“Fishing seems awfully insignificant at times, but for those of us who love it, fishing provides opportunities— opportunities to learn, to laugh, and to live…”
– Ted Baechtold
This week we have a great opportunity: On July 29th, the parking lot in the rear of the store will be transformed into a summer gathering and product fair featuring some of our favorite vendors. This is a great chance to meet and mingle with product reps and check out the newest gear from the top brands in fly fishing. So grab your friends and family and come learn a little and laugh a lot as we celebrate the sport we love.
The Tricos have arrived but remain spotty and relatively brief. Still, be equipped with Trico Duns and Spinners in size 20 and 22, if you arrive early. The Trico spinner fall typically coincides with Baetis Spinners (size 22) and an occasional Callibaetis Spinner (size 16-18) on the water as well and this will get the fish into pods. With careful observation, you should be able to find fish feeding on any one of these of insects. Hopefully, the Trico spinner falls will gain in intensity as the week progresses. Keep in mind, 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. Of course, don’t forget to have a lineup of terrestrials (beetles, ants, and hoppers) if the wind picks up. On cloudy, cool 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.
THE BIG WOOD
The most accessible section of the Wood remains north of the Warm Springs confluence, but it can get crowded with anglers. It is worth looking at lower access points to avoid the crowds. Keep in mind that you will find the river completely changed. Focus your attention on the new braids up and down the river. If you can find some slower water in a shallower braid you will find some eager trout small trout and the occasional large trout. Fishing the Wood continues to improve as we explore and discover new holding water.
The water is actually getting to be quite low and the fish are spooky. There are stocked fish around the bridges and plenty of wild ones off the beaten path. Like the Wood, this river had extremely high flows and there is a lot of new debris in the river. If you find a log or some downed willows in the river you are bound to find fish.
THE UPPER LOST
The East Fork above Wildhorse Creek has dropped significantly and is finally wadable. Anglers are finding a mix of small Brook Trout, Grayling, Rainbows, Cutbows, Cutthroat trout, and Mountain White fish. These fish will eat a well-presented attractor dry, but they seldom give the fly a second look if you miss them on the first cast. Be prepared to cover a lot of water to be successful.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have just dropped below 500 CFS for the first time all summer. These flows are still very high but some fishing has opened up for those who are willing to brave the strong currents. We expect the flows to rise again once the demand for water downstream increases. With the flows going up and down, the fishing is spotty.
Floating the river below Stanley is perfect right now and the fish are still focusing on large foam body flies that imitate Golden Stones and small hoppers. Wade fishing above and below town is also quite good as well. We are in the final days of the Chinook season, so if you want a large anadromous fish now is your chance.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are holding steady at around 1,600 CFS. This is very good for drift boats but limits the wade fishing to the bank along the road. While the Salmon Flies are long gone, the fish are still willing to take large dries such as hoppers and cicadas. The Pink Alberts are hatching in the afternoon as well depending on your location.
STILL WATER OPTIONS
Magic, the Little Wood, and Mackay reservoirs have slowed down considerably as the fish are seeking cooler, deeper water. However, if you go very early or late you can still find some fish cruising the shallow bays. As for techniques in all these reservoirs, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 or 5 sinking line. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can also be effective. Come on by the shop and we can set you up.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood