“The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t.” ~ Patrick F. McManus
After a hot July, August has been the answer to our prayers. The cooler air temperatures and rain has revitalized our rivers. Weather forecasts predict this weather pattern to continue for the next few days, so be sure and go prepared for wet weather with a light weight rain coat, waders, and extra layers. Cloudy weather also means there will be a heavy glare on the water. Smith Optics Low Light Ignitors are perfect for these conditions along with using high-vis flies. Cloudy, cool days can really be fantastic fishing. If you are prepared, you can take advantage of some of the best fishing of the season.
The Nature Conservancy has lifted the restriction to the Preserve. Still, conditions are not ideal, and the Nature Conservancy will continue to monitor the temperatures and low dissolved oxygen content of the water. In the meanwhile, please play and release fish as quickly as possible. The Trico hatch may have already reached its peak; however, if we get some warm stable weather we will still see some fantastic morning Trico hatches. With the funky weather we have been having as of late, the Baetis have been more consistent than the Tricos in the morning and fishing a small 22 or 24 Harrop’s Hen Winged Baetis Spinner is very effective. Expect the midday Callibaetis in the Pond to become a staple. Blue Damsels have also been very good on the warmer days. The evening fishing remains consistently good with an array of different bugs: caddis, PMDs, Baetis. It is best to fish a fly you can see as the light fades.
The Wood below Warm Springs is still off color but beginning to fish. If you like the challenge of fishing during adverse conditions, give the Wood a go. You may be surprised how good off color conditions can fish with streamers, nymphs, and even dries. If you are seeking clear water, the Wood above Warm Springs through town and north towards Galena is perfect. There are plenty of good access points from the Warm Springs Confluence up all the way to the SNRA building and the Upper Wood, in the shadow of the Boulder Mountains, offers a great small stream experience. In the upper reaches of the Wood there have been a good number of Spruce Moths, Caddis, and Pink Alberts making the dry fly fishing fantastic.
Warm Springs is still muddy but should clear within the week. Trail Creek has been stocked around the campgrounds and bridges and would make for a good family outing.
THE BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have now dropped to 158 CFS. The Tricos are still the main early morning fare switching to PMDs and Baetis in the midmorning into the afternoon. With the low flows these fish have become as picky as Silver Creek trout when it comes to presentation and fly choice. Be sure to have good numbers of Harrop’s Beatis and Trico patterns. The nymphing is still very good with smaller flies size 18 and 20. Try Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tails, Micro Mays, and Bishop’s Dynamite either dry dropper style or Euro Style for the best results.
THE UPPER LOST
Good fishing opportunities can be found up and down the the main stem of the Upper Lost below the North Fork. The bigger fish will still take well presented attractor dries like Chubby Chernobyls, PMX’s, or Turk’s Tarantulas. Smaller parachute dries are also working on the more stubborn fish. A small nymph dropper will also produce fish if they at first reject your dry. Also, nymphing is the best method to tap into the trophy whitefish in the area.
Below Basin Creek on the Lower Salmon the river is still muddy but improving. The upper river remains clear and fishing is good with hoppers, Spruce Moth patterns, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis. Nymphing with stone flies and size 14 and 16 Flashback Pheasant Tails, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warriors will produce a lot of action on white fish and trout. Swinging black and brown Woolly Buggers can produce a nice Bull Trout.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The South Fork is still flowing at 1,700 CFS which is a good level to float with limited walk and wade options. Nymphing a tandem rig of a Rubber Legged Stone and a caddis larva or small midge pattern is most productive either Euro Style or under an indicator. A persistent angler will find some pockets of dry fly action. For dries, have a broad selection of Caddis, Pink Alberts, and terrestrials.
Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon have been recently stocked and can provide a nice day for a family picnic or if you are looking for something to fry for dinner. Come on by the shop and we can provide you with the appropriate bait or suggest some flies that will work.
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Current Water Flows
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise