As the summer days begin to heat up, our local waters will begin to transition. Hatches like the Green Drake will begin to taper off on the local freestones and the Trico hatch will slowly begin to build to its peak in late July and early August on Silver Creek. The Big Wood, the Big Lost below Mackay Reservoir, and the main stem of the Big Lost over Trail Creek Pass continue to flow high but clear making wading a challenge. If you plan to fish these waters always use your wading belt and fish with a friend. However, in the upper reaches of these rivers the water is prime for wet wading, a nice reprieve from the heat. The bottom line, don’t put away your Green Drake and Stonefly patterns yet, and start stocking up on your Trico patterns.
The fish on the creek like to feed during the most comfortable times of the day. As we move towards higher average temperatures, expect to see more feeding activity in the morning and the evening. For the morning, expect the usual suspects: Baetis (size 20-22), Callibaetis Spinners (size 16), PMDs (size 16), and even some Tricos (size 20, 22) have been spotted on calm mornings. This is not to say a savvy angler can’t find fish during the heat of the day. If you plan to fish all day, always have a good selection of Blue Damsel flies, Callibaetis Duns and Spinners, as well as beetles, ants and small hoppers. In the evenings, be prepared for caddis in a plethora of sizes as well as big and small PMDs. Of course, remember to bring along your bug spray.
Big Wood River
A smattering of Green Drakes have been spotted on the river but the consistency of this hatch has dropped off and will continue to do so throughout the week. But the fish will still be looking for flies that match the profile of a Green Drake, so keep a selection of Drakes in you fly box. The Wood can go into a lull after the Drakes are done and before the Pink Alberts and PMDs hatches begin to strengthen. This is when attractor drys with a trailing nymph can be deadly. Fish big dries like Yellow Stimulators, Orange Stimulators, and Royal Stimulators with a Flashback Pheasant Tail or Epoxy Back Drake as a dropper. For the deep, fast water try a tandem nymph rig with a Rubber Leg Stone and a Tungsten PT.
I said it last week and it is worth repeating: Please approach the Wood with caution and wade conservatively. We will soon be able to move about the river and get to all those favorite holes.
Big Lost River below Mackay
With flows still above 500 CFS, this river is still too high to wade comfortably. Wait for the flows to drop below 400 CFS for optimum fishing.
Upper Big Lost
Some fantastic Fine Spot Cutthroats, Cutbows, Brook Trout and Rainbows are being found in the rivers over Trail Creek Pass. For those anglers willing to make this trek, look for the many public access points along the East Fork, Wild Horse Creek and the West Fork to be your best bet. The most sucessful angelrs are those who are willing to cover a lot of fishy water. Your persistence will be rewarded. The fish are generaly not selective this time of year and they will take most all large standard drys (Parachute Adams, Tarantulas, PMX, Royal Wulffs, etc.) and nymphs (pheasant tail and Prince nymphs). However, if you are getting refusals, switch to smaller versions of the above mentioned flies.
Imagine tossing large Golden Stones to eager Cutthroat and Rainbow trout while floating down one of the most scenic rivers in Idaho. The Salmon River is prime and ready to fish. Please inquire about this wonderful opportunity.
Warm Springs & Trail Creek
If you are looking for a small stream experience but don’t have the time to drive over the hill to the Copper Basin, then a trip up Warm Spring or Trail Creek may be just the solution. Fish and Game has stocked these rivers around the bridges and anywhere the rivers near the road. If you wish to seek wild fish, just leave the beaten path and explore. Expect to see PMDs and Pink Alberts as well as Caddis and Small Stone flies. These fish are not selective and will often attack a well placed fly. Please respect private property and have fun.
South Fork of the Boise
The Salmon flies have been spotted above Cow Creek Bridge and should be all the way to the dam by the end of the week. At 1700, your best option is to fish from a drift boat but you can wade fish along the roadside in select spots. Also have a good selection of caddis, golden stones, and pink alberts if you decide to fish into the evening.
If you want to try something different, our reservoirs continue to fish very well. Grab a float tube, some flippers, and a friend and go check out Magic, Mackay, Little Camas, or Morman reservoirs. We have a great selection of stillwater flies from leeches to chironomids as well as some classic patterns like the Sheep Creek Special.
Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.~ Thoreau