Settling into October
We are now at winter flows on the Snake. Expect micro caddis in the morning and intermittent BWOs throughout the day. Mahoganies will join BWOs on cooler, wetter days, and this can offer the best surface action. No matter the conditions, you will most likely see surface feeding no earlier than 11am (and even 12pm some days). Dry-dropper and tandem dry rigs are the best way to go. Target the inside turn of riffles, seams, and currents with slow to moderate current speeds. Ledge Rock pools are key in the afternoon on lower reaches. Brachycentrus caddis are in autumn migration mode, so this is a good to be fishing their larva imitations
Streamer fishing remains inconsistent with one day being solid and the next being sub-par. As with dries and nymphs, the better production is coming after 11am. The best water to target includes seams, troughs, eddy current margins, confluences, and banks with slower currents. Go with moderately sized patterns primarily fished on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Slow retrieves outperform other presentations. Trolling can work better than active line strips when fishing through faster currents along seams and confluences.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, and Mahogany Duns, Parawulffs, Purple Hazes, Copper Hazes, Quigley Cripples, Booty’s DL Cripple, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Duracells, Hustler CDC Lights, Cyclops, Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear Nymphs, Copper Johns in Copper,Lightening Bugs, Military Mayflies, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Rustic Trombones, Mojo Minnows, SRA Double Bunnies, Booty Call Minnows, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at just over 3,500cfs. Production is more than respectable everywhere but a couple ticks better on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Cottonwood. BWOs are around everyday to at least an intermittent degree. They kick into gear with inclement weather, as do mahogany duns. October caddis are starting to appear with the chance of seeing a couple each day. Surface action has been most consistent from around 11am until 2pm, although there are days when action doesn’t really start until 1pm or later. Early mornings with dry-dropper rigs are producing best along banks with slow currents and eddies. Later in the day both dry-dropper and tandem dry rigs produce in troughs, riffles, and seams.
Streamers are getting follows and eats in the morning but the best production has been in the afternoon, particularly after 2pm. Floating lines heavily weighted patterns or sinking tips in the INT to 4ips range is the way to go for the most part. Go with moderately sized baitfish imitations or sparse, small-ish articulated streamers and target banks, submerged structure, troughs, and parallel drop-offs. Brighter patterns are out-performing darker counterparts.
Dry flies – Barrett’s Ant, Circus Peanuts, Bean’s Orange Crush, Tent-Wing Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, CDC Mahogany Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Cyclops Duracells, Blowtorch, Egan’s Green Dart, Military Mayflies, Devil Jigs, Perdigons, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Galloup’s Mini Peanut Envy, Rustics, Goldilocks, Geisha Girls, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, McCune Sculpins, Tequilleys, Ornaments, and Kreelux.
Fishing has been good on all reaches with the upper reaches North of Creamery taking the cake. Cutthroats are rising to emergences of chironomids, mahogany duns, and BWOs. Expect to see some PMDs and October caddis around (more of the latter than in past years). Target riffles, seams, eddies, and banks. The most productive dry fly fishing occurs from around 11am until 4pm.
Nymphing has been good from around 10am until 6pm with larger CDC soft hackles, Lightening Bugs, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, and midge imitations. Fish these as part of a dry-dropper rig running semi-long (3 feet) in the morning and shorter in the afternoon – around 18”. Target banks, flats, seams, eddies, and troughs.
Streamer fishing has been decent but is best from Freedom down to Palisades Reservoir. Smaller imitations are out-producing moderately sized patterns, although the latter is getting into larger fish. Fish these on floating lines or short sinking tips in the INT to 4ips range and hit banks, structure, eddy current margins, and seams.
Dry flies – Micro Peanuts, Purple Bruces, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Peking Caddis, Cole’s U-Con Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWO and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Parawulffs, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, Rusty Spinners, Parachute Midges, CDC Midges, and Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger.
Nymphs – Micro Mopscicles, Chamois Caddis, Duracalls, Flashback Pheasant Tail, Robins, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red, olive, and copper, Howell’s Shuck It, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Baby Bunnies, Craft Fur Clousers, Lite Brite Zonkers, Pine Squirrel Zonkers, and Krystal Buggers.
Flat Creek has been fishing well with autumn conditions at hand. Midges are around every day and BWOs and mahogany duns will be around when it is cooler and wet. Surface action on dry, sunny days is best along undercut banks and seams. On wetter days, look for action to occur there as well as in riffles and eddies. Think emergers more than anything else.
Subsurface action has been most productive with dragonfly patterns and smaller baitfish imitations. Go with slow retrieves on floating lines and leader in the 9ft range. Target undercut banks, submerged structure, riffle pools, and eddy current margins.
Dry flies – Micro Peanuts, Micro Bruces, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL Cripple, Q’s Loop Wing Cripple, Booty’s Mahogany and BWO Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Fuzzy Wuzzy Dragon Nymphs, MopScicles, Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Pheasant Tail Emergers, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Military Mayflies, Frenchies, Zebra Midges, Ice Crem Cone Midges, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Slump Busters, Baby Clousers, Rikkard’s Seal Bugger, Wolley Buggers, and Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow.
Yellowstone National Park
Madison River – Browns are all the way up to the confluence as they make their spawning run but noticeably fewer fish than average for this time of year. Riffles pools and flats are the main waters to target. Shallow depths are producing better than deeper lies unless you are fishing above Riverside. Go with lightly weighted stonefly patterns or smaller – yet heavily weighted – soft hackle nymph patterns. There is also solid hatches of BWOs on most reaches, so expect surface action in riffles and on seams and go primarily with BWO emerger patterns and smaller than usual BWO nymph patterns.
Firehole River – Fishing has been good from approximately 10am to around 4pm with riffles, seams, elongated runs with depth, and structure producing best when targeting the surface. Micro caddis are emerging along with midges and BWOs. Subsurface versions of these bugs are working best in riffles, seams, and along undercut banks.