“What a tourist terms a plague of insects, the fly fisher calls a great hatch.” ~ Patrick F. McManus
Fly Fishing Forecast May 27th to June 3rd
Despite the rain and cool weather, a few Brown Drakes have been spotted on the lower river. This slow trickle of insects is a good sign that the “plague” is just on the horizon. As the weather stabilizes this week and the temperatures begin to climb, the Drakes should gain momentum with each passing day. Of course, being in the right spot and the right time is part of the fun of this hatch. Remember, this hatch starts in the lower reaches of the river around the Picabo Bridge, and then progresses up the river to the Highway 20 Bridge. The emergence is typically right at dark and can be accompanied by a spinner fall; however, spinner falls can happen anytime during the day just to add to the unpredictable nature of this hatch. If you are planning on catching this hatch, come on by the shop for the latest reports and check out our great selection of Brown Drake patterns. And, as always, please respect private land and your fellow anglers as you experience this “eighth wonder of the world!”
While waiting for Brown Drakes, you might as well fish the Nature Conservancy, Kilpatrick Pond, or down at Priest Rapids during the day. Despite the high flows on the lower Creek, as a result of the prolific thunderstorms in May, the upper creek is still quite low. While there are fish spread throughout the deeper reaches of the upper Nature Conservancy, they are very spooky and require your “A” game. There are good numbers of fish throughout the S-curves and into the upper and lower Kilpatrick Pond as well. You can expect to see some Baetis and PMDs in the upper river and some Callibaetis in the Pond. We have a great selection of flies tied by the House of Harrop to match these hatches. This time of year the hatches can be unpredictable, so be prepared to fish multiple different methods to bring fish to the net. Despite the unpredictable nature of the hatches, the first few weeks after the season opener, the fish are not as selective as they will be in July and August, but you will still need to make good presentations and use long and light leaders down to 6X for the best results.
THE BIG WOOD
All the rain has brought the Wood up to its highest flows of the season to date at over 1,000 CFS. The forecast is calling for high pressure to dominate the area over the next week, and we should see the Wood start to drop and clear. Still, it may be into the middle or end of June, just in time for the Green Drakes, before this river will be in its prime. Stay tuned.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are slated to jump up to 1200 to 1600 CFS sometime this week from the current flows of 600 CFS, so check the USGS Streamflow report before you go. Once the flows come up, more of the river will be accessible by boat and the walk and wade access will be limited. The higher flows will temporarily slow down any surface activity; however, it will pick up again once the Salmon Flies start hatching later in June. In the meanwhile, nymphing the riffles will be effective with Rubber Legged Stones, San Juan Worms, Caddis Larva, beaded PTs and Zebra Midge. Streamers will also work on both the Rainbows and Bull Trout.
THE BIG LOST-MACKAY
Flows have bumped up a bit to 225 CFS and may even go higher as the rain subsides and irrigators call for more water down stream; be sure to check the flows before you go. Remember, once the flows exceed 350 to 400 CFS wading gets very difficult. Trail Creek Pass is open and the drive is beautiful right now. This is a good time to toss big Stoneflies even if you are not seeing to many bugs about. Of course, there are still plenty of baetis and midge along with some caddis, PMDs and stoneflies. Nevertheless, nymphing is your best bet with a combination of big and small nymphs. Take an assortment of big bugs like Rubber Leg Stones, standard and beaded Prince Nymphs, and San Juan Worms. Trail behind the big bug a smaller Baetis, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, or Bishop’ Dynamite in size 16 or 18.
It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds have been stocked for Memorial Day weekend and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
Water Flows – MAY 26TH
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise