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“It took me a while—probably too long—but even when the fishing is good, I now like to stop casting occasionally just to look around; not to bag snaps to post on Facebook, but to form memories in the old, manual way that gave rise to the phrase ‘the picture doesn’t do it justice.”

– John Gierach

Whether you have been fishing for a while or just getting started, the best way to make a memory is to be present in the moment. This July, make memories the old, manual way.

Silver Creek

While the fishing on the Creek is still slow, the morning hatch activity has improved thanks to the warmer weather. Expect the Trico and Baetis spinner falls to build in the morning; the timing depends on the air temp. At the moment, Baetis are the more prevalent bug. Before the bugs come down, try fishing a Callibaetis spinner or a female Trico Dun. A small nymph can also be effective. Once the hatch is done, look for the damsels to be the main fare. The Creek can slow down during the heat of the day especially if there is no wind. If a breeze does pick up, try terrestrials or high-floating damsel patterns.

Big Wood

There are good numbers of small fish being found on the Wood. This bodes well for the future. With flows coming down quickly, more options for fishing are opening up each day. Still, wading the middle and lower reaches of the river is pushy, but crossing in select areas is possible. The Wood north of town is wadable, but is receiving a bulk of the fishing pressure at the moment. The Green Drakes have arrived on the upper river and we will see this hatch to taper off this week. When you get rejections, it is time to downsize your flies.

Warm Springs

Warm Springs is very wadable and is fishing fair. Fish and Game is planning on stocking the river around the bridges and easy access points this week. This is a good option if the Wood is still too pushy for you.

South Fork of the Boise

The flows are at 1230 CFS. This is an optimal drift boat flow. The Salmon flies have mostly finished up for the year, but there are still Mormon Crickets along some stretches of the river. You should also see some Pink Alberts during the day and a blizzard of caddis in the evening.

The Upper Lost

Decent fishing can be found on the North Fork and on the East Fork above Wildhorse. Tactically speaking, search the water using a dry dropper rig. When you do find fish, but get refusals, quickly switch to a smaller fly in size 14 or 16. Your best approach is to cover as much water as possible.

Big Lost below Mackay

The flows below the dam are high at over 900 CFS. Hopefully, in late July or August, the flows will return to fishable levels.

Salmon River

The Salmon River is steadily dropping and fishing well. With high water on the Wood, it is seeing fishing pressure like it has never seen before, and the fish are feeling the stress. Please handle fish properly and be courteous when wading, at boat ramps, and during floats. Dry fly (some Green Drakes and Golden Stones) activity remains good until the heat of the day then the nymph game takes over. As per usual, foam dries and larger stone fly droppers work great.

Local Ponds

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 | PMDs  | Beatis  |  Damsel Nymphs/Dry | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive  | Small Pheasant Tails 

Big Wood and Warm Springs: Streamers | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone | King Prince | Green Drake Dries and Nymphs | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Chubby Chernobyl

Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | Golden Stones | Green Drake Dries and Nymphs | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Prince Nymph

South Fork of the Boise: 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 122 cfs
Big Wood 761 cfs
The Lost Below Mackay 985 cfs
Salmon 1180 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 1220 cfs