Aug 28th, 2019
Jennifer Adams with a 26 inch cutty (caught with a single hook)
The only real differences between fishing right now and fishing a month ago on the Salt River is that there should be a few less people out fishing (with the exception of guides) and water temps are cooling down by the day which means that fishing in the middle of the day should get better. Another note I might add is that now is the time that I really start fishing more streamers on the Salt. For whatever reason I find that streamer fishing picks up significantly at this time of the year, especially on the Salt and Snake Rivers and you are more likely to get into the brown trout during the day. It'll still be a while before the resident browns in the lake start heading up into the Salt, but the Salt has a pretty healthy population of browns that reside in the Salt year round and they seem to get hungrier and more active now that the temps are cooling down.
Please see below for fishing tips and whatnot.
The Salt is currently flowing at around 532 CFS which is pretty much inline for this time of the year.
The water has cleared significantly over the last few weeks and the fishing has been picking up quite a bit. Morning fishing is the best time to fish right now unless we get some intermittent clouds during the day. Evenings aren't a bad bet either, although you'll have the best luck after around 5:30pm. The hoppers are out in pretty good numbers right now and there are plenty of yellow sallies, drakes, PMD's and especially lots of caddis especially heading towards later in the day. If dry fly fishing gets a bit slow during the heat of the day, fishing a dropper or emergers (especially in olive) can get you through the lull. And as I always tend to mention in my reports, fishing streamers and sculpins on the bottom can make your fishing experience more productive if the fish aren't coming up for dries. But i'd suggest starting out with hopper and chernobyl patterns being sure to give them life by twitching them as if they are trying to get off the water and as is always the case on the Salt, the closer you can get your fly to the bank, the more likely you are to entice the bigger fish out.
If you're fishing the Salt on a good day, foamies are all that you need to be fishing with. Hit the banks as close as you can and fish any kind of log jam, overhanging willows, drop-offs, seams....you get the picture. If you want to entice the big browns out from under the banks you need to slap those flies on the water right next to the bank and do yourself a favor and size up on your tippet. I rarely fish anything less than 3X tippet on the Salt.
If you prefer smaller flies be sure to have some PMD's, BWO's, Mahogany Duns and brown, tan and/or olive caddis and I'd be sure to carry some ant patterns, Renegades and Griffiths Gnats are always good flies to have on hand and you can never go wrong with Adams'. Stimulators in orange and green, Royal Wolfs and Royal Coachman's are not a bad pattern to be carrying in the summer either. And don't forget Yellow Sallies.
It's rare that I fish nymphs in the summer around here, let alone droppers, but the Salt is another story. In the case of the Salt if things are slow I'd drop a copper John, zebra midge or flashback pheasant tail anywhere from 8-24" below a hopper or stonefly pattern. I'd actually try some emergers as well especially olive and brown ones closer to evening. Sparkle caddis is another really good pattern for the Salt. You can catch fish dead drifting these and I catch almost as many fish after the swing...giving it little strips on the way back in.
And don't feel like you can't fish streamers, because although a lot of folks aren't comfortable chucking these big flies, they work, especially in the mornings and evenings! Just ask the gear guys who are catching lunkers on Rapalas!.
If and when it gets cloudy or rains for any period of time, you should try fishing a mouse pattern. The browns eat mice like you wouldn't believe and every time that Wyoming Fish and Game checks the stomach content of browns, they always have at least 1 mouse in their bowels.
For you gear guys out there (the ones who don't already know it) you can't go wrong using Rapala Countdowns, especially CD-09's. Black/Silver, Gold/White, Brown Trout and Brook Trout.. Some of the larger Vibrax, Blue Fox's are fairly productive as well. You might have to experiment a little bit with different colors, as it sometimes seems to change from day to day and be sure to vary your retrieve. Sometimes slow is the way to go, but...sometimes you can't seem to real in fast enough for their liking. Other lures will catch plenty of fish too, but the big dogs seem to really like the big lures.
If you aren't planning on keeping any fish, you might try removing the front treble hook and going with a single hook on the rear. I don't spin fish that often anymore, but this is the method I use when I do and I still land the majority of the fish that attack the lure and the fish are much less likely to suffer.
Stop on by the store for more detailed info on fly or lure selections as things can change by the day on the Salt.
Good luck and we'll keep you posted.