“Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.” – Raymond Joseph Teller
An outside observer of an angler may not see the skillful deception. The whys and the wherefores of fly selection, presentation, and approach are often too subtle to be perceived. The angler’s habits are honed by time and experience. Still, the magic happens every time a trout decides to take the angler’s fly.
The Brown Drakes are done for the year. As the weather pattern stabilizes after last week’s cold front, we should see decent PMDs along with some Callibaetis and Baetis return during the afternoon. Another cold front is slated to roll through by the weekend. If the wind does howl, all is not lost on the fishing front. Blustery days are good times to pull streamers or float large beetle and ant patterns. Remember, when fishing the Preserve, the visitor center remains closed until further notice. Look for posted information at each access allowing you sign in via your phone with a QR code or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
The Big Wood
The spring weather rollercoaster has put the Big Wood flows all over the map. After peaking at nearly 1,200 CFS a week ago, the flows are dropping quickly. Currently the flows are just over 600 CFS and should continue to drop. We are still expecting Green Drakes to start sometime between the 15th and 20th of this month, so stay tuned. In the meanwhile, wading is a challenge and should only be down with extreme caution. Side channels and braids are still your best option; however, the fish will be moving around as flows can drop nearly 50 to 100 CFS a day. A spot that is too high and swift one day may be perfect the next. You may also try Warm Springs as it is already flowing below 100 CFS and is very wadable at this level.
The Big Lost Upper
While Trail Creek Pass is open, the Upper Lost is high just like the Wood. If you go, you will find a lot of wildflowers, green valleys, and a few spots slow enough to drift a fly. We are still a week or two away from easily wading and moving about the river.
The Big Lost Lower
The flows are up above 450 CFS. It would be best to wait until the flows drop a bit for all but the hardiest wade fishers. We expect the flows to drop sooner than later. Stay tuned.
The flows bumped up to over 3,000 CFS. It can be floated but it is a better whitewater experience than a fishing trip. Wait to go once the runoff subsides. The good flows should coincide with the appearance of large Stoneflies.
Southfork of the Boise
Flows are perfect for drift boat anglers at 1,200 CFS. During the day, try big bugs like rubber legged stones and anything foam tight to the bank. The caddis in the evenings have been spectacular if you decide to stay until dark.
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 an alternative to the high flowing rivers, try one of or 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, Big Lost, and 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 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: 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