“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”
– A.A. Milne
The snow is busy coming down from the mountain tops making the rivers flow fast and furious. Anglers know this: there is no hurry to get to the river. Let the run off play out. And when the water does recede, the playbook for the Wood will have completely changed. This certainly will be worth waiting for.
Opening day is Saturday, May 27th. Opening weekend should be very good on the Creek and, despite the cool wet weather, it will be crowded, especially for the Opening Day BBQ at the Preserve Headquarters. If you don’t like the crowd on the Preserve, then you might be able to find elbow room in the Willows at Point of Rocks, or on down at Priest Rapids. Expect a few PMDs, Baetis, and Callibeatis during the warmest time of the day, and searching with a dry can be productive as the fish have not seen artificial flies since the end of November. In fact, opening weekend is a good time to try a variety of different techniques and patterns. So, if you go for the opener, prepare for a very social weekend; enjoy catching up with old friends and making new ones!
Come opening day the water will be very high and unfishable. In fact, it is best to stay clear of the Wood and all its tributaries for the time being. For those making summer fishing plans on the Wood and our other freestones, please note that June, and much of July, will be challenging months due to higher than average flows.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are dangerously high for boaters and wade fishermen at the moment. It is best to wait until flows drop to around 1,200 to 1,500 for safe floating.
The Lost below Mackay and the headwaters are extremely high. Hopefully by the end of June we will be able to access some of the upper reaches of this fishery.
This area is also experiencing extreme high water. We are expecting the water to be floatable about two weeks later than average.
If you are looking to wet a line, Penny Lake has been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Gaver’s Lagoon should also receive a fresh load of fish in June. Lake Creek will be stocked once run off subsides.
Magic, Little Wood, and Mackay reservoirs are filling fast with spring runoff and are off color. Still they can fish well for freshly stocked as well as resident trout. You can fish from shore or a float tube with ease, just be aware of the spring winds that can make boating unsafe and the water is really cold. Another great Stillwater option is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation south of Mountain Home. If you have a day or two, this is definitely worth the trip, especially as our local waters run high and muddy. 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.
Stillwater: Balance Leeches | Sheep Creek Special | Woolly Buggers | Seal Buggers | Chironomids | Damsel Nymphs | Prince Nymphs
Silver Creek: PMDs | Baetis | Callibeatis | Damsel Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pheasant Tails
|Silver Creek||114 cfs|
|Big Wood||4210 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||1230 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||6070 cfs|