“Betcha goin’ fishin’ all of your time, baby’s goin’ fishing too/ Bet your life, your sweet wife, catch more fish than you.” – “Fishing Blues” by Chris Smith
Whether you are doing the fishing, or just sitting back watching others fish, the pleasure of a catch is a shared experience and something to be celebrated. There are plenty of amazing fishing opportunities for everyone to enjoy. No reason to sing the blues this August.
For those who go early, you will see a complex array of bugs in the air and on the water: Tricos, Baetis, PMDs, and Calibaetis. The morning hatch creates a target rich environment. Despite the voracious feeding, the trout are very selective; to be successful, you will need to have all these bugs in their various forms. Lately the diminutive Baetis seem to out shine the other insects in numbers and as a result the fish tend to focus on them. As the morning activity wanes, the Damsels take center stage. Watch for aggressive takes near the rafts of weeds contrasting with the subtle sips on the remaining small mayflies. This indicates the fish have begun taking Damsels. On a side note, the flows are up on the Creek. If you go into the S-turns or the Pond, be prepared to not be able to touch the bottom in the traditional spots.
The Big Wood
The Wood continues to drop and new water is opening for anglers to explore. Keep in mind that at around 400 CFS, the middle reach of the river is still tough to wade, but above Ketchum and below Hailey, the wading is much more tolerable. In the mornings, there have been good hatches of Tricos and PMDs, and during the heat of the day, grass hoppers have been clattering up and down the banks. Caddis remain very good in the evening. Fishing small parachute patterns or dry dropper rigs in the shallow riffles and seams along the sides of the heavy water is effective. Also, fishing Euro-style while nymphing will allow you hook up with the quick eats that happen in August.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
Both these Big Wood tributaries are a good option if you enjoy fishing a small creek very close to town. They have been recently stocked around the bridges and some select camp sites and there is a good population of wild trout in both. Keep in mind, when the water gets lower, the fish get more difficult to catch. Be more like a heron and less like a water buffalo while wading and you will be successful.
Now that the flows have dropped, the upper river around Stanley is very easy to walk and wade. If you like to fish from a drift boat, the lower river remains very floatable. Fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs is also productive for trout and whitefish. Of course, Valley, Marsh, and Bear Valley Creeks are all fishing well for those looking for small streams to wade fish.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows have dropped to around 800 CFS. This is a good flow for wade fisherman. Try tossing hoppers along with a trailing nymph while searching likely water. You might try a double hopper rig with one high floating hopper and the other just below the surface. Pinks Alberts continue to hatch throughout the day. You will want to have this pattern in a cripple for selective fish. Also, be sure to have some crane flies to skitter across the riffles. In the evenings, caddis are still the main course. Nymphing the riffles and seams with large stone fly imitations, caddis larva, and small zebra midge is effective all day for trout and whitefish.
Upper Lost Drainage
For best results, stay mobile and cover a ton of water. The river is very fishable up and down the entire system and you should be able to find your own stretch of river to enjoy. Remember, these fish are opportunistic feeders and they will often take the first presentation, but seldom give you a second chance.
The Lost Below Mackay
For most, flows above 450 CFS are simply too high to wade comfortably. However, strong waders can find some fishable water. With the high flows, nymphing is the most productive technique.
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.
South Fork of the Boise: Pink Alberts | Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: Tricos | PMD | Callibaetis | Baetis | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost, Big Wood and Tributaries: Purple Haze | Elk Hair Caddis | Golden Stone | Pats Rubber Legs | Buggers | Chubby Chernobyl’s | Bishop’s Dynamite | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon | King Prince Nymph | Zebra Midge
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise