Things in Shape for October
Flows from Jackson Lake Dam are ramping down to winter levels and the Snake is getting into its typical autumn fashion with cool, crystal clear water. The best action is on the lower reaches from South Park to Sheep Gulch, with the middle reaches from Moose to South Park coming in a clear 2nd.
PMDs continue to be the dominant the scene, while mahogany duns and BWOs will take the lead with the right weather. October caddis are around for the first time this year – just in bits and pieces and primarily on the lower river in the Canyon.
Larger attractor patterns are the way to go in the morning hours (you are clearly looking for grabby fish, and they are there). Target riffles, seams, banks and structure. Mayfly - and to a lesser degree caddis - emergences occur after 11am and build through the afternoon until around 5pm. Tandem rigs are fishing best. Target riffles, seams, eddies, and side channels throughout the day and banks, structure, ledge rock pools and troughs after 1pm.
Nymph rigs are producing inconsistently in the morning but start to work really well after 11am. Go either long or shorter with your dropper leader or with double/triple rigs in the morning, then shorten them up to the two to four foot range in the afternoon. Target everything, but concentrate on riffles and riffle pool, ledge rock pools, seams, and troughs.
Streamers have been fishing well for over a month and continue to do throughout the drainage. Moderately sized baitfish imitations are working best, although larger patterns are taking the cake in terms of size. That size is coming primarily when targeting banks, structure, troughs, dumping riffles, and deep confluences with fast currents. Regardless, riffle pools and seams should also receive your attention. Floating lines are producing better than sinking tips. If using a sinking tip, go with short INT to 3ips tips. Deeper, faster currents are worth targeting with short lengths of T-8 to T-11. Vary up your retrieves and concentrate on those presentations that are producing best.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Purple Bruces, Green Machines, Chubby Chernobyls, Tent-Wing Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Parachute Hares Ears, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs and Mahogany Duns, Booty’s DL Cripple PMD, PMD or Mahogany Dun, Booty PMD or Mahogany Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Rabid Squirrels, Peach Fuzz, Duracells, Copper Johns in copper, red, or olive, Batmans, Pyscho Princes, Panty Droppers, Military BWOs, Lightening Bugs, Zebra Midges, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Craven’s Swim Coach, Galloup’s Belly Bumper, Galloup’s Boogeyman, McKnight’s Home Invader, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Mojo Minnows, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Krellux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir continue to ramp down and currently stand at approximately 5000cfs. BWOs dominate the scene throughout the drainage when cloud cover and precipitation is in the cards, with the best surface action coming on the upper reach from the Dam down to Cottonwood. PMDs are still present most days. Riffles, seams, are your primary targets, particularly after 11:30am (with steady production coming after 1pm). Larger surface attractor patterns are producing inconsistently on all reaches but worth using if targeting banks and structure with moderate current speeds.
Nymphing remains productive with both dry-dropper rigs and double/triple nymph rigs but it is best to go somewhat short with your leader – three to four feet of tippet with droppers and five to seven feet with double/triple rigs. Target riffle pools, seams, confluences, and bankside troughs.
Streamers remain somewhat inconsistent with some days be really good and other days more sub-par. This goes for the sections you fish as well. At times the upper reach in Swan Valley is on more than others, and the next day it will be the lower canyon that is hot with baitfish imitations. Regardless, both moderately sized and larger streamers are working equally well. Go with floating or intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range and use slow to moderate retrieves.
Dry flies – Barrett’s Ant, Circus Peanuts, Kasey’s Creature, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, and Mahogany Duns, Snowshoe Duns, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL Cripple PMD and Mahogany Dun, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Duracells, Rabid Squirrels, Prince Nymphs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Egan’s Dart, Rainbow Warriors, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, Galloup’s Boogeyman, 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.
Flat Creek is fishing well and you might say is a tad less challenging than it was a month ago. Midges are out throughout the day and their imitations are offering the most consistent action. October caddis and mahogany duns are around in bits and piece, and BWO emergences are heavy on days with clouds and precipitation. Duns, emergers, spinners, and nymph versions of these bugs should be fished tight to undercut banks, in riffles, on seams, and near structure. Cloudier days are finding these fish holding a bit less tight to banks, structure, and prime current lines. Afternoon and early evening have been the most consistent times to be on the water.
There has been some decent action on smaller streamers when fished close to banks and along structure (and in riffle pools and eddies on colder, wetter days). Fish your baitfish imitations on floating lines. Short, 6-inch line strips with pauses after several retrieves has been the most consistent movement getting into fish.
Dry flies – Hilda Spring Creek Mahogany, Parachute Extended Body Mahogany and BWO, Booty’s DL Mahogany and BWO Cripple, Thorax Cluster Midge, Morgan’s Paramidge, and Ritt’s ARF Midge.
Nymphs – Mopscicles, Soft Hackles, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Panty Droppers, Jake’s Double Money, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, RS-2 CDC Midge, Black Sawyer Pheasant Tail, Zebra Midges, Lil’ Foam, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Slump Busters, Rickard’s Seal Bugger, Mini Clousers, Rowley’s Leach, and Kystal Buggers.