Mother’s Day is fast approaching. In lieu of chocolate and flowers, or better yet, in addition to, you might consider booking a trip to take your favorite mother fly fishing this summer. We are looking forward to a great season, and nothing says, “I love you” better than time spent fly fishing…with a guide. A recent warming trend has brought the Wood up to its highest runoff flows of the season, yet the snow pack in the Wood River Basin is holding steady at 80%. As predicted, March and April precipitation were below normal and while there is still a good amount of high altitude snow yet to come down, I will stand by my earlier prediction that the freestone fisheries will fish better earlier in June than in previous seasons. My guess is that we will have an excellent Green Drake hatch this year in June, even into early July, that won’t be hampered by excessively high flows. As for fishing right now, the Steelhead season has come to a close, but anglers looking to fish rivers or stillwaters still have a few options if you can’t wait for opening day in three weeks.
The Big Lost
This is a great time to be on this fantastic tailwater fishery. It is a bit of a drive, but worth it if you have a full day to fish. The midge and Baetis action has been outstanding. There has been very consistent top water action and the nymphing is always steady. For flies, have a good assortment of tailwater midge like brassies, and Zebra Midge as well as Griffiths Gnats and Trailing Shuck Midge in sizes 18 to 22. The Baetis are large and can be matched with size 18 or 20 parachutes. Harrop’s Baetis is a good option. To match the Baetis nymphs, try WD40s or small PTs is size 20-16. The flows are still holding steady at about 108 CFS. The question is how long will these flows last. Traditionally the flows start to come up around the middle of May. Currently the inflow to Mackay Reservoir is around 300 CFS and this drainage is only at about 70% of average. Eventually the demand for irrigation water down stream will bring this river up, but we might not see the high flows like we have had the past two years. Remember that anything above 350 to 400 CFS below the dam is tough to wade. My advice is to keep checking the Idaho River Flows page and take advantage of this great spring fishing opportunity sooner rather than later.
Not much has changed on the stillwater front, although it has been windy lately. Most experienced stillwater anglers will tell you that some wind in good, but too much can be dangerous. If you go in a boat or a float-tube always be prepared with a life jacket and a whistle. Whether you choose to go to Magic, Little Camas, or Duck Valley, you are sure to find good action. In the spring, I like to pull Seal buggers and Pops buggers in black or olive off of a sinking line like a type 3 or 5 or suspend a team of nymphs off an indicator like Prince nymphs, Copper Johns, or classic Chironomids with a floating line. This also a good time to consider going to CJ Strike to chase carp or the Bruneau Sand Dunes for bass and bluegill. Whatever you decide to do, come on by the shop and we will hook you up with the best flies for your situation.
Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.~ Henry David Thoreau