“A fly fisherman’s knowledge is compounded of many things. It grows out of imagination, curiosity, bold experiment, and intense observation.” ~ Roderick L. Haig-Brown
The next time you go fishing, fish less and watch more. Don’t rush into the water and start casting the same flies that worked last week. Watch the water closest to the bank. Observe the patterns of the birds. Note the spider’s web. Look beyond the observable and imagine where the fish might hold, even though they are invisible to the eye beneath the broken water. A fly fisherman’s skill compounds the more one learns to trust his or her instinct and put preconceived knowledge aside.
The mornings are still the most productive time on the Creek; however, the Trico hatches have begun to diminish in intensity. Still, good numbers of Tricos can be found in the morning mixed in with the Baetis and a few Callibaetis spinners as well. During the morning activity, try fishing a small 22 or 24 Harrop’s Hen Winged Baetis or Trico Spinner with a light and long leader of about 12 feet to 6 or 6.5X tippet. We can also expect the midday Callibaetis in the Pond to become a staple as the month progresses. On windy days, try beetles, ants or hoppers. The evening fishing remains consistently good with an array of different bugs: caddis, PMDs, Baetis. It is best to fish a fly you can see as the light fades.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood should clear after last weeks rain and fishing continues to improve. The cool morning temps have cooled the water and brought some of the bigger fish back out to play. Focus your attention on the soft water next to the fast, deep water. Often the biggest fish are in the shallowest water where most anglers like to stand. Also look for Tricos in the AM in the lower reaches of the Wood below town. Fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is the most productive. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze. For nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows remain high at 1,770 CFS. At these flows, drift boats are the best option. Try hoppers or big foam attractor patterns along the bank. The best hatch activity is in the late afternoons into the evenings with Pink Alberts and Caddis. Nymphing can be productive all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are all great places to practice casting and catching. All the ponds have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Drop on by before you go or take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
While the water is low, the wade fishing around Stanley is fantastic and we are still floating the lower reaches of the river. Fishing remains consistent with hoppers, Spruce Moth patterns, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis. Nymphing with stone flies and size 14 and 16 flashback Pheasant Tails, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warriors will produce a lot of action on white fish and trout. Swinging black and brown Woolly Buggers can produce a nice Bull Trout.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are currently at 356 CFS. While these flows are high, strong waders are finding prolific Trico hatches in the morning followed by sporadic Baetis the rest of the day. It is difficult to find consistently feeding fish during the morning hatch, but persistent anglers can find water conducive to surface sippers at this water level. Be sure to have a good selection of Silver Creek style Tricos and Baetis as well as High His versions to help you see these bugs in the bad light the Lost is notorious for. If you cannot find surface activity, the fish are eating small nymphs voraciously during the morning. Dry dropper and Euro Style techniques are the most effective. Try Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice.
UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
The flows are low and the water temps have dropped with the cooler evenings. As a result the fishing is fair throughout the day. Still, expect to cover a lot of water to find the few good fish in this area. In general, the fishing has been spotty and the fish have not been responding well to pressure; a run that fishes well one day will not fish well the next. Still, these fish are opportunistic feeders and you need to be on your game to capitalize on the strikes you get or you could go hame skunked. Try hoopers, caddis, and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph.
South Fork of the Boise