Better Weather. Better Water Temps. Better Fishing
Cooler air temps and reduced flows from Jackson Lake have improved fishing on the Snake, especially on the upper reaches from the Dam down to South Park. Claassenia stoneflies continue to emerge throughout the drainage and Hecubas will be out on days with cloud cover and precipitation. PMDs can also be present most days, especially from 11am and into the afternoon. Terrestrials – particularly grasshoppers and a smattering of carpenter ants – are also in the mix. Riffles, troughs, seams, confluences, and side channels are prime targets for dry flies. Ledge rock pools on the lower reaches from Hoback down to Sheep Gulch are good places to target as well, especially in the afternoon.
With better dry fly action on larger attractor/stonefly patterns, nymphs are best fished as part of a dry-dropper rig, although double/triple rigs can come in handy on the lower reaches from South Park to Sheep Gulch at times. On the lower river, target eddies, ledge rock pools, seams, and deep banks. Dry-droppers on the upper reaches will work in the same water as well as riffle, troughs, and confluences.
Streamers continue to produce and are working on most sections from Deadman’s Bar down to W.Table. Floating lines and INT sinking tips are working well on days with cloud cover and precipitation, while 3ips to 6ips tips and short lengths of T-8 to T-11 are outperforming the former on brighter days. Target banks, structure, seams, and confluences and go with moderate retrieves as the default movement. Moderate sized patterns are outperforming larger ones by a smidge most days, and by a lot more some other days.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Purple Bruces, Mary Kays, Melon Bellies, Turck’s Power Ant, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Adams, Quad Wing Quills, Tilt-Wing Drakes, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathews X-Caddis, Mathews’ Sparkle Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Panty Droppers, Biot Bugs, Copper Johns in red or copper, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Bottoms Up, Dali Llamas, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, SRA Bunnies, Craven’s Swim Coach, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Kreelux, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, and Marabou Muddlers.
Palisades Reservoir is at 28% capacity and flows from the dam are a little under 14,000cfs. A little bit of discoloration and a little more suspended vegetation, but there are still fish to be had and caught. Fishing hard can pay off in ways similar to the past two months. The best production has been on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Cottonwood. Mutant stones are around in fair numbers, as are caddis and midges in the morning hours. PMDs are waning a bit but are still present in intermittent numbers from around 11am until mid-afternoon. Banks, structure, troughs, the inside turn of riffles, and the tail of seams are productive targets with larger attractor and stonefly imitations as well as caddis (the latter in the morning hours and in slower water types. Both PMD and caddis imitations are working relatively well in riffles, riffle pools, flats, and eddy current margins in the afternoon.
Nymphs are working well throughout the day but the best productivity is coming along banks and seams in the morning and riffles, banks with slow currents, submerged structure, seam, and side channels in the afternoon. Go anywhere from seven to nine feet of leader from trailing pattern to line/suspension device if using double/triple rigs. Four to six/seven feet of leader is doing the trick with dry-dropper rigs, especially in riffle and eddies.
Streamers have been working well over the past several weeks but are a bit more hit-or-miss over the past 10 days or so. They are one of the best approaches on the lower river from Wolf Eddy down to Lorenzo, especially in the morning. No matter where you fish, target banks, structure, troughs, the head and inside turn of riffles, and seams where side channels meet main currents. Both larger and moderately sized imitations are working equally well. Floating lines and intermediate sinking tips are producing in the morning hours. Sinking tips in the 3ip to 6 ips range are producing better after 11am.
Dry flies – Casey’s Creature, Bob’s BSF, Circus Peanuts, Snake River Water Walkers, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathews’ X-Caddis, Chez’s Foam Wing Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Pink Alberts, Parachute Adams, and Quigley Cripples.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Nymph Formerly Known As Prince, Duracells, Brush Hogs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Copper Johns in red, Rainbow Warriors, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Bottoms Up, Strolis’ Masked Avenger, Galloup’s Flat Liner, Silvey Sculpins, Goldilocks, Rustic Trombones, Beldar Buggers, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Kreelux, and Clouser Minnows.
Midges continue to dominate the scene in the morning with caddis also around and some PMDs in the afternoon (the latter on days with cloud cover and precipitation). Grasshoppers and carpenter ants are worth considering from a terrestrial standpoint, as but are out, and the former in good numbers (although ant patterns are producing better). As has been the case since opening day, there is a decent amount of craneflies about as well as some dragon and damselflies. Subsurface cranefly patterns are performing well. Dragon and damselfly nymph patterns are getting action in slower water with imitative presentations (consider a line retrieval that best matches the movement of the natural).
Whether going with adults, emergers, or nymphs, fish tight to undercut banks and certain pieces of submerged structure throughout the day. Riffles, seams and eddies can be active after 10am and can be quite better than average on those days with cloudcover and precipitation.
Cutties are starting to get a bit more spooky and a lot more selective as is typical this time of year. Its time to start thinking about going with light leader and tippet (5X might cut it some days, but 6X might be needed on others). Nymphs are outperforming surface patterns when selectivity is obvious.
Dry flies – Whitlock Hoppers, Jay-Dave’s Hoppers, Bear’s No-Hackle Ant, Sparkle Ants, Parasol Ants, Will’s Cranefly Perfection, Cole’s U-Con Caddis, Mathew’s X-Caddis, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Comparduns, Snowshoe Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple PMD, Film Critics, Rusty Spinners, Parachute Tricos, Parachute Midges, and Chez’s Krystal Midge Emerger.
Nymphs – Mopscicles, Lucent Cranefly Pupas, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Mercer’s Glass Tail Caddis Pupa, Chez’s Glasshouse Caddis, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.