“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” – Yogi Bera
One thing we do know…there is a lot of snow in the mountains. As of May 2nd, the Big Wood drainage is 217% of normal. April showers in the valley kept depositing snow in the peaks. How long the run off will last is hard to predict, but we can expect high flows on our freestones rivers to last well into July. How high the rivers will go is also hard to predict. The average daytime highs are forecast to reach into the 60s over the next few weeks with lows above freezing; the Valley braces itself for what could be record breaking river levels to match the record breaking winter.
The steelhead season is closed. The Sawtooth Hatchery reported that over 1,800 steelhead had been trapped as compared to lasts years 3,300. Now we wait and see if the Chinook numbers will be large enough to warrant an opening sometime in June.
THE BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows are around 350 CFS. With the high flows and closers on many rivers in our area, this has been a real blessing. The fishing here has been great! Keep in mind, the flows may continue go up as the upper river flows start to increase due to warmer daytime highs. If you go, look for strong spring Baetis hatches during the afternoon; still, nymphing with a heavy double nymph rig is the most productive.
A great Stillwater option is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. If you have a day or two, this is definitely worth the trip.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 additional fee. As for techniques in both locations, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 or 5 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka fresh water plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. Sheep Creek Specials always seem to work in Duck Valley. Also, suspending a series of nymphs or chironomids at the right depth can also be effective at both locations. Come on by the shop and we can set you up.
THE BIG WOOD • SILVER CREEK • SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
These River’s are now closed until opening day May 27th. We can expect the flows on both the Wood and South Fork to be high, but the Creek should be perfect for opening day.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood