Aug 28th, 2019
Stop on by the store and we'll get you set up with the flies and lures that'll catch you fish!
The Snake River is fl;owing at about 3900 CFS in the lower stretches, water clarity is very good and the fishing is getting better by the day. Water flows have dropped by about 1/3 since my last report which is very good news, especially for the folks who like to wade.
Like most streams in the area, streamer fishing is really beginning to pick up and when the dry fly bite slows down, streamer fishing is the way to go. I vary my retrieve when fishing streamers. Sometimes I'll cast the streamer upstream and just let it bounce along the bottom, at other times I like to cast at about 10 o'clock and then let the fly swing across the river. And mostly I'll cast across the stream and strip the fly back in, if the slow retrieve isn't working, I start fast stripping, pausing every once in a while and then resuming my strip. Usually one of these tactics prevail and that's what I'll go with if the method consistently works.
Please read below for previous fishing tips...
As is always the case on the Snake in summertime, you can't go wrong fishing chernobyl and other larger foam dry flies. There are plenty of hoppers around in all sizes and colors and you'll find the golden stones coming off from time to time, especially down towards the canyon section closer to Alpine. Stimulators in olive, orange and yellow, Circus Peanuts, Chubby Chernobyls, Double Deckers in olive, purple and orange and Perry's Bugmeisters, Madam Sex's and Tarantulas are all very good patterns for the Snake. If you prefer to fish smaller flies then you should carry Adams, PMD's, BWO's, Mahogany Duns, Yellow Sallies and caddis (especially brown and olive), beetles, ants and a few different mayfly patterns.
If you like to fish with nymphs, have at it! You're always better off fishing nymphs with a dry/dropper set-up. I'd use a big foam pattern as your indicator and try rubber legs, Copper John's, Flashback Pheasant tails or even zebra midges in olive or red. You might have to adjust the depth of the dropper based on the water you are fishing.
The best action for dries right now is going to be between 10am-5'ish , depending on where you are fishing on the Snake (the sun can disappear quickly if you are in a canyon section) Once the sun disappears dry fly fishing slows down significantly.
Although I find that few fly fishermen who come to visit this part of the country fish streamers and scuplins, I'd highly suggest taking it up as part of your repertoire especially in the middle of the day when it gets hot. It is a bit of a learning curve chucking these larger, heavier flies, but once you figure it out it can become addicting. Big flies...big fish!! Peanut Envy's, Sex Dungeons and Double Bunnies are just a few of my favorite streamers to strip. Vary your retrieve until you figure out what speed they like, sometimes they like it sllllooowww and at other times you can't strip in fast enough for their liking. Vary the retrieve...I also fish a lot of sculpins, especially Sparkle Sculpins. I usually chuck these guys slightly upstream and try and get them bouncing along the bottom (I do not strip these flies). Typically I'll get my bumps once the sculpins are in full swing mode and just a side note, you might want to size-down on your tippet (meaning go heavier).
For a more detailed selection of flies, feel free to stop by the store.