Winter Fishing Underway on the Snake and South Fork
A cooler than average November has reduced surface action to a tight window around 11am until 2pm, although some days it can be a very active part of the day. Riffle pools and current margins are producing best. Ledge rock pools are producing later in the day from around 2pm to 4pm. Midge imitations are almost the only game in town in the surface.
Midge and mayfly larva/pupa are producing throughout most of the day with the sweet spot being from around 11am until 4pm. Soft hackle patterns are also worth trying. Target ledge rock pools, riffles with moderate currents shallow to moderate depths, and recirculating currents at the tail of seams. Spawning activity on the part of whitefish continue to make roe patterns a good choice when fishing riffles with moderate currents.
Dry flies – Micro Mary Kays, Micro Bruces, Parachute Midges, Etha-Wing Tricos, CDC Midge Emergers, CDC Trans-Midge, and Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Duracells, Hustler Lights, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midges, Rojo Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Perdigons, Brassies, Clown Eggs, Veiled Eggs, and Otter’s Soft Milking Egg.
The best action on the water no matter your tactic on a given day is generally in the 11am to 3pm range, with better action from 3pm to 5pm than prior to 11am. Surface action windows are tight and is most productive from around 1pm until 3pm with midge adult and emergent patterns when fishing riffles and riffle pools, banks with slow currents, micro eddies, and seam current margins.
Nymphs are working from around 10am until 4pm. As on the Snake, midge larva/pupa and pupa patterns are producing in most water types with slow to moderate currents, especially on the upper reach in Swan Valley. Roe patterns continue to produce in faster currents on riffle shelves and at the head of seams, but really focus on the deeper, pooling water downstream of these targets.
Dry flies – Parachute Adams, Parachute Midges, CDC Tricos, Loop-Wing Tricos, CDC Midge Emergers, Chez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger, and Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Disco Midge, Root Beer Midges, Jujubee Midges, Perdigons, Crossed-Eyed Eggs, Veiled Eggs, and Nuclear Eggs.