“I bought some instant water one time but I didn’t know what to add to it.”
– Steven Wright
After a dry winter, the Wood River Valley was like a gag can of dehydrated water. Come spring, we are living the punch line. While this cool, wet weather may only be a temporary stay from the severe drought, it is certainly welcome. For anglers, patience during high water will be rewarded come summer.
Typically, the first or second week of June, Brown Drakes hatch and hoards of anglers gather in the Willows and Point of Rocks. It seems the cool weather has delayed this hatch, but once a sustained warm weather pattern persists, look out. If you fish the Preserve or Pond during the day, expect PMDs, some Baetis, and Callibaetis during the heat of the day. Searching with ants or beetles can work as well. Nymphing 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. You are, as always, expected to sign in when using the Nature Conservancy. This can be done via your phone with the QR code posted at all access points or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
The Wood is flowing high and off color at the moment. If the water clears and drops over the next week it might be worth exploring a side channel with some large nymphs, a streamer, or a foam dry. In the meanwhile, it might be best to fish and whistle somewhere else.
The Upper Lost
The Upper Lost has also blown up. The wildflowers are starting to show, however, so it is worth the drive over the pass. In another week or two, the upper reaches of the East Fork might be ready for fishing.
The Salmon should be ready for float trips about the third week of June. The upper portions of the river, around Decker Flats, will be fishable sooner than that, especially from the bank. In the meanwhile, the Yankee Fork Dredge Ponds, Kids Fishing Pond, Cape Horn Lake, Stanley Lake, and Alturas Lake have all been stocked.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are up to around 660 CFS. It will be best to wait for flows to come down to around 350 CFS before fishing here.
South Fork of the Boise
Anderson Reservoir is at 74% of capacity and filling fast. How long the flows below will remain at 300 CFS is unknown, but this is a good option for some early-season wade fishing. There have been reports of decent caddis activity, but the large stone flies have not yet started to show.
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.
When the rivers are high, lakes are a great option. Mackay, Magic, and (a tad farther down the road) Duck Valley can all be fished either from the bank, a boat, or a float tube. If you do decide to tube or boat, please be aware that the spring winds have been strong. Always carry a whistle and PFDs as well. As for fishing, 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 or chironomids at the right depth can be effective.
Big Wood: Chubby Chernobyl | Juicy Stone | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Silver Creek: Callibaetis | Poxyback Callibaetis | Baetis | Green Drakes | Brown Drakes | Bullet French Nymph | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pine Squirrel Leech
Big Lost Flies: Chubby Chernobyl | Juicy Stone | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Juicy Stone | Deep Cleaner | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Legs
Stillwater Flies: Balance Leeches | Sheep Creek Special | Woolly Buggers | Seal Buggers | Chironomids | Damsel Nymphs | Prince Nymphs
|Silver Creek||103 cfs|
|Big Wood||1290 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||663 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||295 cfs|