Flat Creek is Open! And Mutant Stones are Out!
Crystal clear water on the entire reach and larger cutthroats – 16 to 18 inches – are making up more of the fish compared to a couple of weeks ago. The downside is that water temps are warming into the high 60s during the afternoon and exceeding 68 degrees after 4pm. Early starts lead to less fish mortality (not to mention fishing can slow after 4pm).
Caddis are milling about in the morning hours followed to PMDs in the afternoon. You will also see crane flies, grasshoppers, and carpenter ants. Attractors are working on all reaches and throughout the day. Movement is key, especially on the initial mend. Caddis imitations and PMDs are working best when fished in tandem with a larger attractor. Target banks, structure, riffles, seams, confluences, and side channels. PMDs are working best in side channels and particular in the afternoon.
Nymphs are working in most parts of the water column and can be fished through the day with decent to solid results. Double/triple rigs are working best, but it can be worthwhile to fish dry-droppers in a lot of water. Target riffles, seams, submerged structure, and bankside troughs.
Streamers continue to produce better with each passing week. The best action has been in the morning until around 2pm on floating lines, intermediate sinking lines, or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Focus on banks, structure, the inside turn of riffles, seams, and eddy current margins. After 2pm there are still fish to be had, but requires going deep with 8ips tips or six to ten foots lengths of T-8 to T-11. When going deep at this time of the day, target riffle pools, banks with at least six feet of depth, and seams and eddies along main currents that meet backwater channels.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Chubby Chernobyls, Gold Members, Back Up Plans, PMXs, Parachute Hoppers, Morrish Hoppers, Furry Hop Mothers, Cinnamon Ants, Turck’s Power Ant, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Elk Hair Caddis Peacock Fluttering Caddis, Mathew’s X Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, Thorax PMDs, Carlson’s Purple Haze and Copper Haze, Booty’s DL Cripple, Idyl’s Challenged PMD, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – 20-Inchers, Pat’s Rubber Leg, Jigged Jig Stone, Creepy Sallies, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, , Copper Johns in red, copper, or olive, Panty Droppers, Two-Bit Hookers, Egan’s Frenchie Jig, Hala Girl (Pink), Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Lightening Bugs, and Rainbow Warriors.
Streamers – Silk Kitties, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Silvey Sculpins, Haymaker Sculpins, Doc’s Articulated Smelt, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, SRA Bunnies, Mini Dungeons, Beldar Buggers, Booty Call Minnows, and Keller’s Montana Mouthwash.
PMDs dominate but we are seeing the first of out mutant stones. This gives anglers the chance to throw larger dry attractors with good success, especially in the morning hours, along banks, structure, bankside troughs, seams, and eddies. Providing movement to your fly should be considered along with a dead drift. Fish these larger bugs later in the day along banks and structure when grasshoppers are out and active. PMD imitations, however, is where the real money is. Expect so-so fishing in the morning until around 11am. After 11am and well into the afternoon, riffles (especially inside turns and current margins), seams, side channels, and flats can offer some of the best fishing of a given day. The best results come with fishing adults or spinners in tandem with emergent patterns. Keep in mind that there are still a fair amount of yellow sallies about and their imitations are still producing in riffles, seams, and side channels
Nymph rigs are working well in riffles, seams, eddy current margins, and along banks with slow to moderate current speeds. Don’t go too deep – six to seven feet from line/suspension device to trailing fly is working better than nine to ten feet. Dry-dropper rigs are worth considering in riffles and on flats with two and half to four feet of tippet.
Streamer fishing just keeps getting better as we get deeper into August. Floating lines, intermediate sinking lines, and INT tips are producing best in side channels with moderately sized baitfish imitations and slow to moderate retrieval speeds. Banks, submerged structure, eddy current margins, and inside margins of riffle pools are working well with the same lines but also with sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range. Vary up your retrieves in this water. Moderately sized imitations are working best, but larger patterns are working better for larger fish, particularly on the lower river from Wolverine down to Lorenzo.
Dry flies – Barrett’s Ant, Bean’s Orange Crush, Chubby Chernobyls, Snake River Water Walkers, Parachute Hoppers, Morrish Hoppers, Whitlock Hoppers, Stimulators, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Goldie Hahn Para Sallies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Copper Hazes, Comparaduns, Snowshoe Duns, Pink Alberts, Rusty Spinners, Booty’s DL Cripple, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics. Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Prince Nymphs, Biot Bugs, Foxy Sallie Stones, Silverman’s Epoxy Back Sallies, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Panty Droppers, Ninch’s Ball Gag Mayfly, Psycho Princes, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Boogeyman, Strolis’ Headbanger Sculpin, Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Keller’s Nightmare, McKnight’s Home Invader, Booty Call Minnows, Chicklets, Kreelux, and Mojo Minnows.
Consistently cooler water on the Salt than most waters in the area. PMDs and caddis are around but tricos are leading the charge in terms of aquatic invertebrates (think emergent patterns more than anything else). Grasshoppers and carpenters are about in the afternoon. Eddies and seams are producing best with bankside troughs and riffles working next good bet.
Nymphs are working throughout the day but are producing best in the early morning hours until around 11am. Dry-dropper rigs are the best way to go with two to three feet of dropper tippet. Confluences, eddy current margins, and submerged structure are the best waters to target.
Streamers are producing in deeper water with small to moderately sized baithfish imitations. Use floating lines or INT tips and go with slow to moderate retrieval speeds. Eddy pools and seams are producing best.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Micro Gold Members, Dave’s Hoppers, Parachute Hoppers, Goddard Caddis, Henrysville Specials, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute PMDs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Chrstian’s Sulphur, Booty’s DL Cripple, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Last Chance Cripple, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Brillion’s Mellow Yellow, Pinky Jigs, Psycho Princes, Kyle’s C-N Super Flash, Two Bit Hookers, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or black, and Perdigons,
Streamers – Kreelux, J.J. Specials, Baby Bunnies, Booty Call Minnows, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Krystal Buggers, Slump Busters, and Rickard’s Seal Bugger.
Flat Creek opened on fire with decent action on hopper and moderately sized surface attractors but is now in shape for challenging fishing (think one to two hours targeting one 20-plus inch cutthroat). Hopper/attractor patterns are still working but are not getting into bruisers. Your best bet is to match what is hatching at the moment – caddis in the AM, followed by PMDs and some yellow sallies, after 11am or so. Emergent mayflies are working particularly well in troughs, seams, and at the head of riffle current margins, especially in the early evening hours.
Nymphs are working best of all in riffles, along undercut banks, in troughs, and eddy current margins. Go with caddis pupa/larva and midge imitations fished moderately deep (below the mid-level of the water column of your target. Crane fly larva are also worth considering, particularly around submerged structure and in riffle pools with more than moderate depths.
Dry Flies – Micro Peanuts, Mary Kays, Grande Hoppers, Parachute Hoppers, Joe’s Hopper, Cole’s U-Con, Sparkle Caddis, Comparduns, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’ DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Mop Scicles, Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Booty’s Bead Tail Caddis Pupa, Copper Johns in red or copper, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Perdigons, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.