*This seasons slight snow pack coupled with very little spring rain means early season fishing will be outstanding and our best fishing of the year, with more technical fishing to come with the falling water later in the season.
*A Dry year means the local Rattle Snake population will be nearer the rivers in the south valley, not as bad for you as for a fishing dog. High water also means caution when wading. Weâ€™re not raising the red flag, but just want you all to have a safe experience out there! Use caution and common sense.
*Hatches should come off a few weeks earlier than what we experienced last year.
*Low water this season also means to conserve this resource for the health of our trout, handle them gently and do your part to keep the water in the ground!
The Creek should fish well on the opener, with low light periods being the best time to catch the hatches and spinner falls. Light level is important, although when we inspected the Creek the week before the opener, there were fish rising in the afternoon and they seemed to be eating whatever they could pick off of the surface, including the shucks from the previous mornings PMD hatch. In short, most reasonable dry flies on the opener will take fish. Ants and Beetles are definite fish catchers. PMD and Baetis will be the primary bugs to stock in your fly box. We did see a few Green Drake shucks in the Nature Conservancy waters, but little evidence of the Brown Drake on the lower river, although warm waters and air temperatures could bring this bug off a little earlier than normal. The Drake historically pops around the second week of June.
Anglers looking to spend the whole day on the Creek may want to get there early to catch the morning rise, and then begin searching the water with large Ants, Beetles or Green Drake patterns, even PMDâ€™s fished blind will draw fish to the surface. In the afternoon look toward the lower Big Wood and the many braided sections closer to Magic Reservoir, or try the fast water on lower Silver Creek that can fish much like the Wood does. Take big Stimulators and search the water. Another afternoon activity is to head over to the sloughs adjacent Silver Creek. Anglers that really like to fish Sullivanâ€™s Slough need to pay attention to this water the first few weeks of the season as the moss has already begun to spring up with the warm weather we have had this May. Conditions should deteriorate until the summer recharge from the aquifer, so enjoy it now, and then enjoy it even more with the rising water and the strong emergence of the Callibaetis as the season progresses.
Evening on Silver Creek around the opener can be fun, and the scenery breathtaking. Within weeks the Brown Drake emergence will dazzle the eye with its magnitude. It can be wall to wall anglers during this hatch, but even a non-angler would be intrigued by the oddity and surreal nature of this insect hatch. For now, count on seeing fish feeding on Caddis, PMD spinner falls and Baetis in the twilight.
Despite the fact that this is the opener on Silver Creek, a certain amount of stealth, well tied knots and leaders, and good fly patterns are essential. Enjoy the hatches, and be kind to one another!
Big Wood River
The Wood has a ton of potential on the opener and in spots is pretty much fishable from top to bottom. The side channels on the Wood are going to provide excellent opportunities for anglers. The main channel on the lower river, despite the fact that it may be clear enough to fish, is still carrying a lot of volume and can be dangerous at high flows. The best option for anglers looking to fish the Big Wood the first week of the season is to focus on side channels and braided areas, and this is best done by using a vehicle and starting either at the top or bottom of the valley and working ones way the opposite direction checking out many access points along the way.
Upon our inspection of the Wood a week prior to opening day we did find a good number of Green Drake Nymphs very close to the bank, and with darkening wing cases. This was mostly from Ketchum to the South, so anglers can pretty much count on this hatch to become a significant one early on. We may see a few by opening day, especially in the rivers lower reaches, and by the first few days of June expect this hatch to blow up. Keep in mind this hatch starts in the South Valley and works its way gradually upstream. It is also a fair-weather hatch with the bulk of the emergence happening on hot days in the afternoon and the spinner falls happening before the sun gets on the water in the mornings. Other insects to look for are Stoneflies, both big and small, as well as some Baetis. Anglers looking to fish the river on the opener should rig a large Stimulator, in Orange, Yellow or Royal colors, and if the fish donâ€™t eat it on a the first few passes add a dropper or have a friend run a nice sized bead head Prince Nymph or Epoxy Back Green Drake Nymph under an indicator through the prime spots. From what we saw last week, donâ€™t dare go to the river without a good selection of Big Green Drake dry flies.
The river is clear enough to fish, but please use EXTREME caution on the Wood the first couple of weeks as the river is still running high, and please leave your fishing dog at home until the water drops, as they have no concept of current speeds, log jams and frigid temperatures!
Little Wood River
The Little Wood is fishable with a bit of tint to the water. It also has a bit of moss in it which should increase. Big Stimulators are a great bet to bring up some decent fish, but cover a lot of water. A bead head dropper is not a bad idea either.
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
We can definitely expect some fishing up top this spring. For the opener there are places to fish, although high water with a slight tint to it, may be the norm. When we looked at the rivers up there this week they were running at good speeds, but there were areas that could be fished with big Stimulators, or beaded nymphs. Normally we advise walking long stretches on these waters to catch good numbers of big fish, in its current state your better off driving from one good spot to the next. Use a lot of access points and search the available buckets, seams and drop-offs.
The main stem of the Lost after the North and East Fork come together is really the only stretch we saw that looked non-fishable. The water is very high and very off color. By the opener there may be a small chance to fish a rare side channel or something, but more attention should be paid to the upper basin.
The North Fork seems to have the most color to the water, but the flows werenâ€™t terribly high. This could be a good bet for anglers that want solitude and some exercise. The East Fork was pretty high, and should clear enough in this next week to find a few spots to cast a fly. Wildhorse Creek looked very good and could be worthy of a few hours of prospecting. The water is moving, but very clear.
Big Lost River
The river below Mackay Dam had nice clarity, but the high flows really limit the access due to dangerous wading. The bank fishing areas in front of the main access points should fish well with bead head nymphs, and we did see trout feeding off of the surface on Micro Caddis in a few spots this week. There just arenâ€™t a lot of places to get around easily. It would be tough to find a full day of fishing below the dam, but it may be worth a few hours of poking around.
We have a lot of area to fish this year, unlike last season, so get out and enjoy the early season, itâ€™s going to be one fantastic June for fly anglers in the Wood River Valley!