Early April Update on the Snake and the South Fork
Warmer temps and some low elevation precipitation over the past couple of weeks in the Jackson Hole area is helping to add some diversity to the surface action on the Snake. We still have Capnias and midges emerging. With the current weather, however, we are starting to see more blue-winged olives on the surface, particularly in the early to mid-afternoon hours. At times it can occur as early as 11am. Slow water types are still prime targets, but riffles and seams are starting to become just as important. Shallow riffles with depths in the two foot range can have intense action for a couple of hours, generally 12am to 2pm. Cooler days when temps are maxing out in the low 40s can slow surface activity down to the point that it is only occurring in select water types, particularly side channels with slow currents and moderate depths.
Streamer fishing has picked up noticeably over the past week. A wide range of targets are producing – banks and structure with moderate depths and current speeds, riffle pools, eddies, and the margin of seams. Small to moderate sized streamers fished on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines, as well and INT to 3ips tips, are producing best. Fish these with slow to moderate retrieves in slow water types, faster in more speedy currents. Pausing your strips can come in handy from time to time.
Dry flies – Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Furimsky BDEs, CDC Wing Midge Emergers, Parachute Midges, and Griffith Gnats.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, CDC Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Redemption BWOs, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Jujubee Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Chicklets, Booty Call Minnows, Bow River Buggers, Baby Bunnies, Rickard’s Seal Bugger, and Slump Busters.
Flows from Palisades Dam are currently at just over 7000cfs. Midges continue to dominate the scene but. Water temps are still quite cool – maxing out at 38 degrees at the warmest - so these emergences are packed into a tight two to three hour period from about 11:30am to 2:30pm and are by no means off the charts. Nonetheless, it is still worth carrying some small mayfly and midge top-water patterns. Slow current riffles and seams is the best water to target. Slow currents along banks with moderate depths are also worth hitting.
Nymph rigs are out-performing everything, with triple rigs (seven to nine feet from line to trailing fly and moderately weighted) doing best. Fish these in riffles, bankside troughs, banks, and along seams. Takes can be light, so be on the ball. This is especially the case on the upper reach in Swan Valley.
Streamer fishing continues to improve. As with the surface action, the bite is best from about 11am until around 2pm or 3pm. Moderate sized streamers are working best, but larger patterns are starting to produce with a bit more consistency. Intermediate sinking tips and 3ips to 6ips tips have been getting into fish more so than full sinking lines. Target banks, submerged structure, seams, and riffle pools. A wide array of retrieval speeds and length are producing. Giving your fly a three to five second countdown followed by fast retrieves can be worthwhile.
Dry flies – Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Film Critics, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Furimsky BDEs, CDC Wing Midge Emergers, Parachute Midges, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Mating Midges, and Renegades.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red or black, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Redemption BWOs, Zebra Midges, Dorsey’s Mercury Midges, and Day-2 Midge Pupas.
Streamers – Keller’s Nightmare, Sundell’s Night Fire, Silvey Sculpins, Booty Call Minnows, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Lite Brite Zonkers, Beldar Buggers, and J.J. Specials.