“I don’t suppose I ever entirely release a fish. I may not eat it, but that
does not mean I take nothing from it before I let it go.”
With each catch, no matter its stature, anglers are reminded about all the miracles that had to take place for that trout to exist. Imagine surviving a massive infiltration of soot from fires one year and the torrents of floods from snow melt and rain the next. Trout are survivors. All who angle for them are humbled by their presence. This is a small piece of what anglers take away each time a trout is let go. We are fortunate in the Wood River Valley to have such a variety of wonderful rivers to fish full of beautiful wild trout.
With the day time temperatures reaching into the 90s, the mornings are still the most productive time on the Creek; however, the Trico hatches have begun to diminish in intensity. Still, good numbers of Tricos can be found in the morning mixed in with the Baetis and a few Callibaetis spinners. During the morning activity, try fishing a small 22 or 24 Harrop’s Hen Winged Baetis or a Trico Spinner with a light and long leader of about 12 feet to 6 or 6.5X tippet. Expect the midday Callibaetis in the Pond to become a staple as the month progresses. On windy days, try beetles, ants or hoppers. The evening fishing is fair once the sun leaves the water with an array of different bugs: caddis, PMDs, Baetis.
With the lower flows and water temperatures in the 60s, the fish are most likely in the shallow and deep fast water. Look for Tricos in the AM in the lower reaches of the Wood below town as well as some caddis and crane flies. If no bugs are in the air, try drifting large hoppers over every imaginable location. The fish often miss as they come up to eat a fast moving hopper, but the takes can be spectacular. Keep in mind, fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is the most productive.
Upper Big Lost
The flows are low and the fishing is fair throughout the day. Expect to cover a lot of water to find the few good fish in this area. In general, the fishing has been spotty and the fish have not been responding well to pressure; a run that fishes well one day will not fish well the next. Still, these fish are opportunistic feeders and you need to be on your game to capitalize on the limited takes you get. For flies try hoppers, caddis, and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are currently at 300 CFS. You may find a few Tricos in the morning mixed with Baetis and PMDs. It is difficult to find consistently feeding fish during the morning hatch, but persistent anglers can find water conducive to surface sippers at this water level. Be sure to have a good selection of Silver Creek style Tricos, Baetis, and PMDs to match the hatch. If you cannot find surface activity, the fish are eating small nymphs voraciously during the morning. Dry dropper and Euro Style techniques are the most effective. Try Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, Frenchie’s, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice.
Even though the water is getting low, the wade fishing around Stanley is fantastic… and we are still floating the lower reaches of the river. Try using hoppers, Spruce Moth patterns, Yellow Sallies, and Caddis. Nymphing with stone flies and size 14 and 16 flashback Pheasant Tails, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warriors will produce a lot of action on white fish and trout.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows remain high at 1,600 CFS. At these flows, drift boats are the best option. Try hoppers or big foam attractor patterns along the bank. The best hatch activity is in the late afternoons into the evenings with Pink Alberts and Caddis. Nymphing can be productive all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.
Gavers Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and would make a great location for a family picnic. Come on by the shop for all your family fishing needs!
Silver Creek Flies: Tricos 22, 24 | PMDs 16 | Beatis 18 | Callibeatis 16 | Hoppers | Damsel Adults and Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18 | Pheasant Tails 16,18 | Baetis Nymphs
Big Wood, Big Lost, Salmon River Flies: Purple Haze | Spruce Moth | Elk Hair Caddis | Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Parachute Adams | Pink Alberts | Rubber Legged Stones |Iron Lotus | Pheasant Tails | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince | Streamers
South Fork of the Boise Flies: Pink Alberts | Caddis | Hoppers | Rubber Legged Stones | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flash Back Pheasant tails | King Prince | Streamers
Upper Big Lost
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise