The Essence of Sun Valley.

Fly Fishing Forecast August 26th – September 2nd‏

“If fishing interferes with your business, give up your business…the trout do not rise in Greenwood Cemetery.” ~ Sparse Grey Hackle

The nonstop flights into Sun Valley continue into the fall season and some great deals can be found! The cool fall mornings, the yellow, orange foliage, and some of the best fishing of the season awaits. And with school back in session, the crowds have dispersed. There is no time like the present to make fishing in Sun Valley your business!

SILVER CREEK
The Creek is transitioning from a summer fishery into its fall glory. The Tricos have run their course and most of the morning bug activity consists of Baetis duns and spinners in size 22 and 24. The Callibaetis have taken over center stage and can be found betweeen 2 and 3 in the afternoon in the slower stretches of the Creek. Be sure to have a good selection of cripples, trailing shuck emergers, spinners, and duns in size 16 and 18 as the fish tend to feed selectively on specific phases of the Callibaetis depending on the day and conditions. Beetles, ants, and hoppers are also very effective, especially on the windy days.

THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is fishing very well. The water is low and clear, and the fish are starting to look for all kinds of late summer bugs from terrestrials, like flying ants and hoppers, to smaller Baetis and Tricos. With the low water, anglers need to be cautious when approaching the runs. The bigger fish are often waiting to ambush insects in the skinny water along the seams. Fish with light tippet and small parachute patterns before searching the deeper chutes with large dries and dry dropper rigs. This is a perfect water level to try out Tenkara if you have not yet given it a go. The length of a Tenkara rod gives you unparalleled control of your presentation and is a fun way to fish a single dry, a dry dropper, or a single nymph, Euro style. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows have come down to a wadeable, with caution, 606 CFS. It is prime time hopper fishing on the South Fork and working the banks with a variety of hopper patterns in a size 10 or 8 can be effective; however, the fish are quite selective. If you are getting refusals, try a different pattern. Small, tan crane flies are a good patten to try on selective feeders. Pink Alberts have been emerging in the late afternoon and offer a good opportunity to find some fantastic, but picky, fish on smaller dries and emergers. Nymphing is also very productive with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.

LOCAL PONDS
Looking for a good place to take the family? Try Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All have been stocked over the summer and are a great opportunity to introduce neophytes to fishing of any kind. Drop on by before you go and we will make sure you have the right gear, flies, or bait to be successful.

SALMON RIVER
The water is low on the Salmon opening up a lot of great walk and wade opportunities around the Stanley area. We are still offering float trips on the lower reaches of the river as well, but don’t be surprised if you need to exit the boat to push it through some shallow riffles. Still, floating is a great way to cover water and find some great late summer angling opportunities. Along the wooded stretches of the river, look for a few Spruce Moths to be fluttering about. Whether you see them or not, try using a tan caddis or stone fly in size 14 to 8 trailed by a smaller beaded nymph like a Pheasant Tail or a Bishop’s Dynamite along the banks or in the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. Swinging black, brown, and olive streamers or buggers can also be productive and you might even find a resident Bull trout.

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BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are up again at just over 400 CFS. The flows should drop as we head into September and the need to irrigate diminishes, so keep an eye on the Idaho Streamflow website. In the meanwhile, the wading is challenging and the river is difficult to get around. The Trico and Baetis hatches have been very strong, but with the high flows, finding rising fish is a challenge. Nymphing is the most effective method. Try standard dry dropper rigs or fish Euro Style techniques. The best patterns include Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice. If you find rising fish, have a good selection of high vis Tricos and Baetis.

UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
The water is low, clear, and cool. The best fishing has shifted from early mornings and late evenings right back to the middle of the day; classic fall fishing has already begun on the Upper Lost. The fish are concentrated in the deeper buckets, and anglers who are willing to walk from good holding water to the next are finding the most success. By the end of the day, if you have walked a few miles of river and have a handful of fish, you have been successful. For flies, try small hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph such as a Zebra Midge, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or a Beaded Pheasant Tail.

