Wow! Take your eye off the ball for one minute and you realize it’s the 4th of July! I do have a few water concerns now and for the future, yet the holiday should provide some great angling opportunities on most of our waters. Spectacular weather is forecasted, so it could be a great weekend.
SILVER CREEK—Wind has been the main culprit the past week. And water levels, normally on the rise this time of year, are still low and have actually dropped from an average high of 115 cfs to 76 cfs. Hatches have been sporadic but when bugs are on the water, fishing can be very good. Pale Morning Duns and Beatis spinners are main target imitations. PMD Parachute #18, Crippled PMD #18, Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 and a Sparkle Dun Beatis Emerger #20-22 should turn some heads. It’s still early, with the low water, warm air and water temperature currently at 64 degrees. I’m not saying it will happen, but Trico may find itself appearing ahead of schedule. Be prepared with a few imitations, just in case. Blue Damsels #10-12 may also be a sleeper fly pattern when things get slow in the afternoon.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Although still carrying enough water (490 cfs) for comfortable wading, the Wood is far below the mean average of 900 cfs for this time of year. You need to be somewhat selective about where and the type of water you cast your fly, but the overall fishing has been great and very productive. Green Drakes, Western Quills and small Yellow Stoneflys are being seen and a host of imitations are getting the job done. Mason and Colorado Green Drakes #10-12, Crippled Green Drakes #12-14, Parachute Olive and Regular Hares #12-14, Para Adams #12-14 and Yellow Stimulators #12-14 should cover all your bases for great surface activity. Also, Green Drake Nymph #10 and Hares Ear Nymph #10-12 will work well in the deeper sections. The water flow is still strong so be careful out there.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both are low and flowing about the same levels (75 cfs) making for easy wading and fun fishing. You may be surprised to find that many of the same hatches on the Wood, particularly the Western Quill, appear on both streams. Standard fly patterns like Para Adams #14, Para Hares Ear #14 and Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph #12-14 should find fish.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—The upper river in the Copper Basin is very fishable. With the 4th upon us, the waters should receive some supplemental plantings to make for some great angling opportunities. Hatches and fly patterns seen and used on the Wood should suffice. The real news is about the river below the reservoir at Mackay. Normally nearly impossible to wade at this time of year, it is now flowing at September levels of 350 cfs, which I cannot recall ever seeing. That situation now opens the door for effective fishing of one of the single best hatches the lower river offers. That is small Yellow Stonefly (Isoperla). Having blizzard quantities in the afternoon, a Yellow Stimulator #12-14 can produce awesome results. Some PMDs will be seen. Prince and Copper John Nymph #10-12 will be effective.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—All will be heavily planted with fish for the holiday. Various baits and flies will find fish. These are wonderful places to introduce young anglers to the sport.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—River flow now at 1660 cfs. That makes it a floating situation rather than wading with any comfort. Look for Salmon Flys, Cicadas and Caddis but as always, be careful.