“People who describe the glass as half full are not delusional optimists…[t]hey are describing reality as it is. The cynic who describes the glass as half empty is focusing their energy on something that is not actually there.”
– Rosamund and Benjamin Zander
Pessimistic anglers are never satisfied…the hatch is too short, the fish too few and too small. Their focus is on the past, the future, or on some unrealistic expectations. While the angler who meets the day, the hatch, the fish as they are in the moment is never disappointed. The optimistic angler focuses on process, not results. Which kind of angler will you be today?
The Big Wood
This may be the last week for Green Drakes. The hatch has made its way up the Valley; however, you could still find a Drake or two hatching anywhere on the Wood. And the fish will still take large Drake-like bugs, so don’t put them away for the season just yet. There are also a good number of PMDs, Baetis, Rusty Spinners, Pink Alberts, Caddis, and assorted Stoneflies hatching currently. What fly you select will be determined by the area you decide to fish, so pay close attention to the trout and the bugs present. Nymphing is also productive if the fish refuse to look at your dries. It was mentioned last week and it is worth repeating… 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.
The Creek is fishing fair in the morning and throughout the day but we are still waiting for consistent early morning Trico action to start in the next week or two. Currently, the morning hatch is mostly Baetis with a few Callibaetis in the mix. The post hatch fishing is getting better with more and more damsels appearing every day. Fishing terrestrials or nymphing can be productive when few fish appear to be feeding. 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 East Fork above Wildhorse and the North Fork are fishing well; however, the main stem is still a tad high for comfortable wading. You will find good numbers of bugs. PMDs, caddis, and stone flies are hatching from late morning into the afternoon. This is a great place if you want to potentially catch rainbow, cutbow, cutthroat, brook trout, whitefish, and grayling all in one outing.
The Big Lost Lower
The Lower Lost is at 340 CFS. This water level is pushy to wade but with a wading partner, not impossible. You will find fish feed throughout the morning into the early afternoon on a variety of insects: PMDs, Baetis, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies. Be prepared with a variety of dries and nymphs to match what the fish feeding on in any given stretch of water.
The flows are perfect for a day of floating from a drift boat on the Salmon river. Cutthroat trout hunt just off the banks for the multitude of Salmon flies, Golden Stones, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis fluttering about. You will find decent wade fishing opportunities above Stanley.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows are at 1200 CFS; good for floating but wading opportunities are limited. The Salmon fly hatch is waning, but big bugs still are present in the form of cicadas and Mormon crickets. 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 | 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