“I have laid aside business, and gone a’fishing.” ~Izaak Walton
If you have yet to do so, it is time to make plans for your summer fly fishing adventures. Our guides are booking fast, the fly bins are stuffed, and new gear has been stocked to meet your fishing needs. The rivers are dropping, bugs are hatching, and fish are feeding. This should prove to be the best season yet.
The Brown Drakes are done for the year and the anglers camped around the Willows and Point of Rocks have cleared out. The Creek in June can best be described as sporadic. Still, the days are long, there are very few other anglers, and with the high water there are not too many other options. To match the unpredictable nature of the Creek, be prepared to search for sippers with small size 18 or 20 Baetis, swing streamers, float ants and beetles along the reeds and banks, drift a PMD, Callibaetis, or even a Green Drake over likely trout lies. You need a good selection of Harrop’s Baetis in size 18 and 20, PMDs is size 16, Callibaetis Duns, Spinners and Cripples in size 14 and 16, and Green Drake Duns and Cripples in size 12. Also, have a good selection of ants and beetles from size 12 to 16 for when the wind puts a chop on the surface. You might try a Damsel nymph if you fish the Pond. If you stay late, add some tan and olive Caddis is size 16 and 18 to your arsenal. So get on down to the Creek before the crowds of July and August and enjoy the variety of fishing opportunities.
Big Wood and Tributaries
The Wood in Hailey has rapidly dropped to just above 1,000 CFS. The upper river has cleared and some side channels are fishing well, but wading is still out of the question. Hole hopping to easy access points and fishing from the bank will be good but limited. Warm Springs has dropped to under 200 CFS and has cleared. While difficult to wade, the fishing on Warm Springs has been good.
Upper Big Lost
Trail Creek Pass is open, but the water is still very high. While it is a beautiful place to enjoy some wildflowers, the river is not ready for fishing just yet. The flows follow a very similar pattern to the Wood, so as we witness the flows start to drop in the Valley, the higher elevation portions of the Lost will be ready to explore.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are still too high. It is best to wait until late summer when the flows drop below 350 CFS before fishing here again.
The Salmon below Stanley is high, but flows are dropping fast. We will be able to start floating in the next week or so if it continues to drop at this rate. 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.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are still at 1920 CFS which is ideal for drift boats and rubber rafts. We are still on the watch for the giant stone flies which typically make an appearance towards the end of June. In the meanwhile, nymphing the riffles and runs with Rubber Legged Stones and other traditional stonefly patterns, as well as San Juan Worms, Caddis Larva, beaded PTs and Zebra Midge is effective.
Gavers Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and would make a great location for a family picnic. Come on by the shop for all your family fishing needs!
With the rivers still high, our local reservoirs are a good option. If you go, pay close attention to the weather as wind can make fishing a reservoir treacherous. And as always, be prepared with a life preserver and a sound making device in accordance with Idaho law. Both Magic and Little Wood reservoir fish well this time of year and can be accessed either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. Both are smaller reservoirs and will have hold over fish from last year as well as a fresh load of stocked fish. A bit farther down the road, is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. This fishery is managed by the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes and has three different reservoirs to pick from: Mountain View, Lake Billy Shaw, and Sheep Creek. For a small fee, you can fish all three and camping facilities are available for an addition fee. As for techniques in all locations, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka fresh water plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can be effective. Come on by the shop and we can set you up with the right flies and driving directions.
Silver Creek Flies: PMD’s 16 | Beatis 18 | Callibeatis 16 | Damsel Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18 | Pheasant Tails 16,18
Big Wood, Warm Springs, Big Lost, Salmon River Flies: Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | Caddis Larva | King Prince | Streamers
South Fork of the Boise Flies: Rubber Legged Stones | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flash Back Pheasant tails | King Prince | Streamers
Stillwater Flies: Pops Buggers | Standard Olive, Black, and Brown Wooley Buggers | Stayner’s Ducktail | Sheep Creek Special | Bouface Leech | Seal Buggers | Squirrel Leech | Chironomids | Olive Scuds | Perch Imitations
Upper Big Lost
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise