As we move into the month of June, there were few surprises with the fishing production on either the opening weekend or the past week. Clearly the low water has had its impact. Yet it’s the overall lack of hatch activity (with the exception of Brown Drake) that is making the fishing opportunities tenuous. This will change for the better. Unfortunately, everybody has an opinion about the situation. What I find most amusing is that the sharpest criticism comes from people who have lived here the least amount of time with little sense of history. Remember, it’s only the first of June. It’s a time when the water levels are always iffy and the hatch activity is inconsistent at best. Here’s what we might expect in the next few days.
SILVER CREEK—Still the only game in town but for the most part, fishing has been a bit sketchy mainly because of tough hatch activity. Midges seem to be the most prevalent feeding source of the fish. Para Black Midge Adult #20-22 adult and a Black Midge Pupa #18-20 have had good results. A few PMDs and Beatis are seen and when on the water and a Para PMD #18, Para Olive Beatis and Cripple Sparkle Sun #20-22 will take those fish seen working on them. These two hatches should improve. Also seen and relevant, are a few Callibeatis and a Para Partridge Dun, Cripple Callibeatis and even a Callibeatis Partridge Spinner #16-18 have found a few receptive fish. Because of the moderate weather, the Brown Drake surprised us all by appearing a week earlier than normal. Fishing was good but because of the low water, the fish were highly concentrated. If you were where they were, fishing was epic, if not……..well. Only lasting a week to 10 days in duration, it should be long gone for the year. Don’t forget to carry a few Ant and Beatle imitations #14-16. Remember, be patient people, be patient.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Running at roughly 1,000 cfs, the river is high, off-color and unfishable. Because of the moderate weather patterns we’ve been experiencing and nearly 80% water content still remaining in the back country, this condition could last for weeks to come. This could push hatch schedules back quite a bit. When they do appear, fishing to them could be problematic because of high water. We’ll see.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—High, off-color and unfishable. Like the Big Wood, it will be awhile.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—The upper river and/or the East Fork are nearly finished with runoff. Although they’re still running a bit high, it wouldn’t surprise me that they could be quite fishable in the next week or two. That would be earlier than normal. I’ll keep you up to date. The lower river is currently running at 600 cfs (normally 1500 or more), which tells me the irrigators in Mackay are conserving water. Regardless, 600 cfs makes for very tough wading but if one chooses to wet a line, nymphs such as Prince Nymphs #8-10, Copper Johns #10-12, all weighted, should find a few fish. Just be careful wading. 600 cfs can knock you down.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Except for Gaver’s, I was a bit surprised of the lack of fish seen in our local impoundments. This should change in this next week when more planting of fish will occur. Bait and flies should produce some good results.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Interesting situation on the South Fork but like all of our waters, it’s too early to tell what the year will bring. It has been running at winter levels (300 cfs), but is scheduled to be kicked up to 1600 this week, making for tough wading conditions. Reports have been mixed. But the lack of visible fish being seen and hatch activity occurring are certainties, coming from very knowledgeable anglers. Fish are being hooked but it’s still a bit tough. Midges seem to be the main source of feeding activity with a few Salmon Flys (very early) being seen and no Caddis appearing. Fire damage is a factor, so it waits to be seen what this all means. Raising the water flows could help the river a lot but like many river systems, it may take some time to heal.