“The stream before you is constantly changing. If you are not flexible or confident enough to adapt to changing conditions on the stream, you are sure to fail.”
– Joe Humphreys
During a series of lean water years, we become accustomed to a level of consistency on our freestone streams; hatches predictably occur over clear, wadable water and certain buckets always hold eager fish. Fly fisherman are keen to identify patterns and establish paradigms. This year, however, Mother Nature is changing the narrative. At the moment, high water prevails making the freestone rivers in our area mostly unfishable. And when the water does drop, the river bottom and channels will be completely transformed. In the meanwhile, flexible and confident anglers are finding excellent opportunities by adapting to the changing conditions.
This is a pleasant time of year to be on the Creek. With fond memories of the Brown Drakes and the anticipation of the summer Tricos on the horizon, the Creek just keeps getting better. The warm, consistent weather has stabilized the hatches with some days better than others; certainly expect to see Baetis (18-22), PMDs (16), Callibaetis (14-16), and maybe a few Green Drakes on the upper Creek. The fish are already wising up and it is time to start fishing long and fine leaders to 6X at a down or down and across angle to spooky fish. When the wind blows try terrestrials like beetles, ants, and small hoppers. Of course, the rules change when there is a wind chop on the surface and it is better to shorten your leader to 7 1/2 to 9 feet and fish 4X. If all else fails, nymphing with a small Zebra Midge, PMD, or Baetis nymph beneath a high floating dry or micro indicator will produce some action. As is typical for this time of year, the hatches have been best midmorning and then again late in the evening.
If you are looking for an alternative to Silver Creek, both Magic and the Little Wood reservoirs are both full to the brim with water and fishing quite well. You can fish from shore or a float tube with ease, just be aware of the high afternoon 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 freshwater 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.
It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
THE UPPER LOST
Trail Creek Pass is open! Like the Big Wood, runoff will keep this area unfishable for the remainder of the month. However, the wild flowers are amazing.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are too high to fish at the moment. We will need to wait until August before we see wadable flows again on this fishery.
THE BIG WOOD
After dropping and starting to clear last week, the Wood is back up again. Hopefully this will be the last surge of snowmelt before we start to see the river go into summer recession. It is best to stay clear of the Wood at the moment.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
This area is closed to camping and fishing until the 30th of June due to extreme high water and flood damage. This should open just in time to catch the beginnings of the salmon fly hatch.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood