July Continues to Bring Smiles
Still decent hatches of PMDs, yellow sallies, caddis around on all reaches. Smaller golden stones are waning but still around from time to time and grasshopper are starting to pop in good fashion, as are cicadas. As a result, dry fly fishing remains good most days and great on those days when the stars align. Just keep an eye out for rising water temps, which are starting to hit 68 degrees or higher on all reaches after 3pm. When temperatures are safe, most water types are fishing well, with banks and structure fishing best in the mornings and riffles, seams, confluences, and side channels fishing best after 11am.
Double/Triple nymph rigs are fishing best on the lower reaches from South Park down to Alpine (going deep with nine feet of leader from trailing fly to line/suspension device after 1:30pm is a good way to go). Dry-dropper rigs are producing on all reaches. Just be prepared to change the length of your dropper tippet depending on the time of day and section of water.
Streamers are starting to work very well with the best action coming in the morning hours from 8am to around 11am and again from 2pm until 4pm, although most days they can be fished with success all day long. Both larger and moderately sized patterns are producing. Fish these on floating and intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and target banks, structure, bankside troughs, confluences, riffle pools, side channels, and seams. Moderate retrieves are working best. Slowing your retrieve or allowing descent of your pattern with a long hesitation before your initial line strips is getting into more fish after 2pm.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Bart’s Lipstick, Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Purple Bruces, Parachute Hoppers, Boz’s Bitchin’ Frenzy, Morrish Hoppers, Dave’s Hoppers, Parachute Sallies, Red Butt Sallies, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Mathew’s X-Caddis, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns,Purple Hazes, Comparaduns, Snowshoe PMDs, Booty’s DL PMD Cripple, Cole’s Split Wing Cripple, Quigley Cripples, Klinkhamers, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Biot Bugs, Foxy Sallies, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Rabid Squirrels, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Panty Droppers, Psycho Princes, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Silvey Sculpins, Coffey’s Articulated Sparkle Minnow, Strolis’ Headbanger Scuplin, Rustic Trombomes, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, SRA Double Bunnies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, J.J. Specials, Beldar Buggers, and Marabou Muddlers.
Flows from Palisades stand at approximately 12,500cfs. A good number of salmon flies (now upstream of Conant), golden stones, PMDs, drakes, yellow sallies and occasional caddis continue to pop, although increased flows from the dam can cause decreased visibility and less consistent surface action for a couple of days. When dry fly fishing is in the cards, pounding banks, seams, structure, eddies, and bankside troughs with larger attractor and sally imitations produces well from around 11am until 5pm. Drake and PMD imitations are working best in riffles, side channels, the inside turn of riffles, in bankside troughs and along banks with slow to moderate currents. These produce best after 11am as well.
Nymph rigs are working throughout the day and are a good way to go in the morning hours when dry fly fishing is less consistent. While double/triple rigs are super effective at the moment, surface action is good enough to even on days with less visibility to fish dry-droppers throughout the day. All water types are producing, especially eddies, banks/bank drop-offs, riffles, and seams. Think eight to ten feet of leader with double/triple rigs. Four to seven feet is almost ideal for dropper tippet unless surface action is intense, when two and a half to four feet will be better.
Streamers are starting to work as well as they have since April/May on just about every reach of the South Fork. Both large and moderately sized imitations are working well. Fish these on floating or intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range or short lengths of T-8 to T-11. Target banks, bankside troughs, confluences, seams, eddy current margins, bank drop-offs, and the head of riffles. Varying up your retrieves will help a lot.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Barrett’s Ant, South Fork Stones, J-Slams, Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Chubby Chernobyls, The Thing From Uranus, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Parachute Sallies, Stimulators, Lime Trudes, Elk Hair Caddis, Foam Drakes, Bullet Head Hair Drakes, Booty’s DL Drake Emerger, Paarachute Extended Body PMDs, Purple Hazes, Parachute Adams, Comparaduns, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Brown Stone, 20-Inchers, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Chez’s Biot Bug, Foxy Sallie Stones, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Psycho Princes, Bruised Mays, Psycho Mays, Panty Droppers, Lightening Bugs, Egan’s Dart, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Dungeon, Strolis’ Headbanger Sculpin, Galloup’s Boogeyman, Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Bottoms Up, McKnight’s Home Invader, Rustic Trombones, Goldilocks, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, Clouser Minnows, Sculpzillas, Lynch Mobs, Craven’s Swim Coach, and Marabou Muddlers.
An abundance of hatches continue on the Green. Golden Stones are played out unless you are upstream of the Forest Service Boundary. However, drakes, yellow sallies, PMDs, and a smattering of caddis continue to emerge in decent numbers on just about every reach. Grasshoppers are starting to make much more of an appearance as well. Water temps are warming significantly, so primetime hatch-wise has been from around 7am until 11am, with decent action continuing until 2pm before things slow noticeably. Banks and submerged structure are key waters to target. Eddies, seams, and the head of riffles are also good choices.
Nymph rigs are producing during the same period as surface patterns. Dry-dropper and tandem dry-dropper rigs are the best way to go. Adjust your tippet length for different depths and consider going four to five feet or so after 1pm. Deep banks with slow currents, submerged structure, seams, and eddies are producing best.
Streamers are producing from dawn until around 3pm consistently, except for a mid-day lull from around 9:30am until 11am. Before that time period, shallow water – riffles, bankside troughs, banks, and submerged structure are producing. After 11am, the same water can be active, but eddies and seams are far more active. Go with moderately sized baitfish imitations fished on floating lines and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Takes are happening on the drop, so go with slow to moderate line strip speeds.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Mary Kays, Dave’s Hoppers, Morrish Hoppers, Boz’s Bitchin’ Frenzy, Stimulators, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Red Butt Sallies, Quad Wing Drakes, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL Drake Cripple, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Pink Alberts, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – San Juan Worms, Sparkle Worms, Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Sexy Lexie Stones, Foxy Sallie Stones, Panty Droppers, Psycho Princes, Lightening Bugs, Egan’s dart in blue and green, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Craven’s Swim Coach, Lynch Mobs, Baby Gongas, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Beldar Buggers, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, J.J. Specials, Booty Call Minnows, Kreelux, and Craft Fur Clousers.
The Salt continues to have cool water temps in comparison to other area waters and still decent hatches of yellow sallies, PMDs, and, to a lesser degree, caddis. We are even seeing some early tricos on the lower reaches downstream of Freedom. Surface action remains good from around 9am until 2:30pm with riffles, eddies, seams, and banks with slow to moderate current speed producing.
Nymphs are best fished as part of a dry-dropper rig with rather short dropper tippet in the one and a half to two and a half foot range. Fish are looking up so there is little reason to be deeper. Target the same water as you would with your dry fly patterns, but also target confluences.
Dry flies – Micro Peanuts, Will’s Micro Winged Chernobyl, Mary Kays, Stimulators, Goddard Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Hackle Stacker Sallies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Pink Parachutes, Parachute Adams, Copper Hazes, Booty’s DL PMD Cripple, Cole’s Split Wing Cripple, Film Critics, Parachute Pheasant Tails, Parachute Tricos, and Air-Flo Tricos.
Nymphs – Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Mercer’s Glass Tail Caddis Pups, Soft Hackles, Biot Bugs, Sexy Lexy Sallies, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Lightening Bugs, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Psycho Princes, Panty Droppers, and Bruised Mays.