“Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them.”
– Marcus Aurelius
After all, calling in sick to go fishing is completely forgivable. Putting off fishing because you are too busy is blasphemy. Take action this August and get yourself to the nearest body of water.
The Big Wood
The Wood has been a pleasant surprise all summer. As the days shorten, hopefully, we will see the daytime highs start to drop. In the meanwhile, we are still in a summer pattern; the fishing turns on midmorning and slows down in the late afternoon. It remains vitally important that you play the fish as fast as possible and keep them wet during the release. As for fishing, depending on where you are on the river, you may find good numbers of Tricos anytime between 9 and 11AM. Use your Silver Creek arsenal and skills on these fish. There are also good numbers of caddis throughout the day and a hodgepodge of mayflies. A small, creamy yellow colored crane fly seems to be a favorite among the fish this time of year. Also, ants and hoppers are taking fish in the heat of the day. If there are no visible feeders, a dry dropper rig is very effective.
The water is still in the mid 60s during the day so please do not play trout to exhaustion and release them ASAP. In the morning, you will still find Tricos, Baetis, and Callibaetis. The peak surface activity is between 9 and 11 AM. Then, the fish start looking for hoppers, beetles, and ants blown into the river as well as any remaining damsels. If the wind blows, nymphing with small, dark nymphs can save the day. If you stay into the afternoon look for the Callibaetis hatch to really get going in the sloughs and pond. Remember, when fishing the Preserve, the visitor center remains closed. Look for posted information at each access allowing you to sign in via your phone with a QR code or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
The Big Lost Upper
With low flows and the fact that the trout are concentrated around the best holding water, you will need to cover a lot of ground to find success. The big cutthroat and cutbows from earlier in the season are still there but have become very selective and spooky. Try using longer leaders and smaller dry flies and nymphs to fool these wily trout. These fish love to eat dries, but your first presentation may be your only chance.
The Big Lost Lower
With flows bouncing up around 400 to 460 CFS, wading can be a challenge. Only strong waders should attempt these flows. The fishing is best early through mid-day with good numbers of Tricos, Baetis, and Crane Flies. When the morning hatch is done the fishing can really slow down, but searching the riffles and deep water with nymphs can be productive.
Despite the low water, the fishing remains solid. If you don’t see any bugs in the air, try using a hopper trailed by a smaller beaded nymph in the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. You might also try swinging streamers or buggers. Spruce moth patterns along the stretches of river lined with evergreens have been turning fish.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows are holding steady at 1200 CFS and fishing from a boat is your best option. Still, parking the boat and working the structure and side channels is most productive. Expect to find caddis as well as PMDs, Pink Alberts, Stones, and crane flies. You might try ripping a streamer through some deeper runs in search of a Bull Trout or an aggressive Bow.
Gaver’s Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and make a great location for a family picnic.
If you are looking for a unique alternative, try one of our local reservoirs. Magic, Mackay, and the Little Wood reservoirs can be fished either from shore, a boat, or a float tube; however, please be aware that strong afternoon winds can make boating/ tubing unsafe. 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.
Big Wood & Warm Springs: 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
Big Lost: Crane Flies | Chubby Chernobyl | PMDs | Yellow Sallies | 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
Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince
South Fork of the Boise: 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: Damsels | PMD | Callibaetis | Baetis | Tricos | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Stillwater Flies: Seal Buggars | Balanced Leeches | Bouface Leech | Snowcone Chironomids | Egg Patterns | Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise