“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
There is no time like the present to learn how to fly fish. We have modified the format of our popular Fly Fishing 101 Class to meet COVID safe social distancing protocols and will be offering the three-hour outdoor class on Saturdays from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.
Taught by Jim Sommercorn, Fly Fishing 101 is designed to give the novice angler a basic knowledge of fly-fishing. The cost is $95.00 per student.
The Big Wood
At 200 CFS, the Wood is at a perfect level for freely moving about the river allowing all the anglers ample room to fish. And with the air temps in the mid to high 80s, it is a perfect time to wet wade. Hatch activity has varied depending on what stretch of the river you select. If you do see bugs, it will likely be a mixed bag of some PMDs, Baetis, Tricos, Micro Caddis, Pink Alberts, Western Quills, Yellow Sallies, Crane Flies, and hoppers. For dry flies try smaller size 14 or 16 patterns as large attractors will turn fish but often get a short strike. A simple dry dropper setup can be deadly. Remember, the fish hit the fly with astonishing speed this time of year, so hone your hook setting skills. On a final note, as we head into the hottest time of the year, please return the trout to the water as quickly as possible. This is especially important with the days heating up and the water levels dropping. The best thing you can do for the trout is to learn how to use a Ketchum Release tool and purchase a thermometer. If the river reaches 68 degrees, take the day off.
The Creek is beginning to settle into its consistent summer pattern of hatches. The morning begins with Callibaetis and Baetis spinners with a few Trico Duns on the water. As the morning progresses, Baetis take center stage and the fish pod briefly. The Trico spinner fall is weak, but it should continue to build steam. When the morning activity subsides, blue damsels take the stage as well as Callibaetis duns and spinners. Of course, beetles and ants are good midday. In the evening, Caddis and PMDs can be abundant. While you can find good fishing opportunities all day long, you will need to have your box ready with all the usual suspects and bring your “A” game. 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 Upper Lost has been fishing well. Anglers who are most successful are the ones who remain mobile. For the most part, the Upper Lost fish are opportunists and will feed on the first well-presented fly. If you don’t turn any fish in some likely water, just move on and keep searching. This is a great place if you want to catch a variety of fish including rainbow, cutbow, cutthroat, brook trout, whitefish, and grayling.
The Big Lost Lower
Flows on the Lower Lost are up to around 380 CFS. Since access is limited, only strong waders should attempt this flow. The water has gone slightly off-color, perhaps due to algae growth in the lake. The hatches are a bit spotty, but you will see Baetis, Yellow Sallies, PMDs, Crane Flies, along with a few Tricos.
Floating the Salmon is still a good option. There are also good walk and wade opportunities all along the river from above Stanley all the way to Clayton. While the Stoneflies are dissipating, it is not too early to start tossing small hopper patterns. These fish also love standard beaded nymphs.
Southfork of the Boise
There may still be some stones about this week, but the big show has come and gone. The flows are holding steady at 1200 CFS which is a good level for floating, but some wade fishing opportunities can be found. There are some Pink Alberts during the day as well and in the evening be sure to have plenty of Caddis.
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: 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