Cool nights and beautiful Sun Valley days are with us again after a week of unstable weather patterns. The cool nights have set the morning fishing back to late morning time frames, but when the activity starts it’s happening fast. The heat and wind have been coming up in the afternoon making the fishing spotty, but productive in certain locations that offer more wind protection than others.
The Creek is a perfect example of “be in the right place” a little wind screen goes along way these days on the Creek. Whether it is a hillside or a row of willow bushes, bug activity can be prolonged in these areas, so if you think you should be seeing more insects than you are, get on the move and look in other areas than your old “stand by.”
Trico, Baetis, Callibaetis and Pale Morning Dun activity remains strong for a short, but intense morning window. Fish are still rising to late emerging Trico Duns as soon as it’s light enough to see. Then after a brief morning lull, fish are again rising to the spinner fall that happens when the air temperature hits 70 degrees.
Hopper action is good in some area. The only way to be productive with a Hopper on the Creek is to stay on the move and fish very heavy tippets like 3X. Set the hook hard after a brief pause. (Silver Creek fish are not leader shy when eating Hoppers.)
Big Wood River
The Wood continues to fish good, although small fish seem to be the norm. This is pretty typical in August as lower flows, bright days, and angler pressure puts the bigger fish on guard until the fall hatches begin.
Anglers that continue to fish into low light levels will find bigger fish, as well as anglers that fish Hoppers in skinny, fast moving waters and cover long beats on the river.
Mayfly spinner falls, including some Tricos seems to be the primary meal for the fish these days, but don’t hesitate to fish Caddis and Ant patterns.
The Lost below the reservoir is beginning to see some Kokanee spill through. This makes your Red dropper fly that much more important as we approach the fall. Whether it’s imitating an egg, or flesh from on of these dying landlocked salmon, big Lost River Rainbows get locked in on this daily. Check the river above the reservoir for this same opportunity to pull a big Greenback out of a sea of Redbacks. Good polarized glasses are worth their weight in gold when fishing in this style!
Copper Basin and Area Waters
Good, morning insect activity can be found in the Basin and Area waters from 8:30 am until the wind and heat come up around noon. Lower down in the system Stoneflies are still active and fish are looking up, but being careful about what they eat under the bright August skies.
Upstream, small attractor patterns and some nymphing will move fish that are being slightly stressed by falling water conditions.
Expect a lot of fish movement in the coming weeks up here as falling water, and warming water gets the fish thinking as much about survival as food. A pool may fish great for a short time and days later be void of fish, on the flip side, pools that seem devoid of fish one day, may be loaded the next. Just don’t count on “usual haunts” to produce every time for you.
South Fork of the Boise
Pink Alberts and Grasshoppers are still the main attractions on the South Fork. Fishing big Parachute Adams from a drift boat, or your favorite Hopper Fly is producing the most action. Midday Alberts action is strong one day and weak the next, but have some good patterns and keep your eye on the riffles. The river continues to flow at 1600 cfs offering some, but limited wade fishing.
Warm Springs, Trail Creek, North Fork of the Big Wood, Penny and Dollar Lake and Lake Creek Lake
Fish the deepest water you can find, but don’t ignore shady nooks along overhanging brush on any of these streams. Small Stimulators and Elk Hair Caddis are a fine choice. These are excellent places to fish and stay cool on hot summer days.
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 78%
Big Wood – 91%
Little Wood – 111%
Big Lost – 104%
Henry’s Fork – 86%