Ending June on a High Note
Flows on the Snake are in recession but we are still several days away from significant visibility. As such, the tailwater reach below Jackson Lake Dam remains the most fishable piece of water where flows are at approximately 2,900cfs. Nymphing remains the best option above Cattleman’s while streamers are a solid choice downstream. The big change has been increased surface action with hatches of PMDs and caddis. Imitations of these bugs, as well as attractors (#10 to#12) with droppers, are producing in eddies and seams. Riffles are a distant third in term production with dry flies. Nonetheless, they are still worth fishing.
Double and triple nymph rigs are most productive in riffles, seams, eddies and when fished along submerged structure. Streamers should be targeted at banks, structure and eddy margins. Fish moderate or large articulated patterns on intermediate sinking lines of sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Moderate retrieves with deliberate hesitations after several line strips.
The rest of the Snake has some action as it continues to clear but it is primarily a nymphing game with a bit of action on streamers. Target slow water types along banks, structure, eddies, and riffle pools. The river below South Park is outperforming the rest of the stream above until you get to Pacific Creek. Side channels on the middle reaches from Deadman’s Bar down to South Park also have some action.
Dry flies – Circus Peanut, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, May Kays, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, Sparkle Caddis, and X-Caddis.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brush Hogs, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Strolis Headbanger Sculpin, McKight’s Home Invader, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, J.J. Specials, and Lite Brite Zonkers.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir currently stands at just under 12,000cfs and there is significant better visibility on the South Fork compared to a week and a half ago PMDs and caddis are out on most reaches and we are seeing salmon flies (although just a smattering of them) in the vicinity of Kelly’s Island. We are still in a subsurface mode at the moment, but the surface action is becoming more productive with each passing day.
Streamer fishing has improved noticeably over the past week and are working best on the upper reach in Swan Valley and through the upper portion of the Canyon reach. Banks and structure are obvious target. Fishing better, however, are riffle pools. Regardless of the water you are targeting, go with slow to moderate retrieves and floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Moderately sized patterns are performing better than larger ones.
Nymphing is producing throughout the day and on just about ever reach. Stonefly imitations are working best, as are soft hackle patterns and mayfly imitations. Target banks, structure, riffles, seams, and the current margin of riffles. Flats with slow to moderate currents and depths are worth targeting as well with dry-dropper rigs.
As for surface action, the best approach is to use larger attractor patterns (fished with a dropper) along banks and structure and in side channels and the tail of seams. PMD surface imitations are working better than caddis, drake, or yellow sallie imitations (the latter two of which have not been out quite yet). Target riffles, flats, and seams and fish tandem rigs consisting of an adult along with a trailing emerger.
Dry flies – Chubby Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Circus Peanuts, Barrett’s Ant, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, AuSable Wulffs, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Booty’s DL Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Balanced Stones, San Juan Worms, Duracells, Rabid Squirrels, Assassins, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, and Copper Johns in red or olive.
Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Lil’ Kims, Chicklets, Articulated Kims, Bow River Buggers, Marabou Muddlers, and Kreelux.
Flows on the Green River have dropped substantially over the past week and currently stand at just over 900cfs at Warren Bridge. Visibility has improved considerably as well with the best clarity occurring on the upper reaches above Daniel Bridge. On top of all of this there is also broad hatches of PMDs, caddis, and a few yellow sallies. There is much better action on the surface and below, but don’t expect solid action every day. There is still some inconsistency – some days we are bringing in good numbers and size, other days your really have to work for a respectable day.
Larger surface attractors is the way to go in terms of top-water bugs, especially from the forest service boundary down to Warren Bridge. Fish these with a dropper along banks, structure, in riffles, on seams, and on eddy current margins. There are not always clean hook ups, but the fish are looking up most days. Caddis, PMD, and yellow sallie imitations are getting into fish in intermittent fashion at best. But they should start to pick up fish more consistently in the coming weeks.
Streamers are performing well when fished floating and intermediate sinking lines or on sinking tips in the 1.5 to 6ips range. Large articulated and moderately sized patterns should be fished with variable retrieves. Target banks, structure, seams, and eddy current margins. The downside it that the streamer action has been quite inconsistent. Some days are solid, some days are not. Just fish hard.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Bean’s Orange Crush, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Chubby Chernobyls, Bart’s Lipstick, Grand Hoppers, Double Humpies, and Parachute Hopper.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brush Hogs, Hare’s Ear Nymphs, Woven Caddis Jigs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Duracells, Lightening Bugs, Psycho Princes, Batmen, Biot Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, and Sparkle Caddis Pupa.
Streamers – Galloup’s Boogeymen, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, McKnight’s Home Invader, Silvey Sculpins, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, J.J. Specials, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, Chicklets, and Kiwi Muddlers.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River - Water temps are maxing out at between 56 and 57 degrees most days and there are continuing hatches of PMDs, yellow sallies, and a smattering of caddis. The Firehole is a good choice for respectable dry fly fishing if one is willing to travel a bit further than usual. The best surface action is occurring from approximately 10am until around 2pm. Target riffles primarily. There is also some activity on eddy current margins and seams. Nymphs will work in the same water and are a good choice in the morning hours before 10am. Swinging small baitfish imitations along undercut banks produces best in the afternoon hours.
Lewis Lake – Lewis Lake continues to fish well throughout the day with drop-offs producing best. Flats and tributary/spring outlets are a good second choice. Damsel and dragonfly nymphs fished with slow pinch or hand-twist retrieves on hover or intermediate sinking lines are working best, followed by drake and callibeatis imitations with the same retrieve. Fishing midges and scud imitations is worth consideration with either suspension or brutally slow retrieves. Baitfish imitations are getting attention throughout the day when fished on intermediate sinking lines with countdowns in the four to six second range before the initial retrieve. Dry flies – drake, callibeatis, and carpenter ant patterns primarily – are getting into fish from approximately 11am until 2pm.
Lewis River – Still inconsistent on the upper reach but good action on the lower reaches in the canyon and below the confluence with Crawfish Creek. Green Drakes are hatching as are small golden stones and PMDs (the latter on cooler and wetter days).