Picabo Bridge to Hwy 20
The Brown Drakes have made an early debut and rewarded those on early recognizant scouting missions. Fill up the gas tank and grab your headlamp; cooler temps will keep the hatch in flux and reward those that stay long past sunset. The Point of Rocks and Willows areas will see a lot of pressure, but there’s plenty of water and fish to go around. Enjoy!
Insect activity should be highlighted by the Pale Morning Dun (P.M.D.) Fish take advantage of this early season insect every opportunity they can, as it is the biggest insect they see until the Green Drakes begin to show up. The P.M.D. hatches and spinner falls, if the weather is nice, should be most productive in the morning and evening. Mid-afternoon action will happen, but it may be sporadic and in isolated areas on the creek. Fish the P.M.D. in a size 16. Our favorite patterns include, P.M.D. Hackle Stackers, Harrop Biot Parachute, Harrop CDC Standard, P.M.D. Sparkle Dun, Hen-Wing Spinners, and P.M.D. CDC Spinners.
The Big Wood
The Big Wood River is slowly dropping and clearing. It is running just below 4 feet, which is still high by all standards. If you take the time to find the slower side channels, try fishing large Royal Stimulators, Orange Stimulators, and Yellow Stimulators, Turk’s Tarantula, Chernobyl Ants and Salmon Flies on the surface. If fish are reluctant to rise, try dropping a beadhead Prince Nymph, Green Drake nymph or Stonefly pattern underneath your bushy dry fly. Fish the calmest waters you can find especially slow riffles.
Lost River and Tributaries
You will have to hunt and peck to find fishable water over the hill. The Lost River below Mackay Reservoir is running at 900 cfs and the tributaries are dropping and clearing every day. Whenever the Big Wood begins to fish, we can usually plan on fishing the East Fork of the Lost as well. This is big water in the early season though and recommended for those with very strong wading skills. Fly selection for this area is the same as the Big Wood River, big bushy dry flies.
The Little Wood may be a good place to cast giant salmon flies, but similar to neighboring rivers, it too is dropping and clearing â€“ making fishing spotty; however, the Little Wood may be a great place for privacy and wildflower viewing with a few fish thrown in.
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 75%
Big Wood – 88%
Little Wood – 114%
Big Lost – 101%
Henry’s Fork – 80%