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Tailwaters For A While

Snake River

The Snake went into runoff on May 1st making the tailwater reach below Jackson Lake Dam the only reach with sufficient visibility. Flows are low (approximately 325cfs) and water temps are maxing out at around 39 degrees with limited surface feeding. However, subsurface feeding has been decent most days and good at times.

Nymphs are producing with short leaders in the four to six foot range from trailing fly to line/suspension device. Seams, eddies, and mid-channel lies are the most productive water to target.

Streamers will not get into the same numbers as nymphs but the are getting into some good sized fish. Fish heavily weighted patterns on floating or hover lines and target seams, eddies and structure on the upper reach and banks and submerged structure below the Oxbow. Slow retrieves are the name of the game. Slowly swimming your streamers is also a good way to go.

Dry flies – Parachute Midges, Parachute Adams, Parachute Tricos CDC Midge Emergers, and Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger.

Nymphs – Brillion’s Mellow Yellow, Duracells, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Jujubee Midges, Stalcup’s RS-2, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Goldilocks, Rustics, Craven’s Swim Coach, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, Mojo Minnows, and Kreelux.

South Fork

Flows from Palisades reservoir are finally increasing and stand currently at 4,500cfs. There is a little less clarity and surface feeding has waned a bit but there is still some action in the afternoon from around 2pm to dusk on seams, in eddies, and along banks with slow to moderate currents.

Nymph rigs are producing well, especially CDC soft hackle patterns and midge imitations. They can be fished productively on all reaches from 10 am until dusk. Most waters are producing, especially riffles, riffle pools, seams, troughs, and submerged structure.

Streamers are working well and doing better in the morning hours compared to a couple of weeks ago when targeting the right water. While slow retrieves has been the name of the game, moderate retrieves are starting to produce now. Fish these on floating and hover lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range. Tandem patterns with four to six feet of separation has been outperforming singles. Go with moderately sized patterns primarily.

Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, South Fork Secret, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body BWO, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, Parachute Midges, and CDC Midge Emergers.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracell’s, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Hustlers, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns in red or black, Psycho Princes, Military Mayflies, Egan’s Dart, Zebra Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Devil Jigs, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Galloup’s Dungeon, Geisha Girls, Goldilocks, Galloup’s Mini Peanut Envy, Lynch Mobs, Booty’s Tri Bunny, Craven’s Swim Coach, and Kreelux.

Henry’s Fork

The lower river has been a good place to be. There is reduced visibility but still good fishing subsurface and a respectable amount of top water action from time to time. Mostly caddis but also a smattering of March browns and some BWOs on cooler, wetter days. Some good days are being had on the surface when targeting riffles, seam, submerged structure, and banks with mellow currents.

Nymphing has been with stonefly and caddis imitations, but general mayfly and midge patterns are working as well. One does not have to go two deep with their riggings – generally three to four feet – as most feeding occurs close to the surface despite the fact that you might not be seeing surface eats. Work seams, eddies, and submerged structure primarily.

Streamers are working best on the lower river below Vernon down to St. Anthony, especially when targeting banks and submerged structure. Floating lines and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and slow to moderate retrieves are working best. Keep your line strips even with out much by way of pauses and hesitations.

Dry flies – Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Snowshoe Caddis, Parachute Extended Body Cahills and BWOs, Brindle Chutes, Trina’s Carnage March Brown, Booty’s DL Cripple, Film Critics, Parachute Midges, and CDC Midge Emergers.

Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Brush Hogs, Pinky Jigs, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail Jigs, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Z-Wing Caddis Pupa, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Lightening Bugs, Prince Nymphs, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.

Streamers – Galloup’s Dungeon, Silvey Sculpins, McCune’s Sculpin, Thunder Minnows, Fly Fry, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Craft Fur Clousers, and Krystal Buggers.


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