A cool June continues to blanket south central Idaho. This has made the fishing interesting to say the least. Silver Creek continues to fish well despite cooler days and the occasional thunder storm. The Big Wood has cleared up a bit and the spotty fishing can be very good. The Lost continues to run high and the South Fork of the Boise is getting great evening caddis with the salmon fly emergence just around the corner. The Little Wood has been fished very sparingly with moderate results.
We wondered what the cool weather would do to our namesake the first few weeks of the season, and now we know; nothing. The fishing continues to be top shelf on the Creek. The Brown Drake has trickled off over the last few weeks and fish will continue to take the Drake for probably another 7 to 10 days. Blind fish big Drake dry flies on the Creek’s lower stretch, especially if there is a little wind chop. Blind fish the Brown Drake much like you would search the water with a grasshopper. Anglers may also target the fish rising to the all day caddis activity with the Drake flies. If the fish lock onto the Caddis then show them a Goddard caddis in a size 16 and hold on.
Upstream, the Green Drake is slowly beginning to show and again fish will take an imitation out of the wind chop in the middle of the day. Loving Creek is another good place to find Green Drakes. You’ll never see big emergences of this bug on the Creek, but fish will still eat them opportunistically.
Late morning and the early evening hours seem to be the peak of the Creek’s normal insect activity. P.M.D., Baetis and Callibaetis are the bugs you’ll see and the fish will take. Look for the P.M.D. and the Baetis to show up at the same time and be willing to switch readily from one to the other on a moments notice. The sloughs are fishing very well with the emergence of Callibaetis, but timing the hatch is a bit of a roll of the dice. Just check into the sloughs occasionally and watch for risers.
Now that the fish have seen a few flies this season it is time to get the 6X tippets out again. 4X and 5X are fine on windy days, and 7X is always overkill, but 6X tippet will fool any fish in the river and give an angler a reasonable chance to land their fish as well. Fish this in a length of 12 to 14 feet.
Big Wood River
The Wood is great for nymphing big bead head flies right now. The flows are still high enough to be dangerous and a warm day could discolor certain sections, but if you want to get a few casts in without driving to Silver Creek, then check out the Wood north of town and any of the downstream sections that braid out into more than one channel. Green Drakes and Salmon Flies should be showing up this week or next so don’t hesitate to search big dry flies and fish flies like Stimulators with bead head droppers under them. Concentrate your efforts on the soft edges, back eddies, and quite side channels. Fish heavy tippets of 3X and 4X and please be very careful as we have a good amount of snow left to come down and the river will stay high and slightly unpredictable.
South Fork of the Boise
The Caddis activity is strong on the South Fork with size 16 black bodied flies with light color wings being the bug of choice. Big flies like Cicadas and Salmon Flies will also temp a few fish, although in another week or two the river will provide the bulk of this activity.
Big Lost River
The river still running high. Very capable wade anglers can nymph up some fish, but as the flows drop the access and the fishing will get very good. Maybe give this another week before you try it. Copper Basin is also in need of a little more time before the fishing really gets going in this high country Valhalla.
Little Wood River
The Little Wood is clear and the fishing is o.k. Use big Salmon Flies and drop small bead head nymphs from them. A nice place to find some solitude and with the cooler temperatures a great place to search with big attractor flies before the summer heat all but shuts this river down until hopper season.
Most Stillwater ponds and Reservoirs have been stocked and are ready for the kids!
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 78%
Big Wood – 91%
Little Wood – 115%
Big Lost – 103%
Henry’s Fork – 89%