The valley is moving back into a thunderstorm laced week. The temperatures will stay warm and the increased cloud cover should both, spark great insect activity, and at times put a damper on existing bug activity. It is also safe to say that some of our area waters are becoming morning / evening fisheries, while high country waters remain consistent throughout the afternoon.
The Creek is definitely taking on the morning / evening characteristics of August fishing. When air temperatures hit 70 degrees the Tricos will begin to spin and the fish will rise shortly thereafter. Cloudy, calm mornings will seal the heat in after a warm night and fish will begin rising at first light. The crack of dawn is also a good time to catch the tail end of the Trico emergence. Most anglers miss this event as it is most common to try for the mornings spinner falls that occur from 7:30 am to around 11:00 am. Anglers willing to be fishing by 6:00 am can find a few nice sized rising fish and very few other anglers. As the morning progresses expect to see strong Baetis activity and you will also see the occasional P.M.D. and Callibaetis spinners floating by. It is very common for fish to switch to one of these other insects at the tail end of the Trico activity, so if the bite seems to stop on your Trico offerings, switch to the most prevalent of these bigger mayfly patterns.
In the afternoon hours look for the fish taking Damsel Flies off the backs of exposed weed beds and also look for good Callibaetis activity in the float tube sections of the Creek as well as the sloughs.
The evening fishing has been pretty sparse until the Caddis show up for the last 45 minutes of light. This usually happens as the sun sets on the horizon, but with increased cloud cover this week this event should pick up a little, and start a little sooner. A heavy cloud ceiling in the evening could produce strong P.M.D. and Baetis activity as well.
Keep in mind, with more clouds in the morning the fish will be less leader shy, so try 5X tippet and then switch to 6X if you have to, and remember 7X is a waist of your time and doesn’t do the fish any good whatsoever as they get decorated with flies and can’t be landed in a reasonable amount of time to preserve their health. If you can’t catch a fish on Silver Creek using 6X tippet, then it’s time to review your fly patterns or most likely, your PRESENTATION! There is NO fish in the Creek that can’t be fooled with 6X tippet.
Big Wood River
The Wood is also taking on morning / evening fishing characteristics. Mayfly spinner falls in the morning have been producing decent action for rising fish. Rusty Spinners in a variety of sizes should fool most of these fish. Don’t hesitate to also throw yellow bodied patterns in the morning, as the Caddis, Crane Flies, Little Yellow Stoneflies, and a few Mayflies all appear in a few different shades of yellow, with the fish apt to take most size 16 flies in this color scheme.
In the afternoon fish bigger dry flies like grasshoppers and stimulators. For a bit more action fish these flies with small beadhead droppers, like Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs or Green Drake Nymphs.
The evenings have produced strong Caddis activity as well as Mayfly spinner falls. Little Elk Hair Caddis and Rusty Spinners will catch most rising fish. Parachute Adams are also nice evening patterns, especially in the falling light.
Copper Basin / Trail Creek Summit Waters
If you haven’t had enough Green Drake action this season you can get a few more cracks at this hatch on the main stem of the Lost River, below the North Fork and East Fork confluences. Mornings are the best time to see this activity mixed with little Yellow Stoneflies, big Baetis flies and even Tricos and Caddis. The water in this area is still moving swift, so if you aren’t a very strong wader, perhaps fish upstream on the East Fork or Starhope Creek.
When the wind comes up on these waters in the afternoon try bigger searching patterns like Royal Trudes, Stimulators and Chernobyl Ants. Really look for pronounced foam lines for rising fish, and don’t neglect the heavy, but shallow waters in the middle of the river.
When fishing these waters you can plan on which species of fish you will catch, by the water type you are fishing. To catch Brook Trout, fish in the calmest, shady water you can find, especially little areas of seemingly non-moving water. To catch the Snake River Fine Spotted Cutthroat, fish in very defined foam lines that run under streamside branches or around good sized boulders. To catch Rainbow Trout and West Slope Cutthroat look to fish the riffles and the current seams closer to the middle of the river. To catch a whitefish, put on a nymph. Try to catch them all in the same day for the Copper Basin Slam!
Little Wood River
Not many reports coming in from the Little Wood. The high water has made the fishing trickier than normal above the reservoir and the past few weeks have been too hot to fish the desert stretches. If the cloud cover stays with us this week, we suggest checking out this river in the afternoon after you are done fishing on Silver Creek. Try big dries with beadhead droppers in the desert stretch.
South Fork of the Boise
Flows remain high enough to float, and a few fish are still being caught on big rubber legged bugs that represent stoneflies, cicadas and hoppers. The fishing was spottier the last week as the river makes a transition from a big bug fishery to a little bug fishery. Midday Pink Albert action should keep increasing which means fishing the shallowest riffles with Harrop’s Short Winged Emerger a few inches under a Pink Albert dry fly will produce nice fish. Keep in mind the Pink Albert is a fair-weather insect that hatches in the middle of the day.
Warm Springs, Trail Creek, North Fork of the Big Wood, Penny and Dollar Lake, Lake Creek Lake
These fisheries are still producing for the junior anglers in the valley. Fish Parachute Adams and small Hoppers on the moving water.
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 79%
Big Wood – 91%
Little Wood – 114%
Big Lost – 105%
Henry’s Fork – 87%