“…the fisherman fishes. It is at once an act of humility and a small rebellion. And it is something more. To him, his fishing is an island of reality in a world of dream and shadow.”
– Robert Traver
Now that the shadow of the eclipse seems but a dream, the rivers take a breath and relax. It just so happens that the waters in our area are finally hitting perfect levels for fly fishing…and the schools around the state have just begun. For many, summer is rapidly coming to a close. It is time for fisherman to fish.
Most anglers have started fishing the Creek midday to capitalize on the afternoon Callibaetis and hopper action. However, there is still some morning activity with a few Tricos and Beatis fluttering about. While the early fishing is slow, you will find solitude. The afternoon Callibaetis should continue to improve and you will need a good selection of emergers, duns, and spinners in smaller sizes (16 and 18). This mayfly can handle a stiff breeze, unlike Tricos and Baetis, and having some hackle stacker patterns can save the day. It is not a bad idea to rig a Callibaetis rod with lighter tippet and a hopper rig with heavy tippet to be prepared to switch patterns between the inconsistent afternoon winds.
THE BIG WOOD
If you have been waiting for the flows to come down on the Wood, now is your time. The river is still on average twice the size it has been for this time of year, so wading with caution is a must. But the larger trout that have been hiding in the big, inaccessible water of summer are starting to come out. Look for Tricos on the lower river in the morning, and as the day warms up, the hopper fishing has really gotten good. Fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is also very productive. For flies, try Foam Hoppers, 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
These two small tributaries to the Wood can provide some excellent fishing for anglers looking for a small stream experience. They are perfect for a small Tenkara Rod or ultra light fly rod. Fish and Game has stocked around the bridges and anywhere the rivers near the road. If you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, PMDs, and caddis throughout the day.
THE UPPER LOST
The cool mornings have made it feel like fall on the Upper Lost. The best fishing has moved into the middle of the day into the late afternoon. Hoppers and big attractors are turning some very good fish. Still, anglers need to cover a lot of water to find the few good fish in this area. Just be patient and persistent and you will not be disappointed.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have dropped to 334 CFS. These flows are still on the high side, but more water has opened up to strong waders. You will find decent Trico hatches in the morning followed by Baetis the rest of the day. Look for the slow foam lines and you will find rising fish. Pack a variety of Tricos and Baetis. A good High His versions of these bugs is recommended to help you see your fly in poor light and broken water. Keep in mind, the fish are voraciously eating small nymphs throughout the day. Therefore, dry dropper and Euro Style techniques are deadly. 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 float fishing on the lower river and walk and wade fishing throughout the system continues to be excellent thanks to the above average flows. Small hoppers and stimulators fished on the banks are the most productive. Try fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs for nonstop action for trout and whitefish.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With flows at 1,750 CFS, wade fishing is limited. Drift boats remain the best option. We are still a few weeks away from the flows coming down to wadable levels. Work the banks with hoppers or big foam attractor patterns with or without a dropper. The best hatch activity will be found in the early evenings with small 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