We're finally getting a true picture of our fishing, now and in the future. And things are looking great. This doesn't mean we're out of the woods. Higher-than-normal water issues may persist for another week or two. It does mean that all of our streams, at least in part, can be worked with success. There is a lot going on with hatches and catchable fish, so let's get to the fishing issues.
SILVER CREEK—All hatches are now a "go." It's the time of year when the creek begins to take on a life of its own. The good news is that the true "kickoff" hatch of Trico has arrived. It started last week but was very weak. By the coming weekend it should be its "raging, maddening" self. A Dave's Trico Spinner #22 or something quite similar should to the job. A Parachute White/Black Dun #22, pre-spinner fall, will also take a few fish. Also very important during and/or following Trico is the spinner falls of both Beatis (D. hageni) and PMDs (E. excrusions inermis). A Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 and either a Gray Yellow No Hackle #16-18 or a Cut-Wing PMD #16-18 (upright wing profile) needs to be carried and used if they appear. It can be a great but tricky time of year. You definitely need to be aware of what's going on in front of you for success. The afternoons bring out the Damselflies. A good Blue Damsel #8-10 imitation could rock a few of the big boys. Settle in, for this scenario will be around for a while. Partridge Spinner #16 for Callibeatis is a good bet in a pinch in the afternoons.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood is certainly clear. There are good hatches and it's fishing nicely but still limited. Our big problems are water levels (810 cfs) and velocity. I've seen this on rare occasions over 40 years, so I recognize the possibility that we could be fighting this problem for some time to come. Let's hope not. Accessibility and limited water availability are the primary issues. It is very tough trying to get to and fish the many productive runs. Wading across the streams may not kill you but you will damn sure get wet. This also affects our hatches. They have been good but at the same time a bit spotty, with many of the fish unable to locate and find bugs to feed on. Green Drakes (D. doddsi), Western Quill Gordon's (Ep. longimanus) and the Cream Duns (Ep. deceptivus), often confused with PMDs, are all seen in good enough quantity for some great fishing. Nevertheless it can be problematic finding some open water that is not occupied. Mason Green Drakes #10-12, Olive and regular Parachute Hares Ear #10-14 and Para PMDs #14-16 should all move fish. Also seen are a few Golden Stones (Calineuria). Yellow Sallys (Isoperla) and Yellow Stimulators #8 and #12 are very effective. Nymph fishing can be good using Prince Nymphs #8-10, Green Drake Nymphs #10, Golden Stone Nymphs #8 and Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs #10-12, but because surface activity has been strong, bothering with it is not at the top of my list.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both are at good levels and fishing well for smaller fish. Standard patterns such as Para Adams #14-16, Stimulators #14, Para PMD #14-16, Royal Wulffs #16 and Prince Nymphs #12-14 should take fish. This time of year, Warm Springs has a nice hatch of Western Quills in the afternoon.
BIG LOST—Still a bit of a mystery, the upper Lost should be down to reasonable wading levels by now. Instead, it actually went up over the past weekend (1,040 cfs). Unlike the Wood, which can spread out in different channels, the East Fork is confined and stays within its banks. So the fisherman reaps the full force of current while wading. I'm not sure where the water is now coming from but I can't believe it can remain this way for long. If you're going over the hill, you should duplicate the hatches and fly patterns occurring on the Wood. The lower Lost is fishable but still too high (680 cfs) for my liking. My "Magic Number" is anything below 400 cfs and this won't happen until irrigation subsides. Big Prince Nymphs #8-12, Copper Johns #10-12 and San Juan Worms #10 will all work. Some split-shot added wouldn't hurt as well.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK—Heavily planted, as are parts of the upper, upper Big Wood. Flies, bait and Spinners (on Wood) are effective.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Still at mid-season, floating level flows (1,790 cfs). Don't have any real up-to-date reports on the Salmon Fly status but you should still be able to use said patterns of the big fly to move some fish, at least for awhile. I would also begin looking for some Pink Alberts (Ep. albertea) and Para Adams #14-16. Para Pink Alberts #14-16 should do some damage. Caddis and Hoppers will begin to be players as well.