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“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”

– Loren Eiseley

Despite a wet end to April, the Big Wood, Little Wood, and Big Lost Basin are suffering from a severe drought. For the month of May, we are expecting a drier than average weather pattern to dominate the region. Most of the low altitude snow has melted off and the high altitude snow should come down in the latter part of May into the first weeks of June. This means that the fishing in mid-June through July should be outstanding. If you plan on booking your favorite guide, please do so as soon as possible. 

Silver Creek/ Big Wood/ South Fork of the Boise
These three rivers, and all their tributaries, are closed until Memorial weekend.

The Big Lost Below Mackay
The time of stable flows has passed as irrigation demands have begun on the lower Lost. The flows have jumped to about 150 CFS and historically May flows will be up and down until the end of the month. If you go, be sure to check the Idaho River Flows website. Keep in mind, many fish are still on redds spawning in the shallow water, so please leave these fish alone and mind your step.

Upper Salmon Steelhead
The steelhead season ends April 30th. As of the 26th, 1,926 returns have been trapped at the Sawtooth Fish Hatchery.

Stillwater
Spring is a great time to try stillwater fly fishing. Morman, Mackay, the Little Wood, and Magic can be fished either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. Spring winds can be strong, so always follow safety precautions when floating. Another option, a bit farther down the road, is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. This fishery has been closed over the last year due to Covid, but has opened this spring to accept visitors once again. 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, 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. Come on by the shop and we can set you up.

Big Lost: High Vis Adams | Griffiths Gnats | Midge Emerger | Perdichigons | Roza Pheasant Tail | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Espresso Midge | Roza Black Perdigones | Duracell Jig | Jig Frenchie | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive

Stillwater: Balance Leeches | Sheep Creek Special | Woolly Buggers | Seal Buggers | Chironomids | Damsel Nymphs | Prince Nymphs

Photo: David Reilly

 

 

Silver Creek 112 cfs
Big Wood 77.3 cfs
The Big Lost 149 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 600 cfs
Salmon River 1350 cfs