Sunday, May 20, 2012

Snake River Angler Fly Fishing Report for May 20th, 2012 by Boots Allen

Snake River
The tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam to Pacific Creek is the place to be at the moment if one is fishing the Snake River.  This stretch is gin clear and gets better as flows increase.  Currently releases from Jackson Lake Dam are at 5,000 cfs.  Water temperatures are fairly cold at 33 degrees to 46 degrees, but this is not limiting hatches of midges and blue-winged olives (the latter when there is a little precipitation and overcast skies.  Nymphing is the way to go at the moment.  In generally, deep nymphing with 10 to 12 feet of leader and double rigs with moderate weight is the way to go.  Patterns such as Lightening Bugs (size 14 to 16), Rainbow Warriors (size 18 to 20), Booty's Day-2 Midge Pupas (size 16 to 18), and Tungsten Midge Pupa (size 18 to 20)  have been amongst the better producers. 
Dry fly action is occurring at certain times of the day(primarily in early to mid-afternoon) in specific riffles and seams.  BWO Comparaduns (size 16 to18), Booty's Better BWO Emergers (size 16 to 18), BWO Sparkle Duns (size 18), Pheasant Tail Emergers (size 18), and Krystal Wing Midges (size 18) are producing well.
South Fork
The South Fork continues to fish better than any other stream in the region.  Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at 11,000 cfs and the stream is very clear despite continued runoff from tributaries.  The upper reach of the South Fork is fishing well with nymphs.  Below the dam, egg and shrimp patterns are working well.  Further downstream, success is coming on double nymph rigs consisting of Pat's Rubber Legs (size 6 to 10), RP Muskrats (size 6 to 10), Lightening Bugs (size 12 to 16), Batmen (size 14 to 16), Hickey's Auto Nymphs (size 16 to 18), and San Juan Worms.

In the Canyon reach, nymphs similar to those being used with success upstream in Swan Valley are producing.  Streamers are also working well in the Canyon along banks and structure.  Clouser minnows, Marabou Muddlers in olive or black, and BH Zonkers in purple, olive, or black are producing better than other patterns, but almost any baitfish will garner some success as long it is not overly large.

Dry fly action has been absent on most of the river despite hatchs of blue-winged olives, caddis, midges, and some PMDs.  Cloudy and wet weather produces some better fishing on the surface in riffles, flats, and seams.  Standard midge adult patterns are working, as are blue-winged olives and caddis patterns like CDC Caddis Duns in olive (size 14), U-Con Caddis in olive or black (size 14 to 16), Pheasant Tail Emergers (size 16 to 18), and Furimsky BDEs in olve or gray (size 18).

Henry's Fork
The Henry's Fork was off to a slow start this season, but things have come around and she is fishing really well for this time of year.  The big news is that the salmon fly hatch is underway and working their way upstream.  Currently they are in the vicinity of Vernon Bridge and should be up to the Warm River by the end of this week.  In addition, there is also moderate to heavy hatches of caddis on most reaches of the stream.  

Double nymph rigs are working well with Pat's Rubber Legs (size 6 to 10), RP Muskrats (size 6 to 8), and Sanchez's Sparkle Stone Nymph (size 6 to 8) taking the lion's share of the trout as one would expect.  Quick Descent Nymphs (size 16) in olive and Lightening Bugs (size 14 to 16) are also productive as either trailer or lead nymphs.

Dry fly action is becoming more and more productive as emergences intensify.  Elk Hair Caddis (size 14 to 16), Furimsky BDEs (size 14 to 16) and U-Con Emergers (size14 to 18) are working well in riffles and seams.  Larger attractors and stonefly imitations are working well along banks and structure.

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