“During the dry years, the people forgot about the rich years, and when the wet years returned, they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.”
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden
The forecast continues to predict hot, dry days for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, overnight temperatures will be cooler which will bring the water temperatures down. The periodic thunderstorms have also helped. The best time to fish our freestones is in the mornings into the early afternoon. When the water temperature gets above 65 degrees the fish begin to show stress. When it gets about 67 degrees it’s time to call it a day. Please avoid fishing in the afternoon and evenings until conditions improve. As always, pinch your barbs, land fish quickly, wet your hands (or use a Ketchum Release), and keep the fish in the water. Whether the years are dry or wet, we always need to protect these priceless resources. It should always be this way.
The Idaho Nature Conservancy has closed access to fishing at the Silver Creek Preserve until conditions improve. The low flows and high water temperatures the Creek is currently experiencing has resulted in fallen oxygen levels placing great stress on the trout. In short, along with water temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO) is a key factor in the health of Silver Creek’s trout. During the daytime, DO is introduced into the water mostly by aquatic plants photosynthesizing. At night, those same plants will respirate; consuming oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide into the water. On the Creek, although water temperatures will seem ideal early in the morning, this period has some of the lowest DO concentrations. This is just as stressful on the fish as the 70-degree water temperatures which have been occurring later in the day. In addition, as of July 1st, the Idaho Department of Water Resources has issued a curtailment order in the Bellevue triangle cutting off ground water to farmers resulting in millions of dollars in losses. This includes the cold, ground-water well the Double R Ranch has been pumping directly into the lower Pond. Cutting off ground-water users could increase the discharge from the many springs that make up Silver Creek. Theoretically, this could result in a small increase in flow and decrease in water temperature, but we will have to wait and see.
The Big Wood is currently flowing near 200 cubic feet per second at Hailey, which is about 25 percent of its average. The low, clear water is making the fishing more technical than usual. Depending on which stretch you fish, look for pale morning duns, blue winged olives, golden stones and cream-colored crane flies. Fish far and fine with long leaders and light tippet to be successful. The best fishing is from 9:00 am until about noon. Water temperatures start in the high 50’s and may go into the low 70’s during the afternoon and evening. When the sun warms the water too much it’s time to find something else to do.
Mackay Reservoir is getting very low. Yet, the flows below the reservoir are holding at 300 CFS as the irrigation demand far exceeds the supply. Once the reservoir is depleted, the inflow will equal the outflow. There is a minimum streamflow of 50 CFS on the Lost. In the meanwhile, access is limited at the current flows and wading can be challenging. And like all our fisheries, the best fishing is in the morning.
Upper Lost River
The North, East and West Fork of the Lost River System are all very low and clear. There are decent hatches of caddis, small mayflies and yellow sallies. The fish are holding in the deeper pools and you’ll need to cover a lot of water searching for fish. The Big Lost below the confluence of the North and East Fork is fishing well in the morning.
The Salmon River is flowing at about 30 percent of its average. Water temperatures are starting in the high 50’s and going into the high 60’s by the afternoon. The morning fishing is good until about noon. Expect to see some golden stones, caddis, and even some early spruce moths.
Southfork of the Boise
Flows are just below 1800 CFS. Drifting is your best option with a few spots to wade along the roadside. Salmon flies are the main event along with some small mayflies and caddis flies in the evening. The water remains cold as it is discharged from the bottom of Anderson Ranch Reservoir.
The local ponds have been stocked and are ready for a family picnic and some fishing.
Big Wood: Alt RKR PMD | Stimulators | EZ Caddis | Bullet French Nymph | Roza Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Quilldigon | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost: Golden Stones | Apple Green PMD | Baetis Sparkle Duns Harrop | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Tasmanian Devil | Roza Perdigon | Lite Brite Perdigons | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | EZ Caddis | Spruce Moth | Tasmanian Devil | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs
South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Caddis | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
|Silver Creek||81.3 cfs|
|Big Wood||198 cfs|
|The Big Lost||312 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||1210 cfs|
|Salmon River||935 cfs|
George Daniel Clinic | July 24
Are you ready to up your nymphing game to the next level? Author, coach, and all around fishing guru, George Daniel, is going to be leading an intro to Euro Nymphing clinic Saturday, July 24 for beginners and intermediate anglers. The price is $250 per angler and the class will be limited to 10.