“You can’t play a Bach solo partita on the fly rod…but a split bamboo fly rod, used well, is also a small embodiment of human grace.” – George Black
August means the Sun Valley Summer Symphony season begins. So when you are done listening to the rush of water against your legs, the song of the Red-winged Blackbird, the collective hum of mayfly wings, and the rhythmic swish of a fly line, head on over to the Pavilion. There is more than one way to find a small embodiment of grace this August.
The morning fishing on the Creek has been improving with a mix of insects including Baetis, Tricos, Callibaetis, PMDs, and Caddis on the surface between 8 AM and 10:30 AM. The Tricos, while still inconsistent, have arrived, and any angler heading to the Creek in the early morning should be well equipped with Trico Duns and Spinners in size 20 to 24. If you arrive early, look for the Trico Duns to be on the water and pray for clouds of Tricos to fill the air. To date, the Trico spinner falls have been temperamental and localized depending on the wind and air temperature but should get stronger as we enter August. The Baetis (size 22 to 24) will sometimes outnumber the Tricos. Luckily Harrop’s Paraspinner covers both of these bugs. Also, an occasional Callibaetis Spinner (size 16-18) or PMD ( size 16-18) will fool a wily early morning riser. After the morning frenzy is done stick around; the Damsel fishing is gaining momentum. To be successful with this bug it is best to have a variety of patterns. Also, be prepared for a Callibaetis spinner fall. If the wind blows, shorten your leader and try your favorite terrestrial (beetles, ants, and hoppers). The evening fishing can be fantastic as well and without the crowds of the morning frenzy.
The Big Wood
August on the Wood is going to fish like July; with the water finally dropping to more wadable levels, there are portions of the river that have yet to receive any fishing pressure. Anglers still need to wade with caution, especially below Ketchum. While the big bugs of early summer have faded away, hoppers are starting to fill the void. Still, expect to find Pink Albert, PMD, Baetis, Trico, Yellow Sallies, and Western Quill hatches depending on where you are on the river. You can match these bugs with a selection of parachute style dry flies (size 16-14). When searching for fish, try small nymphs in size 16 or 18 off the bend of one of a high floating Parachute or hopper pattern. For the deep, fast water, try a tandem nymph rig with a flashy and a natural looking nymph combination. As the days heat up, you might try “wet wading” as a way to stay cool. A good way to spend the day is to start on the Creek for the morning hatch and then drift over to the Wood as the day heats up. Have fun and wade safely!
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
Both these Big Wood tributaries are a good option if you enjoy fishing a small creek very close to town. They have been recently stocked around the bridges and some select camp sites and there is a good population of wild trout in both. Keep in mind, when the water gets lower, the fish get more difficult to catch. Be stealthy in your approach and size down your tippet and flies and you will be successful.
This fishery continues to produce great fishing opportunities for cutthroat, rainbow, whitefish and bull trout for drift boaters and wade fisherman alike. If you choose to wade fish, there are plenty of pull offs to park your car and search this wonderful fishery. Large attractor dries and standard beaded nymphs are very effective. Also, Spruce Moths are beginning to make an appearance in the stretches lined with evergreens and can provide excellent dry fly fishing.
South Fork of the Boise
The Salmon flies have petered out; the prevalent insects will be caddis and Pink Alberts. To be successful, you might try working the side channels and riffles. Nymphing with caddis larva, PTs, and zebra midge can be a good option when no bugs are present. With flows around 1500, your best option is to fish from a drift boat, but you can wade fish along the roadside in select spots. If the midday fishing is slow, stick around for the evening fishing…it has been spectacular.
Upper Lost Drainage
The reports from this area have been mixed. Still, if you seek solitude and scenery, then the Upper Lost is the perfect place to go. Those anglers who search the water diligently with dries and dry dropper rigs will find quality Fine Spot Cutthroats, cutbows, and rainbows. These fish are opportunistic feeders and will usually give an attractor dry fly a try, but they may only give you one chance.
The flows below the damn continue to drop but remain too high for all but the strongest waders. Hopefully the flows will return to fishable levels under 350 CFS before the end of the month.
It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So, drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
South Fork of the Boise: Pink Alberts | 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: Tricos | 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
Big Lost, Big Wood and Tributaries: Purple Haze | Elk Hair Caddis | Golden Stone | Pats Rubber Legs | Buggers | Chubby Chernobyl’s | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon | King Prince Nymph | Zebra Midge
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise