Despite some moans and groans, fishing success has been quite decent. But there’s no question that successes have been inconsistent. Hot weather is often the blaming point but if you look back historically, the mid-July heat is really not that unusual. Rather, it is the change in insect activity and low water conditions that contributes to most of the fishing disparities. As a general rule for next few weeks, if your fishing is centered on an extra cup of coffee in the morning or cocktail hour in the late afternoon, you have probably missed the prime time to be on the water. Also, the size of everything, from flies to leaders, may be required for best results.
SILVER CREEK—Water levels are still low and water temps are now higher then I’d like to see for the comfort levels of the fish. Last fall’s restoration work has not caused this situation. Good hatches in the early morning hours consist of Beatis spinners and Trico. The fish are not fussy about fly patterns as long as sizes are met. Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22, Rusty CDC Spinner #22 and a Dave’s CDC Trico Spinner #22 should do the job. Callibeatis spinners are seen afternoon but it has been my experience that because they never they never really land on the water, not much eating is taking place. Hopper fishing in the PM could now be a good bet especially if the wind blows. Here’s a cautionary note: Because of high water temps and low water levels, I’m hearing that the Conservancy will be closing fishing after 10 a.m. on the property to protect the fishery. Wish I knew more. Better check.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Most of our great hatches of Green Drakes and Western Quills are gone for the year. But good surface activity for the smaller fish can be found in the morning hours using Para Adams #14-16, Purple Haze #14-16 and Tan Gulper Special #14-18. Afternoons can be very hit-or-miss. Throwing small Grasshopper patterns #12-14 might get some nice results. It’s also the time of year when fishing in the evening can be big. The abundant Caddis hatches are the reason. Caddis generally is nocturnal by nature, so the river can explode in feeding activity. From preliminary observations, this could be a banner year. Likely to do the job are Hemingway Caddis #14-16, Partridge Caddis #14-16 (you can see them) and Olive and Tan Soft Hackles #14-16 to imitate emerging pupas.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—Depending on who you talk to, the East Fork (Copper Basin) is either fishing nicely or very poorly. Go figure. Clearly, you need to know the river for success and fly patterns used on the Wood should suffice. I’ve never seen the Lower Lost at this level (300cfs) at this time of year. Although some big hatches have gone through for the season, the big Craneflys seen in the afternoon are now upon us. They can produce some serious results when skating various Cranefly imitations and Mackay Special’s #10-12 across the water surface. Just remember to dig your heels in, for the strikes can be vicious. Prince Nymphs and Copper Johns #10-12 are always a good bet, too.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both are getting low but are fishing nicely with good results. How long they will last is anybody’s guess. Standard patterns in size 14-16 should find some fish.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Always supplied with fish. Various baits andflies will do the job.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Water still running at 1600 cfs which makes for tough wading. Some Salmon Flys and Cicadas still lingering but from this point forward, look for Caddis, great Hopper fishing and Pink Albert’s. Even the Mormon Cricket eruption they are talking about might be a player.