photo by Bryan Huskey
The last week of July promises to be a great week of fishing, but to assure success, anglers should be prepared for change. In our local freestones, the flows continue to drop to more wadable levels opening up more water to explore and spread the fishing pressure. Keep in mind that as the levels change, the fish will also seek new holding water. Often the bigger fish will be in the shallow water and can be easily spooked by unwitting anglers. Also, the bugs are smaller. By no means should you put away your big bugs just yet; however, instead of Green Drakes and Stone Flies, try hoppers or your favorite large attractor patterns. But when you see bugs present, such as caddis, Pinks, PMDs, or Western Quills, it is best to match the hatch as the fish are beginning to wise up. Change is also the theme for Silver Creek; with each passing day the Trico hatch continues to build momentum.
The Tricos have arrived and any angler heading to the Creek in the early morning should be well equipped with Trico Duns and Spinners in size 20 and 22. If you arrive early, look for the Trico Duns to be on the water while clouds of Tricos fill the air. There will be Baetis (size 22) and an occasional http://silver-creek.com/blogs/report/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/prescribedfiles7-25.pngCallibaetis Spinner (size 16-18) on the water as well. With careful observation, you should be able find fish feeding on any one of these stages of insects. The Trico spinner falls have been brief, but should gain in intensity as the week progresses. The best action is between 7:30 and 11:30 AM depending on air temperature and wind. If you decide to stay and fish through the middle of the day and into the afternoon, look for water where blue damsels will congregate like the upper and lower Kilpatrick Pond. If you hear a loud, splashy rise, this usually indicates a Damsel being consumed. Also be prepared for a Callibaetis spinner fall; Harrop’s Partridge Wing Spinner in size 16 and 18 is a good match. Of course, don’t forget to have a lineup of terrestrials (beetles, ants, and hoppers) if the wind picks up. On cloudy, cool days days expect the hatches to be delayed, but when they do come off the fishing can be fantastic. In the evenings, be prepared for caddis in a variety of sizes as well as small PMDs and Callibaetis. Don’t forget to bring along your bug spray.
Big Wood River
The Wood is really coming into its prime with more and more water opening up everyday. A shrewd angler can find fish that have not yet seen a fly this season, with the flows now dropping below 350 south of town. Expect to find Pink Albert, PMD and Western Quill hatches depending on the stretch of river you are on and the time of day. Always be prepared with a selection of Parachute Style dry flies (size 16-14) to match these bugs and some Rusty Spinners. Of course, an attractor dry with a trailing nymph can be deadly. Yellow Stimulators, Orange Stimulators, and Royal Stimulators with a Flashback Pheasant Tail or Zebra Midge as a dropper are some of my favorite combo rigs. For the deep, fast water try a tandem nymph rig with Tungsten PT and a Zebra Midge. As the days heat up, you might try “wet wading” as a way to stay cool. A good way to spend the day is to start on the Creek for the morning hatch and then drift over to the Wood as the day heats up. Have fun and wade safely!
Big Lost River below Mackay
The flows have dropped below 500 CFS for the first time this season and some daring anglers have ventured over to fish this river. Still, I recommend waiting for the flows to drop below 400 CFS for optimum fishing.
Upper Big Lost
If you seek solitude and scenery, then the Upper Lost is the perfect place to go. Roving anglers are finding the most success, searching the water meticulously with drys and dry dropper rigs. Back to back seasons of higher than average flows have produced quality Fine Spot Cutthroats, Cutbows, and Rainbows. Explore the North Fork, East Fork, Wild Horse Creek, the West Fork as well as the Main Stem and take along an assortment of your favorite attractor dry flies and nymphs as well as your standard parachute patterns: Parachute Hare’s Ear, Turk’s Tarantulas, PMX, Royal Wulffs, King Prince, Flashback PTs and Zebra Midge.
This fishery continues to produce great fishing opportunities for Cutthroat, Rainbow and Bull trout. There is even the possibility of hooking into a Chinook Salmon. Large Stimulators and Salmon flies are your best bet. Droppers, such as Rubber Leg Stones and PTs can also produce trout and lots of whitefish. There are plenty of walk and wade opportunities, but the best way to explore this fantastic fishery is from a drift boat. Please inquire about this wonderful opportunity.
Warm Springs & Trail Creek
These rivers are a great alternative for those seeking a small stream experience but don’t have the time to drive over the hill to the Copper Basin. Fish and Game has stocked these rivers around the bridges and anywhere the rivers near the road. If you wish to seek wild fish, just leave the beaten path and explore. Expect to see PMDs, Pink Alberts, Caddis, Small Stone flies, and some Pine Moths.
South Fork of the Boise
The Salmon flies are still present in the very upper reaches of the river. If you like to toss big bugs for large bows, the time is now. At 1800, your best option is to fish from a drift boat, but you can wade fish along the roadside in select spots. Also have a good selection of caddis, golden stones, and pink alberts if you decide to fish into the evening.
If you want to try something different, our reservoirs continue to fish very well. Grab a float tube, some flippers, and a friend and go check out Magic, Mackay, Little Camas, or Morman reservoirs. We have a great selection of stillwater flies from leeches to chironomids as well as some classic patterns like the Sheep Creek Special.
Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.~ Thoreau