“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney
Join us Saturday, July 23rd, to celebrate the sport of fly fishing and preview the latest innovations and technology from your favorite brands. Experts will be here showcasing new product from: Winston, Sage, Fishpond, Hatch Reels, Waterworks/Lamson Patagonia, Simms, Filson, Rio, Trouthunter, Smith Optics, and Redington.
I mentioned it last week and it is worth repeating: with the low flows in the Upper Preserve, most of the fish are seeking the cover of deeper water. And with increased angler pressure and a limited number of fish spread throughout the system, the fishing will remain spotty for the duration of the summer. That said, there are Tricos on the Creek. As always, the timing and the duration of the hatch will vary with each given day. As a general rule of thumb, the spinners will hit the water when the air temps hit 60 to 65 degrees which is around 9:30 to 10 AM with the current weather pattern. The spinner fall can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour or more. Before the spinners come down, the fish will be plucking off the occasional Female Trico Dun, Callibaetis spinner, PMD spinner, or Baetis spinner. The fish can be very picky during this hatch and anglers need to have a variety of patterns to match each phase. Also long twelve to fifteen foot leaders are a must down to 6, 6.5, or even 7X tippet. Once the hatch subsides, around 11:30 AM, most of the anglers will vacate the river; however, the fishing can remain good throughout the day for those anglers willing to try a variety of techniques and flies. Often on warmer days, Blue Damsels will blanket the weed beds and become easy prey for cruising fish. Ants and beetles get blown into the water on windy days. And nymphing will always produce a fish or two. The evening hatch is a very complex mix of insects and can be another chance to find fish on top. Caddis and PMDs are the dominate bugs in the evening.
The flows are still a bit pushy south of town, but most all the river is open to strong waders and with the current air temperatures, the wet wading has been refreshing. Once the Green Drakes conclude for the season the fishing typically slows down a bit on the Wood. However, fishing has still been good in the mornings with plenty of Caddis, Grey Drakes, Rusty Spinners, Baetis, PMDs, and Pink Alberts around. Fish the margins of the fast water and buckets with small (16 and 14) parachute patterns or try Dry Dropper rigs in the shallow riffles at the head of the runs to find fish. A good combination of flies are Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or Chubby Chernoby is trailed by a Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 or 18.
This is a great river to go to if the Wood is still to high for your tastes. Like the Wood, the hatches have been strong. Fish and Game keeps this river well stocked around the bridges and plenty of wild fish can be found where the river leaves the road. For flies, yellow or orange Stimulators or Green Drakes are good on top. Tying on a dropper is a good idea as well; Bishop’s Dynamite, Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs all work well.
The dry fly fishing on the Upper and Lower Salmon continues to impress with good numbers of Golden Stones and Yellow Sallies in the morning and the Spruce Moth making an appearance in the afternoons. This is an incredibly scenic river to float or hole hop in your vehicle. Take a bunch of Stimulators in sizes 10 to 14 as well as Tan Elk Hair Caddis in size 14. If you want to increase your action add a size 14 or 16 Beaded Phaseant Tail or Bishop’s Dynamite. For a change of pace you can try swinging a Black Woolly Bugger and find plenty of willing takers, maybe even a Bull Trout Or a Chinook Salmon.
BIG LOST – MACKAY
Finally, at 400 CFS this river is ready to fish for strong waders; it is still very high and difficult to cross and move about. It needs to drop another 100 CFS to be prime. There are good morning hatches consisting of a mix of PMDs and Beatis, yet the dry fly fishing is minimal at these flows. Nymphing is most productive with a variety of different nymphs: San Juan Worms, King Prince, PTs, and small Beatis and Midge patterns. Large crane flies are also skittering across the water, so have some Mackay Specials.
UPPER BIG LOST
The Upper Lost continues to fish well for those who cover a lot of water. The flows are opening up more water on the main stem and places on the Upper East Fork and West Fork are beginning to slow down as the water drops and fishing pressure increases.Big drys will turn fish, but if you get a refusal, switch to a smaller Parachute Adams, PMD or Purple Haze. If that does not work, try small nymphs, like Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamite, Pheasant tails or Prince Nymphs.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are up a tad to 1710 CFS. For dry fly enthusiasts this has been one of the best season in years. The Salmon flies my be done; however, you should have plenty of big foam bugs (Cicadas and Hoppers) for working the banks. The Pinks Alberts have also begun and you should have this bug in your box in all its stages. Caddis remain a factor as well in the evenings and you should pack a good selection of Trailing Shuck Caddis and traditional Elk Hair Caddis in brown and olive sizes 18 to 14. Nymphing the riffles and seams with large stone fly imitations and caddis larva is always productive.
STILLWATERS & LOCAL WATERS
This is a good time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds 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 Lost