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“Fishing is to be enjoyed, but it will not be enjoyed any the more
by hurrying past what Nature has to give us on the way.”
~Colonel Robert Venables

During May we will see our rivers swell, recede, and swell again before they settle into their perfect summer flows in late June, early July. The cottonwoods will bloom and bring the snows of summer, spreading seeds through the wind. And we are reminded that the joy of fishing can also be found in the memory of seasons past and in the anticipation of what is to come.


With most of our rivers either closed or too high, now is a great time to fish our local reservoirs. Both Magic and Little Wood reservoir are good options this time of year and can be fished either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. Another option, would be to check out Mormon or Little Camas reservoirs. Both are smaller reservoirs and will have hold over fish from last year as well as a fresh load of stocked fish. A bit farther down the road, is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. This fishery is managed by the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes and has three different reservoirs to pick from: Mountain View, Lake Billy Shaw, and Sheep Creek. For a small fee, you can fish all three and camping facilities are available for an addition fee. As for techniques in all locations, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka fresh water plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can be effective. Come on by the shop and we can set you up with the right flies and driving directions.

The Salmon River

As of the end of April, the steelhead season is closed on the upper Salmon. The Sawtooth Hatchery reported that over 1,525 steelhead had been trapped as compared to lasts years 1,800. Now we wait and see if the Chinook numbers will be large enough to warrant an opening sometime in June.

The Lost Below Mackay

The Lost remains open; however, the flows are up to 540CFS and may go higher yet. At this level, wading is extremely difficult, even dangerous. It is best to wait until July when flows start to come down again.

Big Wood, Silver Creek, and South Fork of the Boise

These rivers are closed for the season, but will open on May 26th. We can expect high water on both the Wood and South Fork, but the Creek should be in perfect condition for the opening weekend!

Stillwater Flies: Pops Buggers | Standard Olive, Black, and Brown Wooley Buggers | Stayner’s Ducktail | Sheep Creek Special | Bouface Leech | Seal Buggers | Squirrel Leech | Chironomids | Olive Scuds | Perch Imitations

The Big Lost

540 cfs