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“Right now I’m having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.”

– Steven Wright

Over a lifetime of angling, we are always relearning lessons. There is a familiarity in failure and a resignation to get it right the next time a trout gives you the opportunity.

Silver Creek

The Creek seems to be in transition. The midday activity of spring and early summer is shifting to early and late. And as we move into July, we should start to see some Tricos in the morning, but at the moment the most prevalent bugs are baetis mixed with, PMDs, callibaetis, crane flies, damsels, and caddis. On windy days, which is most days, try beetles or ants along the banks. Nymphing is a good option if the hatch is mild and risers are sporadic.

Big Wood

The Wood dropped 200 CFS over the last week. It finally feels like summer has arrived and the wet wading season has begun. But be careful out there; the flows on the Wood are still pushy, especially mid valley. Hopefully, we will continue to see Green Drakes this week, but the hatch is already starting to fade. You will also see a nice mix of caddis, craneflies, and PMDs. Remember, with the water dropping the fish will continue to move into water that provides the best protection from predators and flow as well as a steady supply of food. Anywhere you can find soft water, it is worth searching with a good attractor dry or Green Drake imitation. Dry dropper rigs are also a good bet.

South Fork of the Boise

The flows are holding at around 1200 CFS. This is a floatable level, and there are some wade fishing opportunities though they are limited. From a boat, it is easy to search the side channels, work flies tight to the banks, and run nymphs through the soft riffles and seams. There are still a few stoneflies, but caddis and Pink Alberts are also present.

The Lost Below Mackay

The flows seem to have stabilized at 500 CFS. At 500 CFS fishing access is limited and wading difficult to impossible beyond a few easy access runs. If you decide to give it a go, you will find decent baetis, PMDs, and stoneflies hatching midday into the afternoon.

Upper Big Lost

The East, West and North Fork are wadable and fishing has been good. The main stem is still too big, but should be ready by the middle of the month. You will find a nice mix of bugs (stones, mayflies and caddis) in the air starting mid morning and tapering off in the afternoon. This river has already seen a bit of pressure, so you may find the fish a bit picky. Be prepared to fish smaller bugs to fool selective feeders.

The Salmon

The water levels are perfect for floating or wade fishing for cutthroat, rainbows, cutbows, whitefish, and the occasional bull trout. While floating is a good way to cover water, the walk and wade fishing above and below Stanley has also been productive. Additionally, the Yankee Fork Dredge Ponds, Kids Creek Pond, Stanley Lake, or Alturas Lake have all been recently stocked for 4th of July campers. Also, Chinook season opened on the 20th of June, so you can expect crowds around the popular Chinook buckets.


Magic, Mackay, and the Little Wood reservoir remain good options; however, the water temps are rising and the fish will seek cooler water. All these stillwaters can be fished either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. Of course, always be leery of heavy winds if you choose to boat or tube. Pulling leech patterns or suspending chironomids or callibaetis has been effective.

Local Ponds

It is time to take the family to Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All the ponds have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season.

Silver Creek: PMDs | Beatis | Callibeatis | Damsels | Crane Flies | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails

Big Wood: Green Drakes | Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | Caddis Larva | King Prince | Streamers

Big Lost: Yellow Sallies | Green Drakes | Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | King Prince | Streamers

Salmon River: Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | King Prince | Streamers

South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flashback Pheasant Tails | Streamers 

Stillwater: Pops Buggers | Standard Olive, Black and Brown Wooly Buggers | Stayner’s Ducktail | Sheep Creek Special | Bouface Leech | Seal Buggers | Squirrel Leech | Chironomids | Olive Scuds | Perch Imitations




Silver Creek 103 cfs
Big Wood 456 cfs
The Lost Below Mackay 506 cfs
Salmon 1140 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 1210 cfs