“What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.”
– George Mallory
The trout and the river are there. They beckon. You heed the call even though some do not understand. “What is the point?” some ask, and you realize it may not be clear. You catch trout only to return them unharmed to the river arriving home not with a quarry, but a memory. You do not pursue trout to eat, but to live. You fish to experience sheer joy.
The Big Wood
It feels like summer has finally arrived on the Wood. And with the water levels dropping, it is time to exercise stealth and downsize your flies. Now that the Green Drakes have basically run their course, the Wood traditionally goes into a slight lull as we wait for the other bugs of summer to pick up steam: PMDs, Pink Alberts, Caddis, and hoppers. While your larger flies may still turn fish, they will likely receive a short strike and ultimately spook fish. By selecting smaller fly patterns and lowering your profile so trout can’t detect your presence, you can usually turn short strikes into positive takes. Still, anglers can find good success searching the likely water with dry dropper rigs and fishing Euro Style. The water temperatures are in the 60s and the fish are moving into the shallow riffles to find food and oxygen. As always, be kind to the trout and release them back to the water as soon as possible. Also, remember to be kind to your fellow anglers.
The hatches have been weak and the wind has been howling. Despite this, there is decent fishing on the Creek for those willing to try a variety of flies and techniques. Tricos should begin to make their early morning appearance. Currently, a few Tricos have been spotted, but no significant spinner falls have occurred. In the meanwhile, be prepared with Callibaetis, PMDs, Baetis, and damsel patterns. 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.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
With low flows, these are perfect small streams for easy wet wading. They are great places for kids and a family picnic combined with fishing. If you are stealthy, you will find plenty of fish willing to eat a dry. There are stocked fish around the bridges and campgrounds and plenty of wild fish in between.
The Big Lost Upper
The flows on the upper reaches of the Lost, like the East, West, and North Forks are low and very fishing well. The main stem below the North Fork confluence is also starting to shape up. As always, the key to success on this water is mobility. There are some quality trout and good numbers of smaller trout being caught by those who stay on the move and cover a lot of water. This is a great place if you want to catch an Upper Lost Grand Slam: a rainbow, cutbow, cutthroat, brook trout, whitefish, and grayling.
The Big Lost Lower
Flows on the Lower Lost are hovering around 350 CFS. While our freestones are dropping, this tailwater should maintain strong flows for the rest of the month and into August. Most days you will find good hatches including PMDs, Baetis, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies. Even a few Tricos have been seen. The morning and evening fishing are best with a lull in the afternoon.
The river is very low for this time of year but there is still time to float before it gets too low. You can expect to see good numbers of PMDs, Golden Stones, and Yellow Sallies during the morning. A Yellow Stimulator in a size 12 or 14 is the perfect match. Walk and wade fishing in the upper river around Stanley is another good option.
Southfork of the Boise
There are Stoneflies, Mormon Crickets, and Cicadas throughout the river. It is time to toss big bugs at the bank. Flows remain at 1,200 CFS, a perfect level for drift boats. If the big bugs aren’t turning fish, try a dropper or stop and work the riffles over with nymphs.
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: 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: Green Drakes | 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