The Best Dry Fly Fishing of the Year So Far
The best dry fly fishing since early last November is occurring on the Snake River with intense emergences of midges and lots of Capnia stoneflies around from approximately 11am until 5pm. We started to see our first Skwala stones about a week ago. Water temps are warming, too. This is allowing cutties to move out of traditional winter holding water and into faster currents at the head of riffles, confluences, and seams.
Nymphs are working best when fished as part of dry-dropper rigs in riffles, seams, eddies, side channels, and confluences. Tippet lengths in the three to four foot range will work fine in the morning hours, but after noon, shorten up quite a bit – one and a half to two feet – to target the heavy number of trout at the top pf the water column.
Streamers continue to be hit-or-miss with some days producing well and others being so-so at best. When streamers are working, typically floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range, as well as moderately sized baitfish imitations and slow retrieves, are part of the game. Target slower currents in side channels, along eddy current margins, confluences tails, and banks.
Dry flies – Will’s Micro Winged Chernobyls, Micro Peanuts, Griffith Gnats, Parachute Midges, Snowshoe Tricos, Pheasant Tail Emergers, CDC Parachute Midge Emergers, and Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger.
Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Rabid Pink Squirrel, Howell’s Schuck-It Jig, Two Bit Hookers, Keller’s Matte Deamon, Lightening Bugs, Perdigons, Zebra Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Booty Call Minnows, Ishiwata’s Grand Master Flash, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, and J.J. Specials.
Some very good surface action on the South Fork at the moment with the best action coming after 12pm. Midge emergences are heavy on most reaches with the best production coming in riffle pools, eddies, the inside turns of riffles, side channels, and banks with slow current speeds. Keep an eye out for blue-winged olives emerging in riffles with slow currents, side channels, and eddies on cloudy and wetter days.
Nymph rigs have been very productive, particularly on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Wolf Eddy. Double rigs are working best in riffles and eddies with moderate depth. Shorter dry-dropper rigs are producing in side channels, and along banks and submerged structure.
Streamers have been working on all reaches but best on the lower sections from Wolf Eddy down to Lorenzo. Moderately sized baitfish imitations are working best with slow to moderate retrieves and fished with slow to moderate retrieves and hesitations. Target seams, eddies, confluences, and banks.
Dry flies – Micro Peanuts, Giffith Gnats, Renegades, Mating Midges, Parachute Midges, CDC Midge Emergers, Bubblehead Midge Emergers, and Cold Smoke Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Copper Johns in red or black, Lightening Bugs, Lite Brite Serendipities, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, and Day-2 Midge Pupas.
Streamers – Kreelux, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Beldar Buggers, Sculpzillas, Shimmer Minnows, and Zombie Sculpins.