To allow the wild rainbows time to spawn in peace, the Wood, the South Fork of the Boise and all their tributaries are now closed, but will reopen, along with Silver Creek, on May 25th. In the meanwhile, there still are plenty of fishing opportunities for those willing to travel outside the Wood River Valley. In fact, April offers a wide variety of angling opportunities from Steelhead to stillwaters. The day time highs have been warm enough to open up many of our reservoirs earlier then past years and yet still cooling off enough at night to keep the heavy run off from impacting the ability to fish around the Stanley area. For those looking ahead to the next season, keep your eyes on the spring weather. The Wood River Valley snowpack is currently at about 80% of normal and unless it snows all spring in the higher elevations, we should have a moderate runoff with lower flows on the Wood then we have had the last two summers. But then again, Mother Nature might have something to say about that.
The fish are in all the way to the Hatchery above Stanley and the fishing should remain fair to good most of the month of April, weather and water permitting. The recent warming trend has caused Basin Creek, several miles down river of Stanley, to blowout and make the Salmon unfishable from this point down. However, a cold front is coming the first weekend of April and may reverse this trend…so stay tuned if you would like to fish the water between Basin Creek and Clayton. Also, there is some road construction occurring between the Salmon Spawning beds and Slate Creek with some road closures that you should be aware of before you go. Come on into the shop and check out our full selection of steelhead flies and we will give you the latest report.
The Big Lost
With the Wood closed, this is your best alternative to find trout feeding on the surface. It is a trek from Ketchum, but well worth your effort. The hatches on the Lost this time of year are a combination of midge and Baetis and on the right day they can be spectacular. You will need a good selection of midge in sizes 18-22 and Baetis in size 16-18 both dry and wet. Some fish are all ready spawning in the shallow riffles so please wade with caution and leave them alone.
Most fishermen know that when the ice comes off of a reservoir, the fishing can be fantastic. Typically, I don’t think about fishing our mountain reservoirs until May, but the warm weather has made this a good possibility. Magic is now ice free and for those willing to brave the elements, the fishing should be quite good and getting better. In the spring I like to pull Seal Buggars and Pops Buggars in black or olive off of a sinking line like a type 3 or 5 or suspend a team of nymphs off an indicator like Prince nymphs, Copper Johns, or classic Chironomids. I would also consider a trip a bit further down the road to Little Camas. The fish in Little Camas grow very fast and the last couple years of good water will make for great spring fishing this year.
Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.~ Henry David Thoreau
photo by Bryan Huskey