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photo: David Reilly

“If you aren’t a fisher you’ll see many things, but the river, except where it is ridden by waterfowl or waded by moose, will rarely enter your thoughts, much less stimulate your spirit. It’s different if you fish. The surface of the water tells a story.”

–Paul Schullery

For those that fish, the river is both a mirror and window through which one sees themselves and the interconnectedness of all that is. The tale the river tells is ancient, and part of the story is ours. Thank you Mr. Schullery (and Mr. Mclean) for your words. And thank you Big Wood, Big Lost, Salmon, South Fork, and Silver Creek for stimulating our spirits.

Silver Creek
Fortunately, conditions have improved on the Creek, and the Conservancy opened fishing access as of August 11. Fishing is allowed daily from 9 am until sunset on the Preserve. If you go, please pay attention to the new and improved parking and fishing access points created this May, and don’t forget to sign in with your smartphone. As for fishing, you can expect to find a few tricos mixed with prolific baetis in the morning. There may also be a few callibaetis throughout the day. Like the other hatches this year, the late summer Callibaetis may come early, so be prepared. Damsels, hoppers, and ants will also work once the mayfly hatches subside. Despite the fact that the fish have seen no angling pressure in July and part of August, the fishing is not easy. Bring your “A” game. Long leaders and fine tippet are a must as well as casting precision.

Big Wood
With students returning to school around the country, we may see less pressure on our local rivers. Also, the Conservancy’s reopening last week will help spread anglers a tad. The truth is, there are more fly fishers enjoying our rivers than in past years for obvious reasons. As a result, anglers must remember to respect each other’s space. If you find an access with a car or two, go find another. And if you encounter an angler on the river, communicate your plans or walk out of sight. The Wood continues to impress despite the low flows. While angling is technical, the hatches are strong and the fish are feeding in the morning into the afternoon. Last week, stifling daytime highs returned and once again it is imperative that you watch the water temps. Please stop fishing once the temps hit 67 degrees or seek cooler water. Fortunately, cooler weather is in the forecast.

Lower Lost
The flows below Mackay have dropped a bit to 116 CFS. At these flows, the larger fish have become very spooky and selective. Still, the fishing can be decent during the morning. There are still some tricos, but baetis are becoming more prevalent. Keep in mind, the flows may drop any day as the reservoir is merely a puddle at the dam.

Upper Lost River
The fishing is good despite the low flows. Cover a ton of water and you are sure to find some fine fish. There are good morning hatches from tricos to caddis and a smattering of other bugs. Hoppers are also turning fish. If you get a short strike, downsize your fly.

The Salmon
This river has been resilient all summer. The flows are quite low making floating difficult, but not impossible. Still, hole hopping from access to access is a good option. There are plenty of whitefish and a few trout to be found. Bugwise, look for caddis, spruce moths, and hoppers to be the main surface fare.

Southfork of the Boise
The wade fishing has been good but crowded, now that the flows are holding at 705 CFS. Look for caddis, crane flies, Pink Alberts, baetis, and midge.

Local Ponds
The local ponds have been stocked and are ready for a family picnic and some fishing.

Big Wood: Alt RKR PMD | Stimulators | EZ Caddis | Bullet French Nymph | Roza Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Quilldigon | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive

Big Lost: Golden Stones | Apple Green PMD | Baetis Sparkle Duns Harrop | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Tasmanian Devil | Roza Perdigon | Lite Brite Perdigons | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive

Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | EZ Caddis | Spruce Moth | Tasmanian Devil | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs

South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Caddis | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive



Silver Creek 66.1 cfs
Big Wood 108 cfs
The Big Lost 105 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 698 cfs
Salmon River 578 cfs