“Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers. If so, I’m glad I thought of it.”
– Roderick L. Haig-Brown
If you are looking for an excuse to be near the wonders and beauty of nature, then look no further than the Wood, Silver Creek, Big Lost, or Salmon. Just as each cast with a fly rod in hand is a chance to connect with a trout, each visit to a trout stream is an opportunity to restore hope, explore wildness, and take a respite from madness. You really need no excuse; you will certainly be glad you thought of it.
With the morning temps on the cool side, most of the hatch activity has shifted to late in the morning and lasting till nearly noon. You will still see a smattering of Tricos about, but the morning hatch consists mostly of Baetis Spinners with a few Callibaetis Spinners in the mix. When you find feeding fish, try fishing a small 22 or 24 Harrop’s Hen Winged Baetis or Trico Spinner with a light, long leader of about 12 feet to 6, 6.5, or even 7X tippet to fool these seasoned trout. After the hatch runs its course, 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 pond.
THE BIG WOOD
The fishing on the Wood continues to impress as the flows drop and new holding water is exposed. As we move into late August and September, the Wood will only get better. Please be aware that the river is higher than normal for this time of year and wading with caution is a must. On the lower river, you will find decent Trico action in the morning, and as the day warms up, the hopper fishing has also been very good. Still, fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is the most productive. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, DB Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.
WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
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, and Caddis.
THE UPPER LOST
Anglers need to cover a lot of water to find the few good fish in this area. In general, the fishing has been spotty and the fish have not been responding well to pressure; a run that fishes well one day may not fish well the next. Still, these fish are opportunistic feeders and you need to be on your game to capitalize on the strikes you get or you could go home skunked. Try hoppers, caddis, and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are currently at 384 CFS. While these flows are still very high, strong waders are finding Trico hatches in the morning followed by sporadic Baetis the rest of the day. It is difficult to find consistently feeding fish during the morning hatch, but persistent anglers can find water conducive to surface sippers at this water level. Be sure to have a good selection of Silver Creek style Tricos and Baetis as well as High His versions to help you see these bugs in bad light and broken water. If you cannot find surface activity, the fish are eating small nymphs during the morning. Dry dropper and Euro Style techniques are the most effective. Try Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice.
The section of the Salmon from Torrey’s to Thompson Creek (SNRA boundary) is closed to all floating as of Aug 15 even though there might be enough water to float. It’s salmon spawning season down there and all floating is prohibited. The float fishing on the lower river and walk and wade fishing throughout the system continues to be productive. Small hoppers and stimulators fished on the banks is most effective. Try fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs for non stop action for trout and whitefish.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows remain at 1,600 CFS. At these flows, drift boats are the best option. Try hoppers or big foam attractor patterns along the bank. The best hatch activity is in the late afternoons into the evenings with Pink Alberts and Caddis. Nymphing can be productive all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.
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