Lewis, New Fork, & South Fork this Week
Flows from Jackson Lake Dam are at 4000cfs and the tailwater reach down to Pacific Creek remains the best place to fish with substantially more visibility that the rest of the river, although clarity is not 100% due to the lingering effects of turnover from the lake. Nymphing is still best from the spillway down to Cattleman’s with double rigs in the seven to nine foot range from line/suspension device down to the trailing fly. Target seams, eddies, and confluences. Larger patterns are more productive than smaller ones. Egg patterns are worth considering in slow backwater areas as the sucker spawn is in primetime at the moment.
Streamers are producing on the entire reach, but are particularly effective on the lower section from Cattleman’s down to Pacific Creek. Target seams, eddies, banks and structure and fish moderate to large patterns on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines. Vary up your retrieves, but keep in mind that most of the action is happening in the top two feet of the water column.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, San Juan Worms, Copper Johns in red or black, Pinky Jigs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brush Hog Jigs, Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs, Yarn Eggs, and Veiled Eggs..
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeons, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Strolis Headbanger Sculpins, Silvey Sculpins, Lil’ Kims, Chicklets, Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 14,000cfs and the South Fork is fishing is solid fashion below the surface with nymphs and streamers and, at times and in the right water, dry flies. Think caddis first and foremost. Surface patterns are working best from approximately noon until dusk in slow water side channels, slow riffles and the tail of seams. Larger attractor patterns can produce during the same time period along banks and structure with slow currents as well as in riffle pools (when there is active feeding).
Nymphs have been the most productive tactic with action occurring just about everywhere but especially at the head of riffles and along banks and structure. Go with nine feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device. Stonefly patterns are working best by far, but there is action on larger caddis and aquatic worm imitations.
Streamer fishing has taken a big step in the right direction but you have to choose your water wisely. Banks and structure with moderate currents are producing, as is slow water side channels and riffle pools. Sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range are working best. Go with slow retrieves in slow water and faster retrieves in faster currents, but don’t get to focused on that. Pausing retrieves from time to time helps.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Barrett’s Ants, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Ausable Wulffs, 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.
Green and New Fork Rivers
The Green remains pretty off color but there is significantly more clarity on the New Fork above the East Fork. It is primarily a streamer game with moderately sized to larger, articulated patterns working best when fished on intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range. Target banks (undercuts and cut banks particularly), submerged structure, and bankside troughs and go with variable retrieval speeds and throw in a few hesitations between every half a dozen strips or so.
As good as the streamer fishing has been, it is worth fishing a dry fly attractor with a dropper during the late morning to mid-afternoon period (call it 10:30am to 2pm). Target banks, bankside troughs, structure, inside turns on riffles, riffle current margins, and eddy current margins. Don’t expect solid activity. Nonetheless, it is breaking the subsurface monotony we have on the most the water we have in the area at the moment.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Circus Peanuts, Barrett’s Red Ant, and Will’s Winged Chernobyls.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brush Hog Jigs, Copper Johns in red, olive or copper, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Sanchez’s Biot Bugs.
Streamers - Galloup’s Barely Legals, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Strolis Headbanger Sculpins, Keller’s Nightmare, Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, J.J. Specials, Bow River Buggers, and Lil’ Kims.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – Water temperatures are in the 55 degree range and we have respectable emergences of caddis, PMDs, and our first yellow sallies of the year. The most consistent surface action has been on PMD emerger imitations in riffles, seams, and eddies. Caddis and yellow sally imitations are working in the same water but tend to get attention between 1pm and 3pm before shutting down. Double nymph rigs are working best in riffle and along undercut banks (much as the case has been since opening day). Go with patterns in the #16 to #22 range.
Lewis Lake – Lewis Lake started out respectable but has now kicked a bit more into gear with more committed eats by both lake trout and brown trout. The best news has been the lack of wind so far this year. We haven’t experienced much over 15mph, including gusts. Damsel, dragonfly, and small-ish baitfish imitations continue to produce best when fished on hover and intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Target flats and drop-offs. Suspended chironomid and Mysis/scud imitations are starting to produce more favorably on drop-off edges.
Lewis River – A smidgeon of action above the canyon where the river remains cold but in the canyon and below we have been seeing salmon flies and caddis and this is producing some respectable dry fly action with attractor patterns and larger caddis adult patterns. Droppers – particularly Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Rubber Legged Hares Ears, and Pat’s Rubber Legs – are worth throwing as well. Mostly cutthroats and some decent ones at the moment but there is also a brown here and there.