Thinking about our fishing, I feel like a little boy waiting for Santa Claus and Christmas day to arrive. Each day seems like a year. I'm wondering if it will ever get here and if I'll get what I asked for. Fishing and fishing conditions are still rather limited but getting closer to what we want most. Unfortunately, our cold snap this past weekend didn't help getting Santa here any faster, but things are looking better. It's safe to say that high water will be with us for the next week or two. What we don't know is how high and how fishable it will be. Let's look at our prospects.
SILVER CREEK—Fishing quite nicely but a little bit inconsistent as to what and when you will find. I found the best fishing in the morning with the little Beatis spinner (D. hageni) emerging as the predominant player. I took fish easily with both a Mason Quill Beatis #22 and a Cream CDC Spinner #22 (they were indifferent to a #20). Also seen and fished with success was a scattering of emerging PMDs (E. excursions inermis). A PMD Parachute #18 did the trick. As for the PMDs, as the weather warms, I would now begin looking for a strong hatch of PMD duns in the evening. This is when this hatch can be at its best. Callibeatis spinner will always be around in the afternoon and a Partridge Spinner #16 works well. I have also started seeing Blue Damselflys flying. Now that they're here, they will only get stronger, making for some wild afternoons for big fish. In general we are now entering that time of year when hatches and consistency move up about 10 notches. So get ready to tighten your seat belts.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood is now the toughest one to call. It was dropping but still remained very high and clear enough to fish in select places. That was probably because of a drop in temperatures, slowing the runoff. Warmer weather is predicted and with more runoff to come, it's anybody's guess as to what the results will be. If clear, side eddies, side pockets and side channels (if you can get to them) will be your best hope. Regardless, the river will be very high so WATCH YOURSELF WADING. Jig's, weighted Wooly Buggers, Golden and Black Stonefly Nymphs #6 will be your best bet. A big Yellow Simulator #6-8 might move a fish or two on the surface.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Warm Springs is low, clear and fishing pretty well. Parachute Adams #14-16, Stimulators #12-14, Para Hares Ear #14 and Bead Head Prince #14 all seem to be taking fish. Trail Creek is still a bit high and shady in color but by this weekend, it should be in good shape (???), using the same patterns that apply on Warm Springs.
BIG LOST—Finally got a solid report and as I have been predicting, the East Fork was very high. But river measurements are dropping. By this weekend, things could be in good enough shape to fish effectively. Hatches are the same as the Wood, albeit heavier, but I doubt whether you need to get into a hatch matching game. Yellow Stimulator #8 and #12, Para Adams #12-14, Para Hares Ear #12 and maybe a Prince Nymph #12 should do the job. The lower river, for whatever reason, has dropped but I wouldn't bet money on it staying there. It's still high (680 cfs) and tough to wade, but you might find a few fish with big Prince Nymphs #8-10, Copper John's #12 or a San Juan Worm #10. It's also the perfect time for a big hatch of the small Yellow Stonefly (Isoperla) or Yellow Sally's #12. But because of river levels and its unpredictability, I doubt if I will be wasting the gas getting there.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK—Both will be heavily planted and will fish very well. Bait and flies should all be effective. They are still great and safe places to take the kids.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Water levels (1850 cfs) have come down slightly but not enough for comfortable wading. So, floating is a necessity. The good news is that Salmon Flies were found in good quantities in the lower reaches (canyon) and should be in the upper section by now. Troth (Henry's Fork) Stone #6-8, Birds Stone #6, Orange Stimulators #6-8 and a Black Rubber-Legs Nymph #6-8, should all do the job. Let's hope the big bugs are still there through the weekend. Regardless, the fish should still be looking for it, at least for awhile.