“I have had my share of hairy moments, always from the same mistake—misjudging the strength of the current.”
– A.J. McClane
As the rivers in our region continue to drop, the water is looking more and more fishy. But don’t be fooled; it is still very high and a misstep wading can be dangerous. Here are a few reminders that will help you avoid some hairy moments: First, always wear a wading belt even if you plan to only wade along the edges. Second, add a few more cleats to the soles of your wading boots for increased traction. Third, invest in a wading staff to help with stability along the banks and in the water. And finally, always fish with a buddy. It is very easy to misjudge the strength of the current…no fish is worth the risk.
The weather report for the upcoming week calls for more warm weather. If this holds true, expect the early morning and late evening fishing to be excellent. If you go early, expect a mix of Baetis (size 20-22), Callibaetis Spinners (size 16-18), PMD spinners (size 16), and Tricos (size 20-22). Don’t expect a long Trico spinner fall, but it will get progressively better as the week continues. During the middle of the day and into the afternoon, look for water where blue damsels will congregate. The fish will be on the prowl picking off any spent damsels they can find. Also, the afternoon Callibaetis should get stronger, especially in the Pond and Sloughs. The best pattern for this is Harrop’s Partridge Wing Spinner in size 16 and 18. Of course, don’t forget to have an array of terrestrials (beetles, ants, and hoppers) if the wind picks up. In the evenings,be prepared for caddis in a variety of sizes as well as small PMDs and Callibaetis.
THE BIG WOOD
The most accessible section of the Wood remains north of the Warm Springs confluence, but it can get crowded with anglers. It is worth looking at lower access points to avoid the crowds. Keep in mind that you will find the the river completely changed. Focus your attention on the new braids up and down the river. If you can find some slower water in a shallower braid you will find some eager trout. Fishing the Wood over the next month is going to be really fun as we explore and discover new holding water. There still some Green Drakes as well as Pinks Alberts, Caddis, and PMDs.
This is a the best option for easy wading at the moment. There are stocked fish around the bridges and plenty of wild ones off the beaten path. Like the Wood, this river had extremely high flows and there is a lot of new debris in the river. If you find a log or some downed willows in the river you are bound to find fish.
THE UPPER LOST
The East Fork above Wildhorse Creek continues to drop, but is still very high. The anglers who are finding the most success are working as a team and sharing fishable water. This area is still not ready for large groups of anglers to spread out and cover water. As the water continues to drop, more water should open and become fishable.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows remain too high to fish. We will need to wait until the end of July or even mid-August before we see wadable flows again on this fishery.
With the flows dropping to manageable levels, we have been floating the river all week. The levels are like what we normally see in June, and the fishing is fantastic with big dries. The are plenty of Yellow Sallies and Golden Stones up and down the river. Wade fisherman are finding decent fishing hole hopping up and down the river with big dries, large nymphs, and streamers. There is even a chance to catch a Chinook Salmon!
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are holding steady at 1,660 CFS, which is very good for drift boats but still high for wade fishing. The Salmon Flies are done but the fish are still willing to take large dries on the banks while drifting. Pink Alberts are becoming a factor in the afternoon as well.
STILL WATER OPTIONS
Magic, the Little Wood, and Mackay reservoirs have slowed down considerably as the fish are seeking cooler, deeper water. However, if you go very early or late you can still find some fish cruising the shallow bays. 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. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can also be effective. Come on by the shop and we can set you up.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon 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.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood