“On the best days on the river, the life of vibrating devices and glowing screens disappear, and all that matters is the temperature of the water, the speed of the flow, the skittishness of the fish, the accuracy of the fly, and the neatness of the cast.” ~ Kirk Wallace Johnson, author of The Feather Thief
No matter what might be holding your attention, fly fishing icon Joe Humphreys has a bit of advice: “Look up.” Simple words to live by. So, the next time you escape to the river and leave the beeping, buzzing, and glowing world behind and find yourself fixating too much on the water, the fish, the cast, and the fly…take pause and look up. The best days on the river start now.
The winds have been howling down at the Creek making delicate dry fly fishing a chore. But big ugly dries, beetles, streamers, and nymphs have been producing some great fishing opportunities. When the wind dies, expect to see a good number of Baetis, Callibaetis, as well as small PMDs. The Creek is going to start seeing more pressure as we head into July, so be sure to treat all the anglers you encounter with respect.
The Big Wood
The Wood is dropping; the flows are down to 1340 CFS. Side channels and easy access banks have been creating some fishing opportunities, but it is still too high to wade. As the water continues to drop and the summer weather pattern settles over Idaho, we will start watching for the arrival of the Green Drake hatch. The fishing is going to be fantastic on the Wood this summer, we just need a bit of patience as flows continue to come down. Remember, Warm Springs is the first tributary to drop to fishable levels. Flows on Warm Springs have finally come down to below 200 CFS, and once it hits 100 CFS it is prime…keep your eyes on this one!
A few of our guides are starting to scout the waters with drift boats. Be sure to book a float trip on this spectacular fishery as it should be perfect conditions in early to mid-July.
South Fork of the Boise
Flows are holding steady at 2,500 CFS and may go even lower over the next few days. Fishing the side channels with heavy nymphs and streamers remains the best option and drift boat fishing should only be done by expert oarsmen. We are still a few weeks away from seeing the Salmon Fly hatch; however, Mormon Crickets and Cicadas are present and make a good meal for a hungry trout.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows below the damn are matching the inflow at 730 CFS. Hopefully, in late July or August, the flows will return to fishable levels under 350 CFS.
It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season.
Both Magic and the Little Wood reservoirs can be fished from shore or from a float tube; however, please be aware of the spring winds that can make boating/ tubing unsafe. For those looking to get out of town, a great option is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Duck Valley 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 as well for an additional fee. If you go, please be aware that this is open range country and often the cows are in the middle of the road. 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. 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.
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 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Stillwater Flies: Seal Buggars | Balanced Leeches | Bouface Leech | Snowcone Chironomids | Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
Silver Creek: Green Drakes | 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 oliveBig Wood and Tributaries: Tungsten Nemec Stone | Golden Stone | Pats Rubber Legs | Green Drake Nymphs | Buggers | Chubby Chernobyl’s | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon | King Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise