Saturday, May 24th, our local waters, including the Big Wood, Silver Creek and the South Fork of the Boise, open up to fishing. For me, the season opener is like Christmas. Silver Creek has been sitting under the tree like a wrapped present, and finally this weekend, we get to open it. The anticipation has been heightened by all the work that has been done in the upper and lower Kilpatrick Pond. I look forward to exploring the newly renovated portions of the Creek and watching how this proactive work improves the health of the river over this season and years to come. If opening weekend is not your idea of fun, just wait a few days and the river will be empty. While waiting for the opener, or just a few days past the opener, this is a good time to check your gear. I like to screw a few new studs into my wading boots and replace the laces. I also, will turn my SIMMS waders inside out and spray them down with rubbing alcohol to reveal the pin holes and fill them. Finally, I will clean and stretch my fly lines. Of course, if the gear is worn out, it is better to find that out before I hit the water.
The opener on the Creek should be good. The weather forecast is calling for mild conditions. Expect to find sporadic bugs this time of year, but definitely have some PMDs in size 14 and 16 as well as some Baetis in size 18-20. If there is a hatch it will be late in the day. The fish will not be picky, and just about every fly and technique you employ could work. In late May and early June you can also get away with larger than average tippet like 4 and 5X. If you are planning on catching the Brown Drake hatch this year, keep your eyes on the weather and your ears on social media. The hatch typically occurs a week before or a week after June 10th.
THE LOWER BIG LOST
The flows are up and wading this river is now extremely difficult. There are a few spots were you can fish, but is difficult to make a day of it at these levels. If you do go, the high flows have turned the hatch off, but big bugs dredged deep can find fish. Try San Juan Worms, Large Rubber Leg Stones and Prince Nymphs on an indicator rig.
The flows on the Wood are on their typical spring roller coaster ride. To date the flows have peaked at around 1,000 CFS and may go higher once the warm weather settles in the Valley. Don’t expect to fish here, or Warm Springs, until the flows start coming down and the silt form last years fire settles out.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
At the time of writing, the flows are holding steady at 307 CFS. Keep your eye on this one. Once the Anderson Reservoir hits that magic number, flows will come up and it is usually right around opening day. And when they do the question remains: will the flows be high enough to flush some of the debris that washed in during last years floods or not? We will just have to wait and see. If the flows stay low, expect to find good numbers of fish still on redds…leave them alone and tread lightly. There will be plenty of fish to play with. If the flows come up, expect some discoloration of the water and wade carefully around the loose debris. If you want to float during the high flows, I would recommend using a rubber raft until things settle out. For bugs, have a good supply of Rubber Legged Stones, Caddis Larva, and some small stuff like zebra midge.
Magic, Mackay, Anderson, Duck Valley…these are all good options this time of year. From the bank or from a boat, stillwaters in the spring offer great fishing opportunities. Come on into the shop and we will make sure you have the right lines and the right flies to be successful.
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“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” – John Buchan