The Essence of Sun Valley.

Fly Fishing Forecast 8/24 – 8/31

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” ~ John Wooden

It is as true in fly fishing as it is in basketball. A successful fly fishing outing is dependent on preparation. If you are planing on coming to the Sun Valley area, your preparation should include a visit to our store. Access to local knowledge about hatches, water levels, water temperatures, flies and techniques is paramount to your success on the water. Better yet, hire one of our expert guides and let him or her provide a hands on lesson. Good fishing in late August begins with preparation.

SILVER CREEK
With the shorter days and cool mornings, the Creek is already transitioning from a summer fishery into a fall. While there are still a few Triocs around, the late morning bug activity consists mostly of Baetis duns and spinners in size 22 and 24. The Callibaetis have gained momentum and can be found betweeen 2 and 3 in the afternoon in the slower stretches of the Creek along with a few blue damsels. Be sure to have a good selection of cripples, trailing shuck emergers, spinners, and duns in size 16 and 18 as the fish tend to feed selectively on specific phases of the Callibaetis depending on the day and conditions. Beetles, ants, and hoppers are also very effective, especially on the windy days. It is worth repeating that while fishing the Creek this season has been spectacular at times, the fishing in general remains spotty due to low water and erratic hatches. Much of the walk and wade portions of the Preserve are simply too shallow forcing most of the fish to seek the protection of deeper, cooler water.

BIG WOOD
The Wood continues to fishing well, but can be spotty. There are fewer fish in the Wood this year, and as a result it has been slow to rebound after it has received some fishing pressure the day before. The best fishing has been in areas well between the standard accesses. The water is low and clear, and the fish are starting to look for all kinds of late summer bugs from terrestrials, like flying ants and hoppers, to smaller Baetis and Tricos. With the low water, anglers need to be cautious when approaching the runs. The bigger fish are often waiting to ambush insects in the skinny water at the tail of runs or along the seams. Fish with light tippet (6X or 6.5X) and small parachute patterns before searching the deeper chutes with large dries and dry dropper rigs. This is a perfect water level to try out Tenkara if you have not yet given it a go. The length of a Tenkara rod gives you incredible control of your presentation and is a fun way to fish a single dry, a dry dropper, or a single nymph, Euro style. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

WARM SPRINGS
If you love fishing small creeks, Warm Springs is just the place. As you work through a stretch of river keep in mind the fish will be concentrated in the deeper water and around cover. Be stealthy and you will have a chance of fooling the wily, wild fish. For beginners, Fish and Game keeps this river well stocked around the bridges. Fly wise, try yellow or orange Stimulators or Spruce Moth patterns for dries. Tying on a dropper is a good idea as well; Bishop’s Dynamite, Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tails, and Prince Nymphs all work well.

THE SALMON
The water is low on the Salmon opening up a lot of great walk and wade opportunities around the Stanley area. Along the wooded stretches of the river, look for a few Spruce Moths to be fluttering about. Whether you see them or not, try using a tan caddis or stonefly in size 14 to 8 trailed by a smaller beaded nymph like a Pheasant Tail or a Bishop’s Dynamite along the banks or in the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. Swinging black, brown, and olive streamers or buggers can also be productive and you might even find a resident Bull trout.

BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows are down to just below 350 CFS. The flows should continue to drop as we head into September and the need to irrigate diminishes, so keep an eye on the Idaho Streamflow website. In the meanwhile, the wading remains somewhat challenging and the river can be difficult to get around. That said, these are the lowest flows we have seen all summer and lots of new water has opened as a result. The Trico and Baetis hatches have been very strong, but with the high flows, finding rising fish is a challenge. Nymphing is the most effective method. Try standard dry dropper rigs or fish Euro Style techniques. The best patterns include Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice. If you find rising fish, have a good selection of high vis Tricos and Baetis. You might also try a dancing large crane fly pattern; we have a great selection of Mackay Specials.

UPPER BIG LOST
The water is skinny and cool on the Upper Lost. As a result, the best fishing has shifted from early mornings and late evenings right back to the middle of the day; classic fall fishing has already begun. With the low flows, the fish are typically concentrated in the deeper buckets, and anglers who are willing to walk from good holding water to the next are finding success. By the day’s end, if you have walked a few miles of river and have a handful of good fish, you have been successful. For flies, try small hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph such as a Zebra Midge, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or a Beaded Pheasant Tail.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows have been steady at around 1700 CFS all summer. It is prime time hopper fishing on the South Fork and working the banks with a variety of hopper patterns in a size 10 or 8 can be effective; however, the fish are quite selective. If you are getting refusals, try a different pattern. Small, tan crane flies are a good patten to try on selective feeders. Pink Alberts have been emerging in the late afternoon and offer a good opportunity to find some fantastic, but picky, fish on smaller dries and emergers. Nymphing is also very productive with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.

STILLWATERS & LOCAL WATERS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. These are great places for a family picnic or a fly fishing lesson. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters, so drop on by and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

 

 

Silver Creek