The late summer on our area waters this season could be dominated by the terrestrial insects. Things are shaping up that way. A dry summer means the greenest grass on the river banks will draw Ants, Beetles and Hoppers, the way a desert watering hole draws animals for miles. Couple this with the early emergence of most insects this season which may leave a gap in the summer menu, at least until the fall bugs show up. During this period the Terrestrial will become an even more major food source for the trout then thay already are. When the waters begin to rise and flood the grasses on Silver Creek, the Terrestrials will be driven to the tops of the grass where wind, passing animals and dive bombing birds will drive them into the water. The fish will be waiting. Beef up your tippets and get ready to look tight to the bank!
The Trico Spinner Fall continues to be the mainstay of the fish and the angler attention as we enter the traditional Trico month of August. Itâ€™s anyoneâ€™s guess whether or not we will see an increase in the size and duration of the spinner falls, or if we will see them peter out as the month progresses. It is safe to say we will get at least two or even three more weeks of good Trico activity. The Callibaetis should become more significant as the month progresses as well. With some cooler temperatures we could begin seeing a great afternoon fishery on the slower waters. In the meantime look to fish the Callibaetis on the sloughs. The Baetis continue to show as the Trico Spinner Fall wanes. They can show again in the evening with the Caddis, and a few other randoms, like PMD, Callibaetis and even Midges. With summer progressing and with the fish seeing plenty of flies, make sure to have long tapered leaders, starting at about 12 feet, and even a bit longer depending on ones casting skills. Taper this to 6X and then keep your drifts accurate and short. Be aware, that a delicate presentation that can float drag free for 8 to 10 inches is more important than fly choice. Thatâ€™s not to say, donâ€™t use good patterns, but a change in presentation, before a change in fly choice, may often be the ticket to success on the Creek.
Big Wood River
After a slower spell, recent reports seem to indicate a small resurgence in the Big Wood fishery. This could be due to the aid of recent cloud cover, or fewer anglers on the river, or even both, but whatever the reason, the fish are looking up. Shady river corridors are good places to search out in the afternoons. Hoppers and other general attractors like Royal Trudes, or Medium sized Stimulators are all ones needs to search about. In the mornings, Mayfly Spinner Falls like the Trico are key. Having a variety of spinner patterns, especially the Rusty Spinner in a variety of sizes is a good idea. These will work equally well in the evenings when you encounter rising fish. Stay late for the Caddis activity.
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
While the Big Wood was certainly the highlight of the early summer fishing, the Upper Lost and Copper Basin have been putting on a mid summer show that has been quite outstanding. The early show starts low on the main stem of the Lost and then as the sun gets on the water this begins to slow and the upper tributaries seem to pick right up. For anglers willing to move several miles at key points in the day, the fishing can be really steady. There are many different bugs hatching from little Tricos to bigger Stoneflies, Hopper are taking fish and general attractors are fishing strong as well. The fish seem to be in the middle fast water and near, or under structure on the banks. There are plenty of fish sitting shallow as well, so donâ€™t ignore these runs on your way up or down river. Take a good spare tire, a raincoat, plenty of water and drive slow for an excellent summer day of fishing!
Big Lost River
Below Mackay wading conditions remain the same, kind of tough, but with some fishable and wadeable waters. The fish are taking a variety of insects of the top in the mornings and evenings, and can be brought up in the mid-day by skating Crane Fly patterns. Nymphing the gravel shelves can also be quite productive. Take a combination of your Big Wood flies and even Silver Creek flies when the fish are rising. Trico Spinner Falls start the day, with periodic flurries of other Mayfly and Caddis. Hopper fishing is also well worth your time on this stretch and fishing a dropper beneath like a small Copper John or Prince Nymph will also add to you total of hook ups.
South Fork of the Boise
Big is good on the South Fork these days. Golden Stoneflies and Hoppers are great to imitate when fishing from the boat. Use big foam patterns, heavy tippets, cast close to the bank and keep the fly in the water for plenty of big fish action. The Pink Albert makes an appearance later in the afternoon and the fish are eager to greet this hatch both on the surface and beneath it. Be sure to try cut-wing patterns when imitating the emergence of this Mayfly.