“A fly fishing season does not pass in which I do not find myself misguided
by following one of my favorite precepts.” ~ Huish Edye
As this fly fishing season gets under way, keep this one essential fly fishing precept in mind: there is always something new to learn. Follow this, and you are sure not be misguided! And, if you or a friend are looking to learn the sport of fly fishing for the first time or simply get back into it, we have a great opportunity for you…Our one-day Fly Fishing 101 classes start June 2nd.
The Brown Drake’s have yet to make an appearance. The cool weather and thunderstorm activity have kept this hatch at bay, but as soon as we get some sustained warm weather, it should happen…so stay tuned. The upper portions of the Creek, including the Nature Conservancy and Kilpatrick Pond, fished very well over the opening weekend. With the crowds and high water on the rest of the rivers, this is still the best option. The Creek tends to fish well in the afternoon with a smattering of PMDs, Baetis, and Callibaetis on the surface. Terrestrials, beetles and ants, have been working when no other bugs are around. Also, nymphing with a small beaded Pheasant Tail or Zebra Midge (18 or 20) is very productive. This is also a good time of year to pull a streamer through a deep bucket or at Sullivan’s Slough for the chance at a big brown and rainbow.
The Wood in Hailey is currently flowing over 2,000 CFS. Flows should start to drop and clear towards the middle of June. Once this occurs, side channels will become fishable, but wading will still be dangerous. By the end of June into the first week of July, the Wood should be at a fishable level with limited wading opportunities just in time for the Green Drake hatch. Also, keep your eyes on the flows on Warm Springs as this is typically the first tributary to drop and become fishable several weeks before the Wood is ready.
Upper Big Lost
While Trail Creek Pass is open, the water is very high at over 2,000 CFS on the main stem of the Upper Lost. While it is a beautiful place to enjoy some wildflowers, the river is not ready for fishing just yet. The flows follow a very similar pattern to the Wood, so as we witness the flows start to drop in the Valley, then perhaps the higher elevation portions of the Lost will be ready to explore.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are over 1,667 CFS on the Lost and may go even higher. It is best to wait until late summer when the flows drop below 350 CFS before fishing here again.
The stretch of river around the hatchery, while high, can stay relatively clear this time of year and has decent numbers of whitefish and a few trout. Try deep nymphing with rubber legged stones or streamers. We expect the lower river to become floatable in mid-June, and really come into its prime around the first week of July. Stay tuned!
South Fork of the Boise
Flows have bumped up to 4,000 CFS. This is very high and only expert boaters should attempt this level. Keep in mind the water is frigid and a mistake at these flows can be life threatening. The fishing will be best right tight to the bank and in the side channels or below the islands. The large Salmon fly hatch is coming in late June, so running large rubber legged stones on or near the bottom can be very effective.
Gavers Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds should all be stocked for the opener and would make a great location for a family picnic. Come on by the shop for all your family fishing needs!
With the rivers still high, our local reservoirs are a good option. If you go, pay close attention to the weather as wind can make fishing a reservoir treacherous. And as always, be prepared with a life preserver and a sound making device in accordance with Idaho law. Both Magic and Little Wood reservoir fish well this time of year and can be accessed either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. Another option, would be to check out Mormon or Little Camas reservoirs. Both are smaller reservoirs and will have hold over fish from last year as well as a fresh load of stocked fish. A bit farther down the road, is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. 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 addition fee. As for techniques in all locations, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka fresh water plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can be effective. Come on by the shop and we can set you up with the right flies and driving directions.
Silver Creek Flies: PMD’s 16 | Beatis 18 | Callibeatis 16 | Damsel Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18 | Pheasant Tails 16,18
Big Wood, Warm Springs, Big Lost, Salmon River Flies: Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | Caddis Larva | King Prince | Streamers
South Fork of the Boise Flies: Rubber Legged Stones | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flash Back Pheasant tails | King Prince | Streamers
Stillwater Flies: Pops Buggers | Standard Olive, Black, and Brown Wooley Buggers | Stayner’s Ducktail | Sheep Creek Special | Bouface Leech | Seal Buggers | Squirrel Leech | Chironomids | Olive Scuds | Perch Imitations
Upper Big Lost
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise