August has been hot, although not as bad as July. Little bugs still rule the day, but in a few weeks we should begin to see some Autumn insects. In the meantime continue to use long leaders, fine tippets and realistic imitations of the bugs on the water. Low flows drainage wide means stealth will be rewarded with strikes.
The Creek continues to have some great morning fishing. Trico spinner falls, with a late baetis spinner fall gets the fish up and eating most mornings. Recent early morning thunderstorm activity on the Creek has pushed the time back a bit and shortened the window in the morning, and there is a bit more of this predicted in coming days. Cooler temperatures may spur on the Baetis and Callibaetis activity in the later parts of the morning and the Callibaetis should build until the late afternoon. Fishing Hoppers is still a productive way to find some trophy fish, just be sure to cover lots of water. On calm evenings expect a smorgasbord of different insects with different intensities each night dependent on the humidity and how calm the wind is. Some Caddis, Callibaetis, Baetis, and PMD, may all be present. Hoppers in the latest part of the day can be very effective!
Big Wood River
The Wood is running really, really low, but the morning show on this river has been fantastic. Trico is the name of the game, and although it is not as hard to fish this spinner fall as it is on Silver Creek, the use of good flies, long leaders and light tippets is still necessary. Nine to twelve feet tapered to 6X is a good starting point. 5X is also fine in a lot of runs that have a little riffle to them. During the heat of the day, fish are going to seek refuge where they can find it. This means under heavy white water, and under logs and similar structure. The middle of the day can be fished with Hopper patterns, but despite the shallow flows, a heavier nymph rig run through the fastest water you can find and under structure will get a few nice fish to move. Try small bead heads fished in tandem under an indicator. If you fish a hopper stay on the move. The low evening light will bring a few fish back out, but expect that a lot of feeding activity from the rivers biggest fish will be taking place after dark. Much like Silver Creek, donâ€™t hesitate to throw a Hopper very late in the day, or very early in the morning, before the fish move to cover for the afternoon.
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
These rivers are dropping and the fish are moving. Much like the Big Wood structure and fast water are going to be key places to target your flies. In the Upper Lost, this means around the buckets made by boulders underwater, and especially under overhanging limbs that line the bank on the lower end of this system. Hoppers area great choice in the middle of the day. During the morning and evening cast small attractor patterns or bigger any patterns. Royal Trudes, Wulffs and Stimulators are all good bets. Be very careful in the Basin if you see thunderstorms building, this seems to be a natural collection point for storms that drift in over the Wood River Valley. Use common sense and try to start early to avoid this afternoon weather.
Big Lost River
The Lost is still running about 350 cfs, which makes it wadeable in some areas, but not ideal. The standard Lost River nymph set up with Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails and anything Red like a San Juan Worm fished in several tandem combinations will work for taking fish off of the shelves and the head of big buckets. There is still decent dry fly activity in the tailouts and slicks and near structure on the banks. Trico is a big player as well as a variety of Baetis flies. Big Chernobyl Ant patterns are also a good bet to try here, especially if you see big fish in some of the back water area along the riverâ€™s edge.
South Fork of the Boise
One of the best places to fish recently, the South Fork has been really good with big dries along the banks, like stimulators and hopper patterns. The flows remain high enough to make this primarily a driftboat fishery, but some limited bank access can be found. If you are wade fishing, you may want to try the afternoon when the Pink Albert begins to show. This will get fish up at the heads of some riffles in and in some side channel buckets.