishing well on every reach, but there is some inconsistency from day to day. One bigger change that has happened compared to the past month or so is that the action is occurring a little later in the day. There is OK fishing in the morning with better action happening from around 10:30 am and continuing until about 5pm, after which action slows a bit.
PMDs dominate the scene. Claassenia stones are emerging everywhere. Grasshoppers are also prevalent in the afternoon. To top all of this off, our first Hecubas and mahogany duns of the season are starting to emerge. Larger attractor and hopper patterns are fishing well from morning to mid-afternoon hours, but most of the activity is coming along banks and structure, sometimes tight and sometime a couple of feet of the prime lies. Riffles, seams, and confluence lines have been rather unproductive. This water, however, is fishing well with PMD and drake patterns, particularly from noon until around 3pm. Drake emergers are starting to produce better and better each day. All of these dry patterns are producing well in side channels as well.
Nymphing requires no more than a dry-dropper rig fished along banks, structure, bankside troughs, and in riffles and seams. In the canyon reaches, double nymph rigs are working as good as anything else when fished along banks and structure, and in riffles and along seams. Go with a leader length of six to seven and a half feet from line to trailing fly.
Streamer fishing gets better by the week and is working best on the high gradient reaches from Deadmans Bar down to South Park. Streamers are producing best when fished tight to structure and banks and at the head of seams. Slow retrieves, or just plain dead drifting your baitfish imitation, is the most productive way to go. Both larger articulated and smaller patterns are producing. Stick with floating and intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range.
Dry Flies – Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Parachute Hoppers, Jay-Dave’s Hoppers, Parachute Hares Ear, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Girdle Bugs, Kaufmann’s Brown Stone, Jelly Tits, Lightening Bugs, Copper John’s in red, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers- Booty’s Quad Bunny, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Galloup’s Bottom’s Up, Teller’s Nightmare, Jointed Urchins, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, McCune Sculpins, Lite Brite Zonkers, and Beldar Buggers.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 8,400 cfs. Solid fishing continues on the South Fork and has gotten better since flows dropped a week ago. Yet as on the Snake, there is inconsistency from hour to hour, day to day, and reach to reach. At times, the Canyon sections are fishing solid while, on other days, the upper and lower reaches seem to be on fire. Good results come from staying focused, being mindful of what water is fishing best at certain times of the day, and switching things up when certain tactics are not producing.
PMDs continue to emerge throughout the day, although not to the same degree as they have over the past month and a half. Mutant stone are present on every reach and grasshoppers are becoming more a player on every reach as well. The latter two mean that larger hopper and attractor patterns are important when fishing banks, structure, and bankside troughs. They can produce throughout the entire day when the fishing is on. Mayfly imitations are working best in riffles, riffle pools, and seams during a tight, two to three hour window from 11am to 2pm (give or take). Emergent patterns are working particularly well.
Nymphing is not what it has been over the past two months but it can bring home the bacon when surface fishing is slow. Stonefly nymphs are working well throughout the day along banks, in seams, and along eddy seams. Smaller mayfly, midge, and caddis imitations are working better from late morning to late afternoon in riffles, seams, eddies, and flats. Adjust your dropper leader/tippet for the depth of water you are targeting.
Streamer fish has been so-so, but is working best in the lower Canyon and on the lower reach below Byington. Target banks and structure with moderate depths and current and go with moderate and even retrieves. Riffle pools will also produce with slower retrieves. Go with sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range.
Dry Flies – Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Kasey’s Creature, Bean’s Orange Crush, Parachute Hoppers, Joe’s Hopper, Grand Hoppers, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Pink Sulfur Emergers, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, Copper John’s in red, Duracells, Psycho Princes, Psycho Mays, Buised Mays, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers- Galloup’s Sex Dungoen, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Bling Minnows, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, and Krystal Buggers.