“If they took the time in question and applied it in one direction, to one object, they would succeed. Success is sure to follow such application. The trouble lies in the fact that people do not have an object, one thing, to which they stick, letting all else go. Success is the product of the severest kind of mental and physical application.”
– Thomas Edison
Some might call you monomaniacal, maybe even Captain Ahab-like. But you understand the work you apply today will make you an even better angler tomorrow. Fishing success comes from continual focus.
The Big Wood
After yet another cool weather pattern has come and gone, the Wood should continue to fish well. At this stage of the Green Drake hatch, the bugs can be found around in abundance in and around Ketchum as well as north of town. In addition to Green Drakes, you will also find PMDs, caddis, small crane flies, and occasional golden stones. The bug activity can begin anytime from mid-morning into the afternoon, so you might as well plan on fishing all day and adjusting as needed. If you don’t see any surface activity, drake, stonefly, smaller mayfly nymphs, or midge patterns fished Euro style or dangling off a large dry can be effective. If you find Green Drakes be sure to have a variety of patterns to match what the fish are focusing on. On a side note, with better weather in the forecast and more and more visitors coming to the valley in the month of July, independent anglers and guides need to practice appropriate river etiquette. If there are cars at an access, find another. There are plenty of public access points and a lot of river to explore. If you encounter another angler or anglers, be kind and communicate your plans. By working together, we can all enjoy this wonderful fishery. And as always, respect private property.
With warmer weather returning, the Creek should transition back to a morning fishery, typical of summer. Once the air temp hits 55 to 60 degrees, you will find Baetis and possibly some PMDs hatching. We are still a couple of weeks from tricos, but you may see a few up in the air this week as well. If you stay into the afternoon, damsels are starting to show up on the slow water stretches as well as a few Callibaetis. When no bugs are about, slow drifting nymphs, pulling streamers, or working terrestrials on the banks can be a good option. 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.
With low flows, this is a perfect small stream for easy wet wading. It is a great place for kids. You will find the same bugs hatching here that you find on the Wood. There are stocked fish around the bridges and campgrounds and plenty of wild fish in between.
The Big Lost Upper
The East Fork above Wildhorse and the North Fork are ready to explore. The flows are wadable, but pick your crossings carefully. The main stem is still a bit too high. You will find Green Drakes, PMDs, caddis, and stone flies hatching from late morning into the afternoon. Often these fish prefer a dry over a nymph, so pick your favorite searching attractor pattern and cover the water.
The Big Lost Lower
The Lower Lost is up a tad to 360 CFS. This water level is difficult to wade but not impossible, so if you go take a wading partner. Nymphing will be excellent all day with the possibility of decent surface activity in the morning into the afternoon. You will find a bug stew and the fish keying on the dominant hatch (Baetis); however, they will occasionally eat a larger offering.
The flows remain excellent for a day of floating and Salmon flies, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis are fluttering about the river in the afternoon. Typically, you will find trout near the banks and around structure feeding opportunistically. You may find some good wade fishing opportunities above Stanley.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows are holding steady at 1200 CFS, perfect for floating with some limited wading opportunities. Salmon flies have moved up the canyon and have been spotted up and down the river. While drifting, focus your attention on the banks with large foam flies and droppers or fish the riffles with nymph rigs. The evening caddis hatch remains productive as well.
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 quiet alternative, try one of our local reservoirs. Magic, Mackay, and the Little Wood reservoirs can be fished either from shore or from 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: Green Drakes | 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: Green Drakes | 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: Green Drakes | Damsels | 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
Stillwater Flies: Seal Buggars | Balanced Leeches | Bouface Leech | Snowcone Chironomids | Egg Patterns | Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise