The Beaver Creek fire has been a tough hit to our entire community. We have so much to be grateful for however. The fishing in the area has been quite outstanding, and we remain open daily 8-6, and our online store open 24-7.
Despite the fire, the smoke, the mandatory and pre-evacuation notices, Silver Creek Outfitters has remained open and the fishing opportunities have been good. As of the 19th, the pre-evacuation orders have been lifted for most of Ketchum and Sun Valley. However, many communities are still evacuated up and down the Valley and many communities remain under pre-evacuation status, but thanks to the Herculean efforts of the firefighters, business seems to be returning to normal around here. Still, if you are planning on fishing in the Wood River Valley in the near future, please contact us for up to date conditions and monitor the Inciweb Page or the Blaine County Sheriffs page for the latest information on the Beaver Creek Fire, evacuation areas, and road closures.
The Big Wood
Keep in mind, if you fish the Wood, you will need to avoid the evacuated areas in the mid valley as well as North of town. Once these areas open up again, the fish will be well rested. The Wood has been a pleasant surprise all August and should remain good as the morning temps stay in the low to mid 40s and the days continue to shorten. The fishing really seems to turn on mid morning and has been staying good all day into the evening. Depending on where you are on the river, you may find good numbers of Tricos anytime between 9 and 11AM. Use your Silver Creek arsenal and skills on these fish. There are also good numbers of Caddis throughout the day and a hodgepodge of mayflies from Pink Alberts to Rusty Spinners. A small creamy yellow colored Crane fly seems to be a favorite among the fish this time of year. Also black ants and hoppers are taking fish in the heat of the day. If there are no visible feeders, a dry dropper rig is very effective. For a nymph try a small brown, black, olive, or red Zebra Midge beneath your favorite hopper or parachute pattern. Euro nymphing is very effective this time of year as well with a double nymph rig. Try a large Beaded Pheasant Tail trailed by a more diminutive Zebra midge, Rainbow Warrior, or Bishop’s Dynamite in the fast water and hold on!
The Creek has been quiet lately in terms of anglers and is the best option to avoid smoke as long as the winds continue to blow from the SW. In the morning you will still find Tricos, Baetis, and Callibaetis. Which bug you find in the most abundance will depend on where you are on the river. That said, it seems that we have seen the last of the frenzied Trico hatches that we had a few weeks ago. In the morning, the peak surface activity is between 9 and 11 AM and after 11, 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 sloughs and the pond.
Big Lost River Upper & Lower
The upper Lost is low and slow. Cover a lot of water and you will find a few fish and not too many other anglers. The big cutthroat we were finding earlier in the season are still there, but are very selective and spooky. Try using longer leaders and smaller drys and nymphs to fool these wily trout. I like to use Parachute Adams and Purple Hazes in size 16 and 18. Hopper droppers are a good option when no bugs are about. Try a small PT or a Zebra Midge. In the deeper runs, you can always find a few whitefish to bend your rod. Below Mackay, the flows are at 345 CFS and should continue to drop. You can expect to find good numbers of Tricos and Baetis in the mornings. At this water level you won’t find pods of fish everywhere, but If you can find areas where the bugs concentrate and the fish can hold, you will find surface feeders. Take an assortment of high vis Trico Duns and Spinners in white and black; these fish often feed on these bugs in the riffles and foam lines and it can be very difficult to see your fly. When the hatch subsides be prepared to nymph the riffles and runs with small tail-waters nymphs and sunken Tricos. Often the larger fish in this river move into the shallow water in the margins of the runs once the hatch is done for the day. These fish can be very difficult to catch and will truly test your skill and patience.
South Fork of the Boise
As of the writing of this report, access to the South Fork is still closed due to the Elk Complex Fire. Please check with us for the most up to date reports for this area or go to http://www.inciweb.org/incident/3616/. Rumor Hadith that the flows should be dropping to around 600 CFS this month which is a great level for walk and wade fishing. When this happens and the restrictions are lifted, be prepared with Pink Alberts, Caddis, Baetis and Midge patterns galore.
The Stanley Area
While the Stanley area is seeing some intermittent smoke from the fires around Ketchum, Atlanta, and Mountain Home, the fishing remains good on both the upper and lower Salmon River with relatively light fishing pressure. 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. Spruce moth patterns along the stretches of river lined with evergreens have been turning fish. 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.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake and Gavers Lagoon have been recently stocked and are perfect for family outings. We have a great supply of tackle for your bait fishing outing or if you prefer flies, keep it simple and small for these late season trout.
Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!
The Big Wood
Beaded Pheasant Tail
|Lower & Upper Big Lost
|The Stanley Area
|The South Fork of the Boise
“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” – Zane Grey