With the majority of our rivers on fire right now, the toughest decision awaiting valley anglers is where to go have a great day of fishing. The valley temperatures are expected to rise over the next few days so expect the optimal fishing to move towards the mornings and evenings.
Big Wood River
The Big Wood has really picked up over the past two weeks with a variety of insects hatching and water levels at an ideal flow for July fishing. The Green Drakes have begun to taper off but the fish are still opportunistically feeding on well presented Drake patterns. Drake nymphs (Olive Hare’s Ear, Poxyback Green Drake) are working very well when the fish aren’t feeding on top. Caddis and PMDs are out in the evenings and the larger fish tend to get going on these bugs during the last sliver of daylight. Anglers will also encounter Pink Alberts throughout the day along with a variety of Stoneflies.
The Tricos have arrived! It is now the time of year when calm mornings will turn the creek into a trout feeding frenzy. A combination of Trico Spinners, Baetis, and the occasional PMD flurry should provide plenty of targets to early morning anglers. The fish will target specific stages and species of insects, so bring a selection of creek mayflies and change flies often if you’re receiving refusals. As the day progresses, be prepared for Callibaetis hatches with a selection of duns, cripples, and spinners.
During the middle of the day, when the Mayflies taper off, anglers should be prepared to fish a variety of terrestrials. Beetles and Ants are still working but the Damselfly is in full swing and Hoppers are just around the corner. Fish small hopper patterns early in the season and increase the size every couple of weeks as the hopper population grows throughout July and August.
Big Lost River
The Big lost is still flowing too high for safe access and fishing. Recent reservoir storage data suggests that Mackay Reservoir is at 100 percent of capacity. The Big Lost’s flows below Mackay will slow down once the reservoir starts to drop.
Upper Big Lost / Copper Basin
The water in this area has really picked up over the past week with Wildhorse, Starhope, and the East Fork of the Big Lost all fishing well. Parachute Adams, Stimulators, Green Drakes, Turks Tarantulas, and Chernobyls will all produce fish this time of year.
South Fork of the Boise
The Salmonflies are out in abundance and the first Pink Albert hatches of the summer have begun. Caddis are still bringing fish to the surface in the afternoons but the fish have become more selective. Bring a variety of small caddis patterns and be prepared to switch flies and lighten the tippet if you’re receiving refusals. The South Fork will probably be busy for the weekend, so if you go, bring a good attitude, be prepared for crowds, and be thankful for the resource.