“Approach high probability areas the same as you would if you see a steady surface feeder-assume you’re getting a subsurface refusal and begin to change tactics as you would to a rising fish.”
– George Daniel
Sound advice as you search for soft holding water during high flows. When you do find it, fish it with the confidence that the fish are there. However, you may need to cycle through a few different techniques. If you feel the need to add some more tools to your toolbox, George Daniel is coming to town to teach a class on Euro Nymphing July 22nd. Contact the shop ASAP as this class is filling fast.
The fishing remains slow on the Creek, and the hatch activity is spotty. As we move into July we should start to see some Tricos in the morning, but at the moment the most prevalent bugs are baetis. Most days, callibaetis, crane flies, damsels, and caddis will also be present. On windy days, try beetles or ants along the banks. Nymphing is a good option if the hatch is mild and risers are sporadic. Remember, the mosquitoes are thick, so be sure to have some bug spray.
It finally feels like summer has arrived and the wet wading season has begun. But be careful out there; the flows on the Wood are around 1,200 CFS and over the next week we should see this drop another 100 to 200 CFS. Hopefully, we will see more Green Drakes this week, as some have already been spotted on the lower river around Bellevue. Be mindful that the flows are still too high to cross the river. Stay safe out there as we are only a few weeks away from being able to move around the river more comfortably. Remember, with the water dropping the fish will continue to move into water that provides the best protection from predators and flow as well as a steady supply of food. Anywhere you can find soft water along an edge, it is worth searching with a good attractor dry or Green Drake imitation. Dry dropper rigs are also a good bet.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are holding at 1600 CFS. This is a floatable level, but wade fishing is limited. From a boat, it is easy to search the side channels, work flies tight to the banks, and run nymphs through the soft riffles and seams. Some large stones have been spotted in the lower river, and this hatch should gain momentum with the warmer weather. There are some Mormon Crickets skittering about as well. If you see them by the water’s edge, the fish may be stuffed to the gills and the fishing slow. Look for other water.
Flows on the upper river remain high, but it is possible to find some soft water to drift a fly. A solo angler may be able to make a day of fishing, but groups of anglers should look elsewhere. Still, the wildflowers alone make it worth the trip. No change on the Lost below Mackay; flows are still too high to fish.
The water is high, but the fishing can be good on the Salmon for cutthroat, rainbows, cutbows, whitefish, and the occasional bull trout. While floating is a good way to cover water, the walk and wade fishing above and below Stanley has also been productive. 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 safe spot to have a family picnic and catch a few fish, give these a go.
Fishing on 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: PMDs | Beatis | Callibeatis | 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 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Green Drake Dries and Nymphs | 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||115 cfs|
|Big Wood||1160 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||962 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||1210 cfs|