“A change in the weather is sufficient to recreate the world and ourselves.”
– Marcel Proust
With the deluge of Tropical Storm Hilary behind us, the rivers should drop and clear quickly. Still, you will want to check with us about water clarity and flows before committing to a drive outside the Valley. As we return to a more normal late August weather pattern, you will notice that the small bugs of summer are starting to fade and the hopper fishing is heating up. As the season turns, we have another opportunity to recreate our approach to fishing.
You might consider fishing the Creek midday to capitalize on the afternoon Callibaetis and hopper action. However, there is still some morning activity with a handful of Tricos and Beatis fluttering about. While the early fishing is slow, you will find solitude. The afternoon Callibaetis should continue to improve and you will need a good selection of emergers, duns, and spinners in smaller sizes (16 and 18). This mayfly can handle a stiff breeze, unlike Tricos and Baetis, and having some hackle stacker patterns can save the day. It is not a bad idea to rig a Callibaetis rod with lighter tippet and a hopper rig with heavy tippet to be prepared to switch patterns between the inconsistent afternoon winds.
Even before the surge of water from Hilary, the flows on the Wood are twice the size it was this time this last year. So, wading with caution is a must. Investing in a good pair of cleated wading boats and a wading staff might not be a bad idea. When fishing you will discover that there is a healthy population of small, feisty, wild trout and a few larger ones lurking about as well. Look for a few Tricos and PMDs in the morning, and as the day warms up, the hopper fishing has really gotten good. Lots of caddis in the evenings. Fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is very productive.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
These two small tributaries to the Wood can provide some excellent fishing for anglers looking for a small stream experience. Fish and Game has stocked around the bridges and anywhere the rivers near the road. If you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, PMDs, and caddis throughout the day.
South Fork of the Boise
Flows have dropped to around 625 CFS and may continue to come down. At this level it is best to leave the drift boat behind; wade fishing is now the best way to navigate the river. As the flows stabilize from the recent drop and the fish reset, expect decent fishing with Pink Alberts during the afternoon and a variety of caddis both early and late.
The Upper Lost
The cool mornings have made it feel like fall on the Upper Lost. The best fishing has moved into the middle of the day into the late afternoon. Hoppers and big attractors are turning fish. Still, a smaller caddis pattern might get a more committed take, as these fish tend to only give you one chance.
Big Lost below Mackay
The flows below the dam are dropping and have fallen below 600 CFS for the first time this summer. Wading is still very difficult at this level; however, there are a few spots where an angler can wet a line. Remember, these high flows are going to continue until the reservoir is drained and repairs can be made on the gates. Once the reservoir is drained, the out flow from the reservoir should match the inflow.
The float fishing on the lower river and walk and wade fishing throughout the system continues to be excellent thanks to the above average flows. Small hoppers and Spruce Moth patterns fished through buckets and around structure have been very productive. Try fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs for non-stop action for trout and whitefish.
Penny Lake, Heagle Park Pond, Lake Creek, and Gaver’s Lagoon have all been recently stocked. If you are looking for a fun spot to have a family picnic and catch a few fish, give these a go.
Silver Creek: Callibeatis | Tricos | Beatis | PMD | Damsel Nymphs/Dry | Caddis | Hoppers | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails
Big Wood and Warm Springs: Pink Alberts | PMD | Caddis | Crane Flies | Hoppers | Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Chubby Chernobyl
Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | Golden Stones | Spruce Moths | Hoppers | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Prince Nymph
South Fork of the Boise: Pink Alberts | Caddis | Crane Fly | Hoppers | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone
|Silver Creek||163 cfs|
|Big Wood||1140 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||573 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||569 cfs|