Its November, and the Snake and South Fork are the Places to be.
Dry flies are producing after 11am, with the best action is occurring after 2pm as midge and BWO emergences intensify. The most productive water has been in ledge rock pools, the inside turn of riffles and riffle current margins, banks with moderate depths and slow currents, and seams separating backwater channels from main channel currents.
Nymphs are working and it is a toss-up between double rigs and dry-droppers in terms of which is working best. Much of this comes down to the section of water you are fishing. Double/triple rigs are working best from South Park to Astoria and from West Table down to Alpine while dry-droppers are preforming a bit better on the mid-reaches from Moose to South Park and from Pritchard Creek to W. Table. 30” to 48” has been the standard go-to length with droppers. Six to 7 and a half feet has been the most productive length of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device on double/triple rigs. Target eddies, ledge rock pools, riffle current margins, and seams separating backwater channels from main current channels.
Streamers have been hit-or-miss and inconsistent from day-to-day. Sunny days have actually been fishing better than days with cloud cover. On those days with cloud cover, it is important to go deep and retrieve slow. Short strips of T-8 and T-11 can help in this regard. Sunny days will find fish closer to the surface, especially on the lower reaches from South Park down to Sheep Gulch. Either way, moderately sized streamers are working best.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Micro Peanuts, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL BWO Cripple, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Perdigons, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – SRA Double Bunnies, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnows, Marabou Muddlers, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
Solid fishing remains on the South Fork with all sections producing subsurface with streamers and nymphs and the Canyon reach also producing with dry flies as well, especially after 1pm as BWOs begin to emerge most days. Surface action can also be had earlier with chironomid imitations before 1pm. Target riffles pools and the head of riffles, as well as eddies, side channels, and banks with slow currents.
Nymphs are fishing well throughout the system and are taking the lions share of fish (along with streamers) on the Swan Valley reach. Dry-dropper rigs are working almost as well as double/triple rigs as long as you go somewhat long with your dropper tipper – somewhere between four and seven feet. Target the same water you are with dry flies, but also hit seams and confluences. Expect whitefish to start spawning soon (there are a few signs that this activity is starting to occur). When they do in earnest, consider using egg patterns on flats and at the head of riffles and riffles pools. Seams might be worth targeting as well.
Streamers are working best on the upper reach in Swan Valley and on the lower reaches from Byington down to Menan. Sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and full sinking intermediate lines have been productive when fished with slow to moderate retrieves along banks, structure, seams, and the inside turn of riffles. Moderately sized baitfish imitations are the way to go. Keep them in the top two feet of the water column and good things will happen.
Dry flies – Micro Winged Chernobyls, Micro Peanuts, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL BWO Cripple, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Brush Hogs, Duracells, Military Mayfly Nymph, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Perdigons, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Goldilocks, Rusty Trombones, J.J. Specials, Arum’s Lil Kim, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Clouser Minnows, and Kreelux.