Last Report for September
Claassenia is waning but still decent emergences of PMDs from 11am until mid-afternoon. Hecuba and mahogany duns can be out in strong numbers on cooler and wetter days. The entire river is fishing, but the best production is coming on the lower and middle reaches from Moose Bridge down to Sheep Gulch.
Attractor patterns fished with droppers are producing along banks and structure as well as on riffle current margin, seams, and eddies. Such riggings are a good choice in the morning hours and fish respectably in the afternoon. Tandem dry fly rigs are producing even better and hit their stride from 11am until late afternoon. Target riffles, troughs, side channels, seams (particularly those coming off of structure, and slow pooled currents along banks.
Double/Triple nymph rigs are working best from South Park down to Sheep Gulch, while dry-dropper rigs are producing upstream of South Park. Go with five to seven feet of leader with double/triple rigs, although ledge rock pools and large eddies below Elbow can be targeted successfully with nine-plus feet. Dropper rigs are effective in the morning hours about South Park with four to six feet of tippet, after which two to three feet is just as effective. Target troughs, riffles and riffle pools, and seams.
Streamers can be fished with solid result on every stretch most days. Banks and structure are obvious targets, but troughs, confluences, dumping riffles, and side channel seams are producing just as well. Olive, bright, or a combination of both are the most effective colors at the moment. Go with moderately sized streamers and fish them on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Fast retrieves with one foot line strips followed by a short, half second hesitation between each strip should be your default presentation. Slowing your retrieve and using more variable hesitations is a good fallback tactic.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Snake River Water Walkers, Mary Kays, Hippie Stompers, Power Ants, Parachute Beetles, Parachute Hares Ears, Booty’s Drake Emerger, Parachute Extended Body PMD, Parachute Adams, Snowshoe Duns, Purple Haze, Booty’s DL PMD Cripple, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Flashback Rubber Legged Hares Ears, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Brillion’s Mellow Yellow, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Morrish’s CBD Jig, Panty Droppers, Psycho Princes, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Halla Back Girls, Lightening Bugs, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, McKnight’s Home Invader, Bennett’s Lunch, Urchin Buggers, White Dragons, Sparkle Yummies, Electric Slide Buggers, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are ramping down and now stand at 6,500cfs. Fishing remains productive on the South Fork, although inconsistency is the name of the game. Some days the upper reach in Swan Valley is the hot section. Other days, the lower Canyon is the place to be. Regardless, good fishing can be found on the South Fork if you fish hard.
Mutant stones are waning but they can still make an appearance from time to time. As a result, good things can happen with larger stonefly imitations when fished along banks, structure, seam tails, and side channels. PMDs are still around just about every day and a smattering of BWOs come out when the weather gets cool and cloud cover is in the forecast. Mayfly imitations are best fished as part of a tandem rig with a dun and emerger pattern. Fish these in riffles, on seams, in eddies, side channels, and banks with slow to moderate currents. Afternoons have been most productive, especially after 2pm.
Nymphs are a bit more inconsistent than they have been the past several months but are still getting into good numbers and size. The lower reaches from Cottonwood down to Lorenzo is where they really shine at the moment. When it is on, just about every conceivable piece of holding water will produce, although riffles, eddies, and seams should be your primary targets. If going with a dry-dropper rig, keep your dropper tippet in the three to six foot range for most water types to are fishing. Five to seven feet is ideal for double/triple nymph rigs.
Streamer fishing has been best on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Gormer Canyon but is still worth trying on the lower reaches. Both moderately sized and larger baitfish imitations are producing equally well. Fish these floating lines or intermediate sinking lines and target banks, structure, riffle pools, troughs, and seams. Kind of a tossup between long, slow retrieves and short fast retrieves. Us the former in slower water types and the latter in faster currents. Fishing tandem rigs can pay dividends.
Dry flies – Barrett’s Ant, Kasey’s Creature, Snake River Water Walkers, Whitlock’s Hopper, Turck’s Power Ant, Sparkle Ants, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Booty’s Dl PMD Cripple, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Brush Hogs, Duracells, Hustlers, Morrish’s CBD Jig, Howell’s Shuck-It Jig, Kyle’s CN Super Flash, Jake’s Double Money, The Ticket, Egan’s Dart, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Strolis’ Headbanger Sculpin, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Mini Dungeons, Rustics, Goldielocks, Bennett’s Lunch, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Arum’s Lil’ Kims, J.J. Specials, and Kreelux.