Too Many Options
The tailwater reach remains a solid choice for dry fly opportunities as PMDs emerge big time most days. The Snake below the Buffalo Fork was running high and off color with recent heavy rains but has settled down now and is producing with dry-dropper and double/triple nymph rigs. PMD and small attractor dries (and moderately sized foam attractors at times are working on just about every type of holding water upstream of the Buffalo Fork. Below the Buffalo Fork, the most productive water for dry-droppers has been in slow current targets, specifically eddies, eddy current margins. Double/Triple nymph rigs can work in the same water but are also producing in riffle pools, seams, and banks with slow currents.
Action on streamers is FINALLY starting to pick up. Target eddies, banks with slow currents (especially on the tailwater reach), seams, and side channels with slow currents. Moderately sized streamers are working best. Go with floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and retrieve slowly.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Comparduns, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, Booty’s PMD and Mahogany Emerger, and Rusty Spinners.
Nymphs – 20-Inchers, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Copper Johns in red, black, or copper, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, and Psycho Princes.
Streamers – Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Jointed Urchins, and Marabou Muddlers.
After a turbulent week with high flows from Palisades Reservoir, things have settled down and releases are now at just over 13,000cfs. Salmon flies are finally showing up and currently working their way through the lower Canyon. This means surface action with big bug imitations is consistent and working throughout much of the day. The best action is on banks, structure, bankside troughs, seams, and eddies. Expect this kind of activity from Cottonwood down to Lorenzo. Smaller caddis and mayfly imitations produce in the afternoon hours in side channels with slow currents on the same reaches but are also working in riffles and riffle pools.
Fishing is still solid with nymphs rigs, particularly on the lower reaches from Cottonwood down to Lorenzo. Stonefly imitations rule the roost and softhackle jigs are coming on strong as are larger attractor nymphs. Seven feet of leader from line/suspension device tends to be the standard over the past few days. Be prepared to go down to nine feet if a shorter leader proves inconsistent. Target banks (even a few feet off of banks), structure, bankside troughs, riffles, and seams.
Streamers continue to produce in slower water types in side channels (particularly seam margins and confluences) as well as riffles pools. Larger patterns are producing better than more moderately sized baitfish imitations, but it is splitting hairs some days. Go with sinking tips in the 3ips to 8ips range or short lengths of T-8 or T-11 and use slow to moderate retrieves.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Chubby Chernobyls, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Winged Peanuts, Stimulator X, Double Humpies, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators, Royal Wulffs, Ausable Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, and Booty’s DL Cripple.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Cheater Bellies, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Pinky Soft Hackle Jigs, Brush Hogs, Duracells, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, and Soft Hackle Copper John Jigs in red or copper.
Streamers – Sundell’s Night Fire, Sundell’s Moss Fire, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Trevor’s Sculpin, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and SRA Bunnies.
Flows on the Green have plummeted to just over1,300cfs at Warren Bridge and is starting to fish well again. A plethora of broad hatches – gray drakes, PMDs, yellow sallies, and Alloperla golden stones - are emerging on most reaches. This makes dry flies the best way to go. Water temps are warming into the mid-60s by early evening, so the best action has been from around mid-morning (call it 9am to 10am) until around 2pm. Target banks and structure (particularly in the afternoon), seams, eddies, confluences, and riffle pools.
Nymphing has been best with dry-dropper rigs and short double nymph rigs with leader in the five to seven foot range from trailing fly to line/suspension device. Target the same water you do with surface patterns. Nymph rigs have been outperforming surface flies and streamers after 2:30pm, especially in eddies and along deep banks with slow to moderate currents.
Streamers have been solid producers from the early morning hours until around 2pm. Moderately sized patterns are working better than their larger counterparts. Target banks, bankside troughs, structure, and the current margin of eddies and confluences. Go with floating or intermediate sinking lines or tips in the INT to 3ips range. Vary up your retrieves. Shallow holding water has been producing exceptionally well in the morning hours, so don’t be shy about targeting it.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Bart’s Lipstick, Rubber Legged Double Humpy, Chubby Chernobyls, Quad Wing Drakes, Hares Ear Wulff, Booty’s Gray Drake Emerger, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Outrigger Sallies, Paralyzer Sallies, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Drakes, Booty’s DL PMD Cripple, Booty’s PMD Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Biot Bugs, Silverman’s Epoxy Back Red Tag Sallie Nymph, Little Yellow Sloan Nymph, Sexy Lexy Stone Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Prince Nymphs.
Streamers – Trevor’s Sculpin, Kill Whitey, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, Sundell’s Ghost Dancer, Strolis’ Masked Avenger, Jointed Urchins, McKnight’s Home Invader, Booty Call Minnows, Baby Gongas, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Doc’s Smelt.
Yellowstone National Park
Lewis Lake – Fishing the flats has waned considerably except for the early morning hours and those days with partly to considerable cloud cover (think drakes and callibaetis). Drop-offs are where most of the action is with baitfish, damsel, and dragon fly imitations. Even better production is coming on chironomid and scud/Mysis imitations. Fish the latter fairly deep – in the nine foot range from suspension device down to trailing fly. Damsel and dragon fly imitations should also be fished fairly deep on drop-off (around the six to eight foot range).
Lewis and Snake Rivers – The upper Lewis from the falls down to the canyon is having solid action as green drakes pop in at least intermittent fashion most days. All holding water types are worth targeting. Use drake emerger patterns in combo with an adult. The lower Lewis as well as the Snake are both offering broader hatches of drakes, PMDs, caddis, yellow sallies, and golden stones. The Snake still has limited visibility but looks much better than a week ago and is worth targeting with streamers and larger attractor patterns.