“A drifting fly is a test, a series of questions inscribed on the surface. It is the visual extension of our imagination, probing what can’t be seen and charting the shape of human inquisitiveness and expectancy.”
– Ted Leeson
After a high water spring, familiar rivers are made new. And as the water drops, each fishing excursion is an exploration, each cast a question. For anglers, this July is charged with hope.
The Creek has been slow but is showing improvement. A small number of Tricos have been spotted around the Loving Creek area, but not enough to get fish into pods yet. Now that summer has arrived, this bug should pick up steam over the next few weeks. The main morning hatch is still the very small Baetis mixed with a few Callibaetis. The hatch can happen any time during early to late morning depending on air temps. In the afternoon, Callibaetis Spinners and Blue Damsels take the stage in the slower portions of the Creek. Of course, beetles and ants are good flies to try during the heat of the day or if the wind blows. Late in the evening, after the sun has left the water, expect a very brief explosion of insect activity and feeding fish.
The Wood is still very high and wade fishing should be done with caution. The river is not ready to cross in most places, so wading is limited. The areas around bridges and easy public access points will get a lot of pressure over the next week so you will need to be creative in your approach. Thankfully it should continue to drop between 200 to 400 CFS over the next week. If you decide to scout around, there are some good fishing opportunities. Green Drakes can be found on the Wood south of town. Before and after the Drakes hatch, or if you just don’t see any bugs, try searching the shallows with a dry dropper rig, a double nymph rig, or a streamer. While exploring the Wood, remember to be kind to your fellow anglers, respect private property, and always return the trout to the water as quickly as possible.
This Big Wood tributary can be good and typically becomes wadable and fishable before the Wood. At the moment it is still a tad high, but decent fishing can be found if you are willing to move around a bit. Use the same flies and tactics as the Wood.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are at 1200 CFS, perfect for drift boats. This is the week we should see Salmon Flies reach the upper portions of the stream. Try big Stonefly patterns as well as Cicadas and Mormon Crickets fished on the banks with structure and cover. If the fish are reluctant to take dries, try fishing the riffles and seams with nymphs.
Still too high to fish for a full day outing for a group; however, an adventurous angler may find a slow spot to catch a fish or two. This drainage is going to be slow to drop but should get fishable at about the same rate as the Wood. Be patient! The flows below the dam are high at over 900 CFS. Hopefully, in late July or August, the flows will return to fishable levels.
This river is prime for floating. Even walk and wade fishermen are finding places to park and fish. You will find a good mix of bugs hatching throughout the day and these fish tend to look up. Additionally, the Yankee Fork Dredge Ponds, Kids Creek Pond, Stanley Lake, or Alturas Lake have all been recently stocked.
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.
Magic, the Little Wood, and Mackay reservoirs are fishing well for freshly stocked as well as resident trout. You may need to adjust your strategies for fishing as the water begins to warm, like fishing early and late or seeking influxes of cool water.
Silver Creek: Callibeatis | PMDs | Beatis | Damsel Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails
Big Wood Flies: Streamers | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone | King Prince | Green Drake Nymphs | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Chubby Chernobyl
Salmon Flies: Chubby Chernobyl | Golden Stones | Green Drake Dries and Nymphs | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Prince Nymph
South Fork of the Boise Flies: Chubby Chernobyl | Deep Cleaner Stone | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone
Stillwater Flies: Balance Leeches | Sheep Creek Special | Woolly Buggers | Seal Buggers | Chironomids | Scuds | Damsel Nymphs | Prince Nymphs
|Silver Creek||114 cfs|
|Big Wood||974 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||955 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||1220 cfs|