“I am haunted by waters.” – Norman Maclean
The first wave of true spring run off occurred during the first week of May causing the Big Wood to peak at nearly 7,000 CFS. Currently, the Wood is down to 2,600 CFS and dropping as the weather has turned cool again providing a temporary respite from the flooding. But warmer temperatures are expected to return by the end of the week. As of the 16th of May, the snowpack in the Big Wood drainage remains at 197% of average with more snow forecasted. We are certain the water will rise again, but how high and how long it will remain high depends on Mother Nature. The water is a blessing and a curse… on one hand, we will have a fantastic opening and summer season on Silver Creek with healthy flows due to the much needed boost to the ground water; on the other, the residents along the river will continue to see historic flows and flooding over the next several weeks.
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
While technically open to fishing, the flows have exceed 1,100 CFS. We will now need to wait until August before we see wadeable flows again on this fishery.
Magic and the Little Wood Reservoirs are both full of water and can fish well in the newly flooded coves. You can fish from shore or a float tube with ease, just be aware of the spring winds that can make boating unsafe. Another 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 all these reservoirs, 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 rivers are now closed until opening day May 27th. We can expect the flows on both the Wood and South Fork to be too high to fish, but the Creek should be perfect for opening. It is still too early to make any predictions on the Brown Drake hatch on the Creek, but this typically occurs within the first two weeks of June.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood