“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin
We can tell you which river to fish, what fly to use, and the best time to go. But if you really want to learn, you need to pick up a rod and do it. If you are looking to get involved, now is a great time to try one of our Fly Fishing 101 sessions. Every Saturday through mid-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 Brown Drakes have exited for the season and the crowds on the lower river have dissipated. Bugwise, there has been a decent midday Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall on the pond. Some Baetis, Green Drakes, as well as a few PMDs can be found in the Preserve. But if you see no hatches, nymphing with small and medium sized patterns has been fairly consistent. The evening fishing has slowed down, but should improve as daytime highs increase and the weather stabilizes. Remember, the Nature Conservancy has improved access and kindly asks 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.
As expected with the warm up last week, the flows on the Wood came up to season high just over 1000 CFS and went off color. Cooler weather has returned to the Valley and the flows are already coming down. If you fish the Wood this week, your best option is to seek side channels and stay mobile. As the flows rapidly drop, the fish will continue to adjust and find new holding water. Search with nymphs, attractor dries, or streamers along the edges and through the slower buckets. Do not try to cross at this level. If you run out of fishable water, move to another access. By the end of June, the Wood will be prime for wading and this should coincide with the arrival of the Green Drake hatch.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
These Big Wood tributaries are fishable, but very low for this time of year. There are stocked rainbows around the bridges and easy access points, but an angler who is willing to move around and employ stealth will find a few wild fish.
The flows are up and down on this tailwater, but are still at or above 300 CFS. This will fish better once the flows drop a bit more and stabilize.
Upper Lost River
Like the Wood, this upper Lost has bumped up in flows. In another week or so this will be ready to go. But if you are willing to hop around you may find fishable water above Wildhorse toward the Copper Basin or on the North Fork.
A handful of drift boat anglers have begun to float this scenic river. While there are some stoneflies fluttering about, the fishing is still on the slow side. This should turn on in another week or two as temperatures rise and the water continues to drop.
Southfork of the Boise
This is a good place to launch your drift boat as flows are steady at just above 1800 CFS. These are pushy flows and only experienced rowers should attempt it. Wade fishing is very limited. We are a week or two away from the Salmon fly hatch and better fishing.
It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds are stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season.
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||76.3 cfs|
|Big Wood||606 cfs|
|The Big Lost||315 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||1800 cfs|
|Salmon River||2830 cfs|