Over the past week to ten days, fishing conditions have somewhat mysteriously changed dramatically. How we went from nearly 50% to 13% water content remaining (despite last week’s cold weather and snow) is a bit of a head scratcher. Only in the drought year of 1976-77 have I seen such a significant change take place in such a short period of time. The answers from this point forward may only be academic but from a fishing point of view, things are looking quite positive. What will happen in later months remains to be seen; we still have some heavy flows and it is generally apparent that water conservation from dam releases in relation to past years is now in order. However, from this point forward, fishing in most of our waters should be great. Since there is a lot to talk about, let’s get right to it.
Silver Creek: Although flows still remain low (105 cfs), fish population are quite strong and hatch activity has improved as expected. Midges are still significant and a Black Midge Pupa #18-20 and Para Black Sipper Midge #20-22 will take fish. Beatis spinners (B. hageni) are now making their presence known and a Para BWO #20-22, a Sparkle Dun Emerger #20-22 and a Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 will connect with the fish. PMD’s (E. dorthea infrequens) has also improved and a Para PMD #18, Cut Wing PMD #18 and a PMD Cripple #16-18 should do the job. Let’s just hope water levels improve as well.
Big Wood: The Wood and its tributaries saw the biggest change over the past week. Dropping, and clearing significantly, it is still carrying some volume (560 cfs) which makes for tough wading and if our important hatches of the year begin, I fear they might go unnoticed by the fish. With most of the best activity seen in the afternoon, here’s what I would be on the lookout for: Green Drakes (D. doddsi), Western Quill Gordon (E. longimanus) Golden Stones (Acroneuria sp.) and small Yellow Stonefly’s (Isoperla mormoni). Flies I would carry are Mason Green Drakes #10-12, Colorado Green Drakes #12, Parachute Olive Hares Ear #10-12, Para Hares Ear and Adams #14 and Yellow Simulators #8, 12-14. Weighted nymphs such as Green Drakes #10, Prince Nymphs #8-10, Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs #8-10 and Golden Stone Nymph #8 should work in the heavy water. Furthermore, forget the main body of the stream, but rather find side channels and quieter shoreline eddies where fish can find your fly.
Big Lost Drainage: Although I’m not sure what the fish population consists of, the upper river (main stem and East Fork) are in low condition and should be prime for fishing. If going, the hatches and flies appearing in greater quantity run nearly parallel that of the Big Wood. Obviously conserving water in the reservoir, the lower Big Lost in now only flowing at nearly mid-August levels (430 cfs). A bit early, you might find some PMD’s and a few Golden Stones hatching and as always Prince Nymphs #8-10 and Copper Johns #12 will always take fish. We are still about ten days away from the blizzard hatches of Yellow Sally Stonefly’s but I will keep you informed.
Warm Springs/Trail Creek: Both are low, clear and fishable. Para Adams #12-14, Para Hares Ear #14, Yellow Stimi’s #14 and a Bead Head Prince Nymph #14-16 should find some fish.
Penny Lake/Lake Creek/Gavar’s Lagoon: Always supplemented with trout, fishing should be great using various baits and flies.
S. Fork Boise: Information coming from my close “Poet” friend who knows and owns every rock in river, fishing has been very good. Unfortunately, there is a scheduled water release coming this week, which at 1600 cfs, makes for very difficult wading and more conducive to floating the river. The big Stonefly’s and Cicada’s are appearing and fishing various pattern imitations will bring great results. Abundant Caddis hatches are also seen and a Hemingway Caddis #16 and a Parachute Caddis #16 works well if you want to fish some smaller bugs.