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

Copper Basin

South Fork of the Boise

122 cfs

398 cfs

81 cfs

31 cfs

606 cfs

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Fly Fishing Forecast August 19-26th

“Never forget: Fly fishing is fun partly because it is frustrating.” ~ Phil Monahan

The upper end of Sullivan’s Slough is aptly named the Shark Tank. From the road cutting across the sage covered hillside above the Slough, gawkers stop and admire the size and quantity of looming rainbow trout. The simple fact is, these fish are hard to fool. With the clarity and depth of the water, an angler must stand like a heron and watch fish after fish charge and reject his or her fly; the experience is a visual feast…exhilarating and maddening at the same time. As one of my clients said the other day, “I could not catch these fish all day, and love every minute of it!” But if the wind and sun are just right, the next charge may just be the one!

SILVER CREEK
With the morning temps on the cool side, most of the hatch activity has shifted to late in the morning and lasting to nearly noon. You will still see a few Tricos about, but the morning hatch consists mostly of Baetis Spinners with a few PMDs and Callibaetis spinners as well. The fish will still pod, but the feeding is less frenzied than earlier in the month. When you find feeding fish, try fishing a small 22 or 24 Harrop’s Hen Winged Baetis or Trico Spinner with a light, long leader of about 12 feet to 6, 6.5, or even 7X tippet to fool these seasoned trout. After the hatch runs it’s course, the fish will start looking for hoppers, beetles and ants blown into the river as well as any remaining Damsels that may be fluttering about. If the wind blows the hatch off, nymphing with small Baetis, midge, or Trico nymphs can save the day. If you stay into the afternoon and evening look for the Callibaetis hatch to really get going in the pond.

THE BIG WOOD
The Wood still has a touch of color left over from heavy rains last week that blew out Warm Springs Creek. Nevertheless, the Wood has been fishing better than expected both below Warm Springs and north of Ketchum and should continue to improve as we move into late August and September. On the lower river, you will find decent Trico action in the morning, and as the day warms up, the hopper fishing has also been very good. Still, fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is the most productive. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
Not much has changed here. The flows remain high at 1,770 CFS. At these flows, wading is very difficult, though not impossible, and drift boats remain the best way to access the river. Try tossing hoppers or big foam attractor patterns along the bank. Pink Alberts and Caddis can be found in the late afternoon and offer a good opportunity to find some fantastic fish looking up. Nymphing is decent all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns when no bugs are about and will keep your rod bent on both whitefish and trout.

LOCAL PONDS
Looking for a good place to take the family? Try Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All have been recently stocked and are a great opportunity to introduce neophytes to fishing of any kind. Drop on by before you go and we will make sure you have the right gear, flies, or bait to be successful.

SALMON RIVER
f you are looking for a great day trip option, try the waters around the Stanley area. There are plenty of walk and wade options and a we are still offering float trips on the lower river. The fishing is good on both the upper and lower Salmon River and spruce moth patterns have been turning fish along the stretches of river lined with evergreens. If you don’t see any bugs in the air, try using a tan stone fly in size 14 to 8 trailed by a smaller beaded nymph like a Pheasant Tail or a Bishop’s Dynamite in the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. You might also try swinging black, brown, and olive streamers or buggers. For a change of pace, you might try one one the Salmon Rivers many excellent tributaries. Bear Valley Creek and Valley Creek fish well with hoppers, ants, nymphs and streamer patterns.

BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows continue to bounce up and down, but are currently at 356 CFS. Be sure to check the flows before you go and don’t be surprised if they fluctuate while you are there. The Trico spinner fall in the morning continues to be strong throughout the river and is followed by intermittent Baetis duns and spinners into the early afternoon. With the high flows, finding surface feeding fish can be a challenge; however, if you look for slow water with concentrations of fish or heavily populated seams or back eddies, you will find surface feeders. Since the Lost runs East to West, the glare can be strong, so be sure to have plenty of Trico and Baetis patterns tied with high vis posts. Nymphing is always productive if you cannot find surface feeders. Try standard dry dropper rigs or fish Euro Style techniques. The best patterns include Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice.

UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
With the cooler morning temps, the fishing is best in the late morning into the afternoon. The water is very low and the fish are concentrated in the best water. That said, you will still fish plenty of good looking water with no fish present. As a rule, if the fish are there, you will catch them on the first few well presented casts; if nothing moves to strike your fly, move to the next spot. The most successful anglers cover large expanses of water.
For flies, try small hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph such as a Zebra Midge, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or a Beaded Pheasant Tail.

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

Copper Basin

South Fork of the Boise

152 cfs

356 cfs

92 cfs

35 cfs

1770 cfs

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Fly Fishing Forecast August 12-19th

“A fly fisherman’s knowledge is compounded of many things. It grows out of imagination, curiosity, bold experiment, and intense observation.” ~ Roderick L. Haig-Brown


The next time you go fishing, fish less and watch more. Don’t rush into the water and start casting the same flies that worked last week. Watch the water closest to the bank. Observe the patterns of the birds. Note the spider’s web. Look beyond the observable and imagine where the fish might hold, even though they are invisible to the eye beneath the broken water. A fly fisherman’s skill compounds the more one learns to trust his or her instinct and put preconceived knowledge aside.

SILVER CREEK
The mornings are still the most productive time on the Creek; however, the Trico hatches have begun to diminish in intensity. Still, good numbers of Tricos can be found in the morning mixed in with the Baetis and a few Callibaetis spinners as well. During the morning activity, try fishing a small 22 or 24 Harrop’s Hen Winged Baetis or Trico Spinner with a light and long leader of about 12 feet to 6 or 6.5X tippet. We can also expect the midday Callibaetis in the Pond to become a staple as the month progresses. On windy days, try beetles, ants or hoppers. 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 BIG WOOD
The Wood should clear after last weeks rain and fishing continues to improve. The cool morning temps have cooled the water and brought some of the bigger fish back out to play. Focus your attention on the soft water next to the fast, deep water. Often the biggest fish are in the shallowest water where most anglers like to stand. Also look for Tricos in the AM in the lower reaches of the Wood below town. Fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is the most productive. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze. For nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows remain high at 1,770 CFS. At these flows, drift boats are the best option. Try hoppers or big foam attractor patterns along the bank. The best hatch activity is in the late afternoons into the evenings with Pink Alberts and Caddis. Nymphing can be productive all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are all great places to practice casting and catching. All the ponds have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Drop on by before you go or take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

SALMON RIVER
While the water is low, the wade fishing around Stanley is fantastic and we are still floating the lower reaches of the river. Fishing remains consistent 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.

BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are currently at 356 CFS. While these flows are high, strong waders are finding prolific Trico hatches in the morning followed by sporadic Baetis the rest of the day. It is difficult to find consistently feeding fish during the morning hatch, but persistent anglers can find water conducive to surface sippers at this water level. Be sure to have a good selection of Silver Creek style Tricos and Baetis as well as High His versions to help you see these bugs in the bad light the Lost is notorious for. If you cannot find surface activity, the fish are eating small nymphs voraciously during the morning. Dry dropper and Euro Style techniques are the most effective. Try Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice.

UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
The flows are low and the water temps have dropped with the cooler evenings. As a result the fishing is fair throughout the day. Still, expect to cover a lot of water to find the few good fish in this area. In general, the fishing has been spotty and the fish have not been responding well to pressure; a run that fishes well one day will not fish well the next. Still, these fish are opportunistic feeders and you need to be on your game to capitalize on the strikes you get or you could go hame skunked. Try hoopers, caddis, and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph.

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

Copper Basin

South Fork of the Boise

175 cfs

375 cfs

76 cfs

43 cfs

1760 cfs

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