Unlike the last years above average run off, this July the water is dropping fast giving anglers a lot of options for fishing on the Big Wood and its tributaries as well as the Copper Basin. The water is still high in places but look for more and more water to open up in the coming weeks. July is a great month for big drys; head to the river with a good supply of flys imitating green drakes, golden stones, and Salmon flies. Of course, if the fish are not looking up, tying a nymph off the back of your dry is a good idea. Use larger pheasant tails, Copper Johns, Rainbow Warriors, or any other nymph with a tungsten bead in size 12,14, or 16.
Big Wood River
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. The water is dropping every day and the bigger fish are still willing to take big dries. Be prepared to find green drakes still hatching in the upper reaches of the Wood in the early afternoon. If you happen upon this hatch, be sure to have a good selection of large (size 12) flies to match. Selective feeders tend to prefer a green drake cripple. While waiting for the drakes to show, try searching with a Stimulator or a Tarantula and a trailing pheasant tail or Prince nymph.
The Creek is fishing well all day and should continue to do so for the next week. For the anglers who hit the Creek early in the morning, they will find Baetis (size 20-22), Callibaetis Spinners (size 16), PMDs (size 16) even some Tricos have been spotted. By midday, the Damsels will fill the air. In the afternoon, more Callibaetis spinners begin to bounce above the water and some Green Drakes (size 12) may emerge. If the wind picks up there will be beetles and ants blown off the tall grass. In the evenings, the caddis become the dominant insect. If you are prepared for the variety of hatching and terrestrial insects that occur throughout the day on Silver Creek, you will increase your chance for success.
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
The East Fork, Wild Horse Creek and the West Fork will be your best option for the week ahead if you decide to venture over Trail Creek Summit. The main stem of the river is still a bit to high to comfortably wade but you can car hop from hole to hole. The fish are 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). Be sure to cover the water methodically and search all the likely holding water. If you are not finding fish, just move to another access.
If you have not yet done it, now is the time to try out this fantastic fishery. The scenery is stunning and the fishing should be very good for the next couple of weeks. We offer both float and walk and wade guide trips. If you would rather go without a guide, be sure and take a good assortment of Salmon flies and golden stones.
Big Wood Tributaries
Warm Springs, Trail Creek, and the North Fork of the Big Wood have all been stocked recently and also hold a good population of wild fish. While the flows are still a bit high on these rivers, they are dropping quickly and would be a good option if the Wood is too crowded and the Basin is too far away.
South Fork of the Boise
The South Fork Salmon flies have been spotted on the lower river and will continue to make their journey up the river over the next week. 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 want to try something different, our reservoirs are fishing 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.