Better Production in Late February
Still a decent amount of surface activity is holding water with slow currents – primarily backwater channels, eddies and the tail of riffle pools. Mostly midges, but in the past couple of days we have started to see a smattering of Capnia winter stones. Just a smattering, but it bodes well for the coming weeks. 10am to 4pm has been the prime time on warmer days.
Nymphs are working well in the same water as dries. Riffle and seam margins are also good targets. All are producing throughout the day. Four to six feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device has been working best. Takes have been relatively slow, so give a half second count before the hook set.
Streamers are working better and better in slow currents and current-less pools. Floating lines and hover lines have been working best. Go with small baitfish imitations and slow retrieves.
Dry flies – Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emergers, and Tilt-Wing Midges.
Nymphs – Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Lightening Bug Jigs, Zebra Midges, Lightening Bugs, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Tungteasers, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Slump Busters, Rickards’ Seal Bugger, and Fruit Roll Ups.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir stand at approximately 1800cfs. The complete midge game continues on the South Fork. Surface action has been best on the upper reach from the Dam down to Hwy 26 Bridge and on the lower reaches from Heise Bridge down to Menan. There is some inconsistency, but when it is on it has been really good. Side channels with moderate depths, seams, and riffle pools are producing best. You definitely need to go small with your imitations. Think #20 or smaller.
As on the Snake, nymph rigs are working well in slow current targets with lightly weighted tandem or triple nymphs. Go with three to six feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device. If targeting fast currents, go with leader one to two feet longer.
Streamers continue to work well, particularly on warmer days with air temps exceeding 40 degrees. Small to moderately sized baitfish imitations fished on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range are working best. Target seams, eddy margins, and riffle pools.
Dry Flies – Twilight Midge, Trico Spinners, CDC Midge Emergers, Transitional Midges, Parachute Midges, and Parachute Adams.
Nymphs – Brush Hogs, Egan’s Blue Dart, Parrot’s Chironoflash Pupa, Smoke Jumpers, Zebra Midges, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, and Root Beer Midges.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Krystal Buggers, Kiwi Zonkers, Lite Brite Zonkers, Rickards’ Seal Bugger, and Pine Squirrel Zonkers.