As predicted, last weeks warm weather brought out the Brown Drakes, and reminding us of the transience of all things, has already run its course. If you missed the action this year, be sure to put it on your bucket list for next year. The warm weather has also brought the Wood, the Upper Lost and the Salmon back up to runoff levels making them very difficult, if not down right dangerous, to fish. The Wood has doubled since the last forecast, but is showing signs of leveling off and next weeks weather forecast is calling for cooler temperatures which will bring the flows back down so stay tuned. In the wake of the Brown Drakes, we still have very good fishing opportunities on Silver Creek from the Preserve down to Point of Rocks. Warm Springs, a tributary to the Wood, is also fishing well. So if you are looking to treat your dad to some fishing on his special day, you should consider booking a guide trip to take advantage of some great early season fishing. If your dad needs to brush up his technique or even find a new hobby, we have a great special on our Fly Fishing 101 classes until the end of the month: A free two day class (FF101) with the purchase of any Sage rod! There are few things more important in life then spending some time on the water with your dad! Let us help you make it special.
Post Brown Drake time on the Creek can be fickle. Most days will yield a fair number of bugs, but as always so much depends on the air temperature, the barometer, and the wind. The anglers who are successful this time of year need to be resourceful and adapt to the mutable nature of the Creek. If the bugs do hatch, you can expect to find mostly Baetis in size 18 and 20 along with some PMDs and Callibaetis in size 14 and 16 depending on which part of the river you are on. You may even see some Green Drakes if you are on the upper Preserve. You will need to use a long leader (12 ft.) and fine tippet (6X) with a classic fly first presentation if you find consistently feeding fish. When you have a light hatch and sporadic feeders that are difficult to pin down, try a dry dropper rig. For a dry, try a terrestrial or a large PMD trailed by a small (size 16 to 20) Pheasant Tail or a Barr’s Emerger, beaded or non- beaded. If the wind blows the terrestrial fishing should be good. You might also try swinging a Black Leech or swimming a Damsel Nymph. If you do this, be sure you tippet is stout enough to handle an aggressive take. If you decide to stay until dark, the caddis will make an appearance if the air temps stay pleasant.
The Big Wood
The Wood is high. Wait for it to drop before you give this serious consideration. Of course, you could find fish in the side channels or even North of town, but really not enough water is fishable to make it worth your time. It won’t be long before the water is right and the Green Drakes will be out and about. Patience.
Big Lost River Upper & Lower
Below Mackay, the flows have gone to 549 CFS which is very high and difficult to wade. I would not recommend fishing this area until it begins to drop again. It is hard to say when this will happen, so keep your eye on the Idaho River Flows page (use the link on our website). The upper Lost will follow the same pattern as the Wood. I expect the good fishing up here to be a couple weeks off yet.
South Fork of the Boise
The South Fork is holding steady at 1600 CFS which is a good level for floating. The fish will be tight to the banks and concentrated in the side channels. This time of year is typically a bit slow on the South Fork. This fishery will get good once the Salmon Fly hatch begins later in June. If you go, have an assortment of heavy rubber legged stone fly nymphs for the riffles and some big foamy drys for working the banks. Streamers might pick up a big Bull Trout as well.
With all the high water on our local freestones, lake, pond or reservoir fishing is a great idea right now. Magic, Mackay or Duck Valley are good options whether you want to float tube, pontoon, our fish from a boat. Be sure to always have a safety whistle and a life jacket. In June, 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. If it stays warm, you might also consider pulling some Damsel or Callibaetis nymphs. This is also a good time to consider going to CJ Strike to chase carp or the Bruneau Sand Dunes for bass and bluegill. Whatever you decide to do, come on by the shop and we will hook you up with the best flies for your situation.
This is a great alternative to the Wood if you want to fish a freestone right now. If you find water that is not moving to fast, you will find fish. There is a good population of wild fish in this river right know and if you catch one please return it to the river. Fish and Game does stock this river around the bridges and these fish are put there for you to take. Try fishing big dries like Turk’s Tarantula, Royal Stimulators, or Parachute Hare’s Ears with a large beaded Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph, or Green Drake nymphs. Streamers, like Black, Olive, or Brown Woolly Buggers in size 8 or 10 are also very effective this time of year. Of course, double nymph rigs with an indicator off a suspended sighter, like a Thingamabobber, will produce. Go with a big and ugly Rubber Leg Stone followed by a Green Drake Nymph, a Prince Nymph, a Rainbow Warrior, or Bishop ‘s Dynamite.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake and Gavers Lagoon have been stocked and are a great option for a family outing.
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Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.~ Henry David Thoreau
photo by Terry Ring