Streams and Lakes are Warming. Target Specific Waters.
Flows from Jackson Lake Dam have ramped up to meet downstream irrigation demand but the river retains substantial visibility and is fishing well, although water temps are warming fast (peaking in the high 60s) and you do have to work harder for your fish and think more outside the box than a week ago, as currents are moving really fast. PMDs are the dominant bug on the water at the moment with a smattering of caddis and yellow sallies thrown into the mix. Lots of terrestrials are about as well, including grasshoppers, beetles, and carpenter ants. It’s a good time to be fishing tandem dry fly or dry-dropper rigs. And just about every piece of holding water is offering action (but again, fish hard!). Larger surface flies are out performing smaller, more imitative patterns.
Streamer fishing is improving and will most likely get better in the coming weeks as water temps warm. Moderately sized patterns are the most productive at the moment. Fish these on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range and target banks, structure, troughs, seams, and eddy current margins. Slow to moderate retrieves are key.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Purple Bruces, Parachute Hoppers, Rainey’s Grand Hopper, Galloup’s Ant Acid, Turck’s Power Ant, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Cahills, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL Cripple, Paratroopers, Stimulators, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Rabid Squirrel, Brush Hogs, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Mercer’s Glass Tail Caddis Pupa, Chamois Caddis, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Craven’s Swim Coach, McKnight’s Home Invader, SRA Bunnies, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Goldilocks, Booty Call Minnows, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Bow River Buggers, and Kreelux.
Salmon flies are in the upper reach of the canyon but their progress has slowed with the recent increased releases from Palisades Reservoir where flows stand at approximately 15,000cfs. There are a decent amount of green drakes on the lower river and PMDs and yellow sallies everywhere and really dominate the scene on most reaches. Carpenter ants are also around in the early morning hours. Nymph rigs are the way to go in the morning hours (and will produce throughout the day). The action is primarily in riffles, the head of seams, and in eddies. Surface action starts in earnest around 11am most days and continues throughout the day until around 5pm to 6pm. Larger attractors and stonefly imitations will work along banks and structure, but there is also a fair amount of production off of banks by a good six to eight feet. Better production is coming on PMD and yellow sally imitations later in the afternoon from 1pm until 6pm. Riffles, seams, troughs, side channels, and banks with slow to moderate currents are key targets.
Streamers are working well just about everywhere. Floating lines, INT sinking lines, and slow sinking tips (INT to 3ips) are producing in slower water types like riffle pools, side channels, and the tail of seams. Faster sinking tips – 6ips to 8ips or short tips of T-8 to T-11 – are producing better along banks, structure, sweeping riffles, and at the head of deep riffles. Larger streamers are working better than moderately sized baitfish imitation. Vary up your retrieves.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Barrett’s Ant, Chubby Chernobyls, Twisted Stones, Rogue River Salmon Fly, Bullet Heads, Morningwood Specials, Thing From Uranus, Low Riders, Stimulators, Quigley’s Stacker Sallie, Headlight Sallies, Para Sallies, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Parachute Adams, Chez’s Hi-Viz PMD, Booty’s DL Cripple, Quigley Cripples, Booty’s PMD Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Deep Cleaner Nymphs, Bitch Creek Nymph, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Duracells, Foxy Sallie Stones, Biot Bugs, Panty Droppers, Bruised Mays, Psycho Mays, Split Case PMD Nymphs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Poxybacks, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Schmidt’s Junk Yard Dog, Cheech Leech, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Stroli’s Masked Avenger, Goldilocks, Rusty Trombones, Craven’s Swim Coach, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty’s Tri-Bunnies, and Kreelux.
Buffalo Fork – The Buffalo is flow almost 1,500cfs below its average for this time of the year but is clear and retaining cold water temps more so than other tributaries. Caddis are out in the morning with PMDs making an appearance after 10am and through the afternoon until around 3pm or so. Side channel confluence seams, riffle pools, and banks are prime targets at the moment with tandem dry and dry-dropper rigs. There is surprising action in faster currents along banks and seams, so definitely target this water as much as more no-brainer water.
Pacific Creek – Running at or near a historic low in terms of flow for a solid two weeks and warming but no near as much as other tributaries in the area. Pacific Creek has some action in the morning in riffle pools with three or more feet of depth and along banks and structure with the same depth. Its best to refrain from fishing after 1pm at the latest.
Blackrock Creek – Blackrock Creek has a plethora of hatches at the moment with caddis, yellow sallies, PMDs, and alloperla golden stones all emerging at once from around 11am until 3pm (although caddis are out in good number in the morning). Downside – very warm water temps at the moment. Your best bet is to hit Blackrock from the morning until 3pm, when temps are hitting 70 degrees or higher.