Its Feelin' Like June
Runoff has intensified over the past week as air temperatures have increased into the 70s. The tailwater reach below Jackson Lake Dam remains one of the better places to fish on the Snake at the moment where there is substantial clarity, although Jackson Lake is going into runoff which is leading to somewhat less visibility than what we have had since the last fishing report. Flows from the dam are at 2,000cfs. There is a smattering of surface action on chironomids and callibaetis on seams and eddies. Still, the best action has been on nymphs from the spillway down to Cattleman’s and on streamers from the Oxbow down to Pacific Creek. Target slow eddy currents, seams, deep riffles, and submerged structure with double or triple nymph rigs. Banks, structure, and the margin of eddies are the best water types to hit with streamers. Go with small to moderate sized baitfish imitations fished on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines. Vary up your retrieval speeds and lengths, but lean towards slow and long.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Batmen, Copper Johns in red, olive, or black, Lil’ Foam in purple or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Emerger.
Streamers – Bow River Buggers, Chicklets, Kreelux, Lil’ Kims, Wooley Buggers, Rickard’s Seal Buggers, Booty Call Minnows, and Lite Brite Zonkers.
The South Fork is a good place to be at the moment with flows from Palisades Reservoir at approximately 9,000cfs and good action on every reach, but especially the upper sections in Swan Valley and the Canyon. There is production on dry flies in the afternoon – 1pm until dusk – in riffle, flats, seams and shallow eddies. Go with smaller mayfly and caddis imitations in the #12 to #18 range, although this is not a guarantee and is inconsistent from day to day. Larger attractor patterns can also get into fish in the same water and along banks and structure and (especially) side channels with slow to moderate currents and shallow to moderate depths.
Nymphs are producing more consistently than anything and are close to being the only game in town in the morning. Go with nine feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device and target riffles, seams, eddy margins, and banks/structure with fast to moderate currents. As has been the case over the past month, rainbow spawning beds on the upper reach and in the upper canyon are worthwhile targets with egg patterns, although this is far from your only target.
Streamer fishing has been decent but not off the charts over the past week and a half. Go with intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range and fish large to moderately sized patterns with moderate to fast retrieval speeds. Target banks, structure, seams, and side channels near the confluence with main channel currents.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Barrett’s Ants, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Film Critics, X-Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, and Furimsky BDEs.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brush Hog Jigs, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, RB Assassins, Rabid Squirrels, Redemption BWOs, Hickey’s Auto Emerger, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Veiled Eggs, Nuclear Eggs, Clown Eggs, Glo Bugs, and Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs.
Streamers – Silk Kitties, Galloup’s Barely Legals, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Sundell’s Night Fire, Lot Lizards, Silvey Sculpins, J.J. Specials, Booty Call Minnows, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Bow River Buggers, Lil’ Kims, and Chicklets.
Flows are surging (currently around 1900 cfs at Warren Bridge) and there is around 12” to 18” of clarity but the Green River is offering respectable fishing with large streamers and specific nymph rigs. Target banks, structure, and slow current eddies with baitfish imitations fished on hover and intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. A good rule of thumb over the past week is to use faster retrieves in faster currents and slower retrieves in slower currents. Nymph rigs have been working best in riffles and bankside troughs. Fish double rigs with six to seven feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device and use larger patterns to attain sufficient weight and visibility.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Flashback Rubber Legged Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Squirmy Wormies, and San Juan Worms.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Bunnies, Sundell’s Night Fire, Silk Kitties, Strolis’ Head Banger Sculpin, and Keller’s Nightmare.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – The Firehole is fishing in a typically solid fashion for early June with emergences of caddis and PMDs as well as BWO on cooler days with clouds and precipitation. Hatches are not over-the-top but they will be there at some portion of most days. #18-#22 nymphs imitating caddis and mayflies (particularly Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Rainbow Warriors, and Redemption BWOs) are producing best when fished in riffles, eddies, and bank edges. Surface actions is decent in the afternoon with emergers, primarily X-Caddis, Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Film Critics).
Lewis Lake – Lewis is clear of ice. The flats are offering good fishing but there is better action on or near drop offs. Takes have been subtle and there are more eats than there are legit hookups. Nonetheless, it is worth being out there. The best action has been from approximately 9am until approximately 2pm with a noticeable shut down in most water types. Small baitfish imitations, dragonfly and damsel nymph imitations, and chironomid larva/pupa imitations are working best. Fish these on hover or intermediate sinking lines and go with slow to moderate retrieves for baitfish patterns and hand-twist or slow pinch retrieves for dragonfly and damsel patterns. Chironomid larva are best fished with a suspension device and left to tangle in active water or slowly retrieved.