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“The river moves on and on; the heart follows, willingly, always glad to be hunter, discoverer.”

– Harry Middleton

Keep your heart tuned to the rivers. This is the week that the flows turn the corner and beckon the angler towards summer.

Silver Creek
The Brown Drakes started late last week as predicted. But instead of starting in the lower river and progressing up stream, they seemed to have exploded everywhere, all at once. This is going to be a fast and furious hatch thanks to the heat, and it may be over in a couple days. Those not seeking Drakes will find the fishing has been good on the Preserve and the Pond during the most pleasant times of day with a few large PMDs, Callibaetis, and Baetis. While the bug activity is typically sporadic this time of year, the warm weather over the last few days has made for short and robust hatches, especially of Baetis. If the surface activity appears limited, searching with a large beetle or ant will bring fish up, especially if the wind chop is on the water. In the evening, caddis and smaller PMDs may make an appearance as well as good numbers of crane flies.

Big Wood
The flows peaked at just under 1,800 CFS, and should continue to drop as the week progresses. A persistent angler may find a side channel or a back eddy to flip a fly, but the river is still too high for a day of fishing.

South Fork of the Boise
The flows have dropped to just above 1,600 CFS. This is a more typical summer flow and perfect for floating, but still limits access for wade fishermen. The fishing has been decent with large stonefly patterns and streamers. Be on the watch for the Salmon fly hatch on the lower reaches of the river.

The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are too high for safe wading at 550 CFS. In general, at 350 CFS strong waders can make their way around the river; however, at 500 CFS and above fishing access is limited and wading difficult to impossible.

Upper Big Lost
The water is very high, especially on the main stem of the Upper Lost. Like all our freestones, it appears to have peaked and starting to slowly drop.  In the meanwhile, this is a beautiful place for a family picnic and you might even be able to find a place to wet a line. Try a streamer or a large, heavy nymph.

The Salmon
The river needs to drop to around 2,500 CFS and it will be ready to go. It appears to be dropping about 200 to 300 CFS a day at this point. Hopefully, by next week it will be ready to float in time for the Salmon fly hatch.

Stillwater
Magic, Mackay, and the Little Wood reservoir remain good options, but water temps are starting to rise in the shallow bays.  As this happens the fish will move to find cooler water and feed early and late. All these stillwaters can be fished either from the bank, a float tube, or a boat. Of course, always be leery of heavy afternoon winds if you choose to boat or tube. Pulling leech patterns or suspending chironomids have 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 | Damsel Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails

Big Wood, Warm Springs, Big Lost, Salmon River: Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Rubber Legged Stones | Caddis Larva | King Prince | Streamers

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

Stillwater Flies: 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 127 cfs
Big Wood 1490 cfs
The Lost Below Mackay 598 cfs
Salmon 3040 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 1620 cfs