With a few cooler days recently the fishing has remained strong and consistent, but it may not be until early next week before we get back into a warming trend to set off the seasons first major hatches on rivers other than Silver Creek. There is a plethora of water to fish in every direction and anglers can spread out and find success pretty much everywhere they go. Take advantage and throw the biggest dry flies you can, as these water conditions are going to vanish quickly this summer and this is one of the few time of the year when you can watch a fish take an enormous fly off of the surface!
Cooler days are going to provide less action, but once the thermometer starts showing daily highs in the 70â€™s and 80â€™s again we can expect morning hatches and spinner falls to bring up a fair amount of fish. PMD and Baetis are always on center stage this time of year, but fish will still respond well to terrestrial and even large Green Drake patterns on the upper waters. The evenings will provide some surface activity as well. With the Brown Drake coming off slowly in the lower reaches, this can be a fantastic time of year to get great evening fishing in the Conservancy waters, and have it mostly to yourself while the rest of the angling community chases the Drake! The Brown Drake hatch has been coming and going with no regular frequency, probably due to the full moon and inconsistent weather and poor downstream water conditions. Who would have thought the Big Wood would have better clarity than lower Silver Creek at the end of May? The sloughs are fishing well and nearby Stantonâ€™s Crossing on the Big Wood are both nice afternoon options between hatches and spinner falls.
Big Wood River
We may be in a holding pattern for a few more days as we await the first big Green Drake hatches of the year. Watch the temperature and once you see a few more hot days coming you can be sure the Green Drake will hit the river! The Green Drake loves the heat, so watch the forecast for warming days and then prepare to see bugs in the rivers lower reaches. With the cooler weather, Large Orange or Royal Stimulators will still take fish up and down the river, and donâ€™t forget to have a bunch of little yellow Stimulators as the Little Sallies will be making a strong late afternoon appearance when the weather improves. Fish are responding to bead-headed nymphs all over the river, but also have some good Green Drake nymphs in your box the next few weeks as the trout may get more selective to this pattern with the emergence of the real thing.
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
One thing you can count on the last few years, and Iâ€™ll keep saying it; if the Big Wood is fishing well, you can count on the upper Lost system to follow along. Big bugs are the name of the game on the many little rivers in this area. The same flies your using on the Big Wood will work in the Basin; Stimulators, Drakes, bead-head nymphsâ€¦Fish short, 7 foot lengths of leader tapered to 3X. The volume in the main river may be a bit overwhelming for some anglers still, but the tributaries have plenty of fishable water. If you have the itch to camp, head for the Basin. Take your rain coat and check your spare tire as youâ€™re along way from home up there, but enjoy the scenery and solitude!
More of the same higher flows. The river has a few fishable pockets, but wade fishing is tough and not recommended in most areas below the Mackay dam. You may find a few hours of fun poking around the different access points, but please donâ€™t get tempted into wading into a spot you canâ€™t get out of.
South Fork of the Boise
Keep your eyes on the flows for the South Fork, it was recently raised to 1,600 cfs and looks like it may be dropping a bit soon, but if the river will level off here, this is a nice boating flow for the driftboat crowd. The Salmon Flies should be along here in the first part of June and one can always count on the bizarre, but extraordinary Caddis hatches here in the spring. Many anglers fish nymph rigs with good sized indicators when floating in the early season. If you want to find surface activity look carefully in the back bays and side channels, as well as any big eddie. A size 16 Parachute Adams is a winner if you find fish sipping discreetly in the quieter waters.
Little Wood River
The Little Wood also offers a smaller version of the Big Wood experience above the Little Wood Reservoir. The access is at the campground area and although moving up and down the river may be tough right now, it will get easier in coming days and weeks and the fishing can be fun for nice sized Brook Trout and smaller, but tough fighting Rainbows. Yellow Stimulators are a favorite for these fish in the spring. Take a variety of sizes and fish the biggest one they will come up for. Below the confluence of Silver Creek the Little Wood is a desert river, best fished at low light levels, but there are enough Stoneflies in the river to make this worthwhile in the spring.
Get out and enjoy the June fishing this year, it should be the seasons best!