Midgin' in December
Pure midge game both above and below the surface at the moment. The most productive top-water period is between around 1pm until 3:30pm, although on warmer days with air temps over 35 degrees in the morning can produce emergences as early as 11am. Target eddies, backwater areas at the edge of seams, and slow current riffle pools.
Nymph rigs are producing better than any other approach although, as with dry flies, the best action is squarely from 11am until around 3 or 4pm. Target eddy current margins, seams, and the entire length of riffles from head to tail. Leader lengths should be in the four to five foot range.
Streamers are still producing in a decent fashion and can actually get into fish fairly early in the day. Floating and hover lines and slow to moderate retrieves are working best. Target slow currents along banks and structure and currently back water areas.
Dry Flies – Furimsky BDEs, Mating Midges, CDC Midge Emerger, Parachute Midges, Parachute Tricos, Cabin Fever Midge Pupa, Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger, and Bondage Midges.
Nymphs – Copper Johns in black or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lite Brite Serendipities, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, Brassies, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Sculpzillas, Minch’s Perch Candy, Squirrel Zonkers, Slump Busters, and Rickards’ Seal Bugger, and Rickard’s Stillwater Nymph.
As on the Snake, midges are the answer for most things on the South Fork at the moment. Nymphs are producing well throughout the day from about 11am to 4pm with the sweet spot being from around noon until 3pm. Riffle current margins, eddy current margins, and slow currents along submerged structure are the best targets. Longer leader lengths in the five to six foot range are the way to go early and later in the day. Shorter leaders in the four foot range are working best during the early afternoon sweet spot. Dry flies are getting into fish during a tight window from around noon to 3pm with limited action before and after. They are still worth fishing, but don’t expect stellar production. Target the same water as you would if you are fishing nymphs.
Streamer fishing is producing in bits and piece from mid-morning until mid-afternoon with moderately sized baitfish imitations. Fish them along banks and bankside structure and riffle current margins with floating lines and sinking tips in INT to 3ips range. Slow to moderate retrieves are key.
Dry flies – Furimsky BDEs, Renegades, Snowshoe Midges, Parachute Midges, and CDC Wing Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Copper Johns in red or black, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Rainbow Warriors, S&M BWO Nymphs, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Booty Call Minnows, Slump Busters, Krystal Buggers, J.J. Specials, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Beldar Buggers, and Chicklets.