September 9th, 2018
September 2nd-Jennifer Adams with a 26 inch cutty (caught with a single hook)
Great news!!! It appears that many of the fly fishing guides that have been hammering the Salt over the last few months are finally moving on to the Snake River and giving the fish a break.
We are probably still another few weeks out before the browns that reside in Palisades Reservoir begin to neander up and into the Salt for their Autumn spawn. Typically I begin to start catching some pretty nice browns consistently near Alpine around the 3rd week of September. I'd say that it would be worth the effort to start stripping some big streamer patterns on the Salt in the coming weeks. Olive/white, Olive/black and olive are always good colors for the Fall run browns. And the bigger the better.
But for now...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.
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'. Royal Wolfs and Royal Coachman's are not a bad pattern to be carrying right now either.
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 at this time of the season! Just ask the gear guts 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.
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.