“Naked women could have been skydiving into a bullseye on his head and he’d have kept casting.” ~Lorain Hemingway
It is Brown Drake time on the Creek! And during a Brown Drake hatch, both fish and fisherman are not easily distracted; an angler’s compulsion to fish is equally matched by a trout’s need to feed. These are big mayflies, and they tend to draw big fish to the surface to feed with abandon and big crowds once the word is out that the hatch is on. The Brown Drakes, ephemera simulans, are truly ephemeral; the hatch only lasts one to two weeks tops; once the hatch wanes, the Brown Drake crowd moves on to the Henry’s Fork for a repeat performance. Remember, this is a bug that loathes the sun and both the spinner fall from the previous night’s hatch and the emergence take place simultaneously after the sun is down. The action can be intense and incredibly frustrating if you don’t have the right fly. Come on by the shop and we can help stock your box with all the right patterns to match each stage of this insects life. So stay focused, and get on down to the Creek to see some familiar faces and witness this amazing hatch while it lasts!
The Brown Drake activity occurs mostly in the Willows and Point of Rocks access area in the evenings. The upper Creek, the Nature Conservancy and Kilpatrick Pond, will fish well in the afternoon with a smattering of PMDs, Baetis, and Callibaetis on the surface. Terrestrials, beetles and ants, have been working when no other bugs are around. Also, nymphing with a small beaded Pheasant Tail or Zebra Midge (18 or 20) is very productive. This is also a good time of year to pull a streamer through a deep bucket or at Sullivan’s Slough for the chance at a big brown and rainbow.
The flows on the Wood dipped below 900 CFS last week, but with the warmer temperatures of late it is on the rise again. Still, anglers willing to hole hop from side channel to side channel will find some fish using heavy nymphs or streamers. This would be a good diversion while waiting for the Brown Drakes on the Creek.
SF OF THE BOISE
The flows have dropped a bit to 1,980 CFS. Still, this is best fished from a drift boat. There is minimal wade fishing this time of year. This fishery will start to get good later in June and July once the Salmon flies get active. In the meanwhile, fish a variety of large stonefly nymphs or caddis larva deep along the seams and riffles. You can also start pounding the banks with big attractor patterns.
The river below Stanley is still too high. Hopefully we will be able to start floating by mid June. In the meanwhile, the stretch of river around the hatchery, while high, can stay relatively clear this time of year and has decent numbers of whitefish and a few trout. Try deep nymphing with rubber legged stones or streamers.
Flows are currently holding at 463 CFS. Mackay Reservoir is full, so it is likely the flows will go up again any day. Expect flows to stay high through June and July. Once the flows drop below 350 CFS in August, this river will be ready to fish again.
UPPER BIG LOST
Trail Creek Pass is open, but the rivers are still too high. It won’t be long and the headwaters of the East Fork will be ready to go as the water starts to drop.
STILLWATERS & LOCAL WATERS
Gavers Lagoon, Penny, and Lakecreek ponds are great locations for a family picnic and some fishing. And if you are looking to get away from the crowds on Silver Creek, Magic, Mackay, and Little Wood reservoirs are good options with a float tube, pontoon, or from a boat. If you do go out in a watercraft, be sure to always have a safety whistle and a life jacket as the wind can be unpredictable this time of year. I like to pull Seal buggers and Pops buggers in black or olive off of a sinking line like a type 3 or 5 or suspend a team of nymphs off an indicator like Prince nymphs, Copper Johns, or classic Chironomids with a floating line. Whatever you decide to do, come on by the shop and we will hook you up with the best flies for your situation.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Lost