We are about to close the door on July and up to this point, fishing continues to send mixed signals. As expected, some of our waters are producing quite nicely, while others have been struggling to have their breakout moments. Water (a tiny bit too much), both in volume and velocity in the best runs, has been just restrictive enough to limit greatness. From this week forward, water levels should be perfect thus turning the corner we have been longing for. It also could mean that August could be lights-out as well. Let's run down the list of waters as to what we will see this week.
Silver Creek—Not much change here and should remain this way for the next few weeks. Heavy Trico spinners in the morning and a Dave Trico Spinner #22 or a Cut-Wing Trico Spinner #22 will do the job. Mixing in as Trico diminishes is the little Beatis spinners (D. hageni) and a Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 takes fish. Although it's been a little spotty, PMD spinners (E. dorthea inermis) could fall in the middle of everything, which will cause the fish to switch to the bigger fly. A Cut-Wing Para PMD #16-18 or a Slate/Tan No Hackle #16 (upright wing) works nicely. The Cream Caddis (Brachycentrus) or Olive Sedge is also seen in the morning but because it really never gets on the water, it's never quite the player fishermen anticipate. In short, it looks more inviting than it is. A Partridge Caddis #14 might occasionally take fish. Afternoons have been slowish and Callibeatis spinners and Blue Damselfly imitations will take a few fish in the slow, floating areas.
Big Wood—Although it is open to debate, 75 to 80 percent of the Wood is fishing well, albeit for smaller fish. Our problem is not this but rather the other 20 to 25 percent, which up until last weekend, has been carrying just enough water and velocity that makes productivity tough. Unfortunately, it's these sections we have wanted to get our hands on and around. With water levels now in the 300-350 cfs range, those closed doors should now be open from this point forward. Hatches have not been robust. Some Caddis has been seen in the morning and fishermen are still fishing Green Drakes in the afternoons but it has been the standard Para Adams #14, Para Hares Ear #14-16 and small Yellow Stimi's #14-16 that move the most fish. Cream Duns (E. deceptivus) and Pink Duns (H. elegantula), often confused with Pink Alberts (E. albertea), are seen in the afternoons and should get stronger and more meaningful. Para PMDs #16 and Pink Alberts #14-16 will take fish. Regardless and because we have had more water in runs than I like, going under with Prince Nymphs #12, Copper Johns #12, Green Drake Nymphs #12, were instant producers for bigger fish. Not yet sure and because hatch size tend to be small this time of year, this might be the best method for larger fish in the coming weeks. Remember, I don't make up the rules in this game. Have not seen Hopper infestation as of yet.
Big Lost—The water in the upper river is low and fishing reports are somewhat mixed. Everyone is catching fish its fish size and type (lots of Brookies) that's all over the place. Then again, it's really inconsequential because of the scenic beauty of the area. Para Adams #14-16, Pink Alberts #14, Para Red Quills #16 and small Hoppers #14, all moved and took fish. The lower river is still at irrigation flow levels, making it fishable but still tough to wade and get about. For best results, Prince Nymphs #10, Copper Johns #12 and San Juan Worms #10-12, with weight, is still your best bet. Fishing big Cranefly imitations can also be deadly and can jerk you out of your wading boots on the take, if you're not careful.
Warm Springs/Trail Creek—Both are fishing nicely but other than the planted fish found in selected places, fish tend to be smaller in size. Royal Wulffs #16, Olive Troth Elk Caddis #16, Para Adams #14-16 and a Wrights Royal #14 will get the attention of most of the fish. An occasional 14"- 15" fish were found with a Bead Head Prince #14.
Penny Lake/Lake Creek—Always planted with hatchery trout and a great place for kids. Flies and a variety of baits are effective.
S. Fork Boise—River still remains at mid-season flow levels making wading well! Because everything thing else is in good shape, no real reports. Look for Pink Alberts and Caddis, and, with Grasshoppers a concern with the farmers, Hopper patterns could move some big boys. It could be a banner year for this terrestrial on this river.