by Bill Mason
Although the fishing is steady, I certainly thought it would be stronger at this time of year in terms of bigger fish and unselective trout. Such is not the case. Fly size has become far more important than I anticipated. At the same time, unconventional methods and fly patterns are producing some larger fish. Let's see if I can make some sense out of all this so you can better understand.
• SILVER CREEK—As always the case in August, things just keep marching along on the "creek". Trico and Beatis, although a wee bit inconsistent in terms of quantity and duration from day to day, are still our main hatches. Dave's Trico Spinner #22 , a Hi-Viz Trico Spinner #22 and a Mason Beatis Spinner #22 are about all you need for success. Things are relatively slow in the afternoon but some fish can be taken using Callibeatis Spinners #16-18 as well as Foam Beatles and Ants #16-18. Until Callibeatis duns begin showing in the latter part of the month, that's about what you can expect for the next few weeks.
• BIG WOOD RIVER—Fishing is strong but the fish are more selective than I would of thought for this time of year, given the water levels. Although many fly patterns can be used, fly size has become very important. Size 18 anything is now needed for success. Beatis is on the water and is the probable cause. Para Adams, Para Purple Haze, Parachute Blue Winged Olive's and Parachute Caddis, all in size 18 will take fish. The bright spot is that fishing Hoppers are now coming into play and are moving some of the larger fish in the stream. A Parachute Tan Hopper #8-10 and a Dave's Hopper #10-12 does the job. Using a Flashback Pheasant Tail #14 as a dropper off the hopper is also effective.
• BIG LOST—The East Fork of Copper Basin is fishing nicely for small fish using standard patterns but the Lost below the reservoir, at 549 cfs, is still marginal to wade and fish. You might find a few spots to cast a fly but not many. Trico is being seen but with that amount of water, they will get lost in the shuffle. Remember, 400 cfs is our target level and until that is reached, the fishing will be tough.
• WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both have been fishing nicely for smaller fish using Parachute Adams #16, Purple Haze #16, Elk Hare Caddis #16 Prince Nymph #14-16 and Flashback Pheasant Tails #14.
• PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK—Because of all the kids in town, both have been fished very hard but they are still the best places to take kids using bait to catch fish. Flies are also effective.