“Angling is, or should be, essentially a philosophic and reflective engagement, rewarding the practitioner not only with trouts, but with a gentler and more matured comprehension of life itself.” Ben Hur Lampman
We fly fish not just for trout, but for the lessons we learn in pursuit of trout. We learn about loss and rejection; we learn about joy and ecstasy. We learn to be thankful for the moments trout let us share with them. After all, fly fishing is our way of life. Come help us celebrate the fly fishing lifestyle this week.
Our 9th Annual Fly Fishing Film Festival is this Friday, July 25th at the Sun Valley Opera House with special guest Hank Patterson – “You’re Fishing Guide.” And this Saturday, July 26th is our annual Fly Fishing Product Fair at our downtown shop with reps from all your favorite gear like Patagonia, SIMMS, Sage, RIO, Smith Optics, and more! For more information on both of these events visit our website.
The Nature Conservancy continues to restrict access to the Preserve due to the low dissolved oxygen content of the water. The hours for fishing will be from 10 AM to 10 PM. The Nature Conservancy will lift the restriction as soon as the heat wave breaks. The Tricos have been very good in the Kilpatrick Pond area dispelling any notion that the restoration project might kill the hatch. If you plan to fish beginning at 10 AM in the Preserve, you will catch the tail end of the Trico and Baetis spinner lasting until around 11:30 AM. Post hatch fishing is slow but with persistence an angler will find some success with adult damsels and some Callibaetis duns and spinners. Plus you have the added bonus that most anglers will leave the river and you will have the Creek all to yourself. When the wind blows, fishing a hooper, ant, or beetle trailed by a small nymph is very productive. With the warm water and low dissolved oxygen, please make it a point to land and release all fish promptly.
The Wood is best fished early and late right now with good Tricos, PMDs, Baetis and Caddis in the mornings and a return of the Caddis and Rusty Spinners in the evenings. The water temps are fluctuating between 60 and 68 degrees throughout the day and wet wading is a pleasure. The flows are still pushy in places, but strong waders can now access the entire river. Continue fishing the slow sides of the seams with small (16 and 14) parachute patterns or try Dry Dropper rigs in the shallow riffles at the head of the runs to find fish. For flies try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze trailed by a Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 or 18. The slowest time of day is the late afternoons, but the evening Caddis is still productive.
This river is very low, but Fish and Game has recently restocked around the bridges making this a good option for a family fishing outing. Take along the same bugs you might use on the Wood and enjoy some easy wading.
THE BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows continue to drop below Mackay, but they seem to have stabilized for the moment at 187 CFS. The morning hatch has been complex with a mixture of Tricos, Baetis, PMDs, Caddis and Yellow Sallies. If you are in the right place, you will find fish feasting on this smorgasbord. Have high vis Tricos and Baetis in size 20 and 22 during this hatch. If you can’t find rising fish, search the water with a dry dropper rig. Small Zebra midge, Iron Lotus, Pheasant Tails, Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 18 are good choices. Even after the hatch is over the fish are still willing to eat small nymphs. The action slows down considerably in the late afternoon and then picks up again in the late evening when the Caddis come out. On a side note, there is some road construction under way near the air strip, so expect delays.
THE UPPER LOST
The main stem is getting more wadable everyday and strong waders will find quality fish. These fish are opportunistic feeders and will move to a well presented fly. Search with a dry dropper rig with a Hopper dry or Turk’s Tarantula trailed by a Zebra Midge or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 or 18. When you do find fish but get refusals, quickly switching to a small Parachute Purple Haze or Pink Albert in size 14 or 16 is wise. The East Fork, Wild Horse, and the North Fork are all very wadable and stealthy anglers who cover a lot of river will find some nice Cutthroats, Brook trout, or maybe even a Grayling. Of course there are plenty of large Whitefish to keep you entertained.
The water levels are perfect and floating the lower Salmon has been productive for eager cutthroat on dry flies. Hole hopping with your car is good way to go if you don’t have a drift boat both below and above Stanley. For flies, have a good supply of tan and olive bodied Caddis and yellow and orange Stimulators in size 12 and 14. Valley, Marsh, and Bear Valley Creeks are all fishing well if you want to get off the beaten path.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
This is the coldest water around with temperatures in the low 50s. Flows are steady at 1,600 CFS and both drift boat and wade anglers are finding moderate success. Remember this are is only open for day use, no camping is allowed. The main bugs are PMDs and Pinks and the hatch is occurring late morning into the afternoon. Caddis are still around, especially in the evening. Still, the most productive method remains nymphing with Stone Fly nymphs, Caddis Larva, and Midge patterns with an indicator, dry dropper, or fished Euro Style.
Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon have been recently stocked and can provide a nice day for a family picnic or if you are looking for something to fry for dinner. Come on by the shop and we can provide you with the appropriate bait or suggest some flies that will work.
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Current Water Flows
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise