“It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.”
– Albert Einstein
The number of fish caught is not the measure. What makes a good angler? The ability to ask the right questions and stay with them. If you are looking to learn the right questions to ask, join a Fly Fishing 101 session this summer. Every Saturday starting June 5th through the middle of August, we will be holding these three-hour hands-on classes. The cost is $95 per person and has a minimum enrollment of 4 and a maximum of 6. Interested? Register online or call the shop at 208-726-5282.
The low water and warm daytime temperatures have triggered the Brown Drake hatch! If you decide to go, please enjoy the camaraderie, respect private property, and keep the fish wet. Remember, the hatch starts on the lower part of the Creek, progresses upstream each day, and only lasts a week or two. Take a good selection of Brown Drake patterns in a variety of stages as the fish can be selective. If you fish the Preserve or Pond during the day, expect a few PMDs, some Baetis, and Callibaetis duns and spinners. Beetle and ant patterns can work as well. Nymphing dead drift with large or small beaded patterns or pulling streamers can also be productive. Remember, the Nature Conservancy has improved access and kindly ask that users stay on the designated trails and utilize the access points to prevent habitat degradation. Also, the visitor center is being remodeled and will remain 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.
While the Wood is lower than average for this time of year, the wading is still extremely dangerous. The river will continue to rise this week as the last remnants of snow release from the mountain tops. Be sure to tighten your wading belt, fish with a partner, and avoid crossing. Keep in mind that with the lower than average flows, along with cool water temps and a lack of hatches, the trout are concentrated in and around the deep, slow holding water, the side channels, and along the banks. When fishing, you may be able to bring some fish to the surface with attractor dries, but nymphing with an indicator or Euro style is the most productive.
Flows are extremely low and wading is easy on this Big Wood tributary. Fish and Game has stocked trout around the bridges, but if you wade off the beaten path you will find a few beautiful, wild trout.
Flows are around 380 CFS making wading very difficult. Best to wait until the flows come down before hitting this tailwater.
Upper Lost River
Like the Wood, the flows are going up and wading is going to be dangerous. Still, this would be a great place for having a picnic, viewing wildflowers, and hole hopping in search of trout.
The flows are half of what they usually are for this time of year. While it is early, you might consider floating with an experienced guide. In a week or two stoneflies will start fluttering about and the dry fly fishing should be excellent.
Southfork of the Boise
At 1,600 CFS, the flows are perfect for experienced drift boat anglers to navigate, but the wade fishing is limited. The fishing was decent over opening weekend and it will improve as the Salmon flies get going later in June.
It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds will be stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season.
Morman, Mackay, the Little Wood, and Magic can be fished either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. The wind can be strong, so always follow safety precautions when floating. Another option, a bit farther down the road, is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. This fishery has been closed over the last year due to Covid, but has opened to accept visitors once again. If you have a day or two, this is definitely worth the trip. 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 additional fee. As for techniques, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown, or olive on an intermediate or type 3 or 5 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka freshwater plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. Sheep Creek Specials always seem to work in Duck Valley. Also, suspending a series of nymphs or chironomids at the right depth can also be effective.
Big Wood: Chubby Chernobyl | Stimulators | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Perdichigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Silver Creek: PMDs | Baetis | Callibaetis | Green Drakes | Brown Drakes | Bullet French Nymph | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pine Squirrel Leech
Big Lost: Golden Stones | PMDs | Sexy Walts | Perdichigons | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | Duracell Jig | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Caddis | Sexy Walts | Perdichigons | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Stillwater: Balance Leeches | Sheep Creek Special | Woolly Buggers | Seal Buggers | Chironomids | Damsel Nymphs | Prince Nymphs
|Silver Creek||107 cfs|
|Big Wood||109 cfs|
|The Big Lost||383 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||1810 cfs|
|Salmon River||2040 cfs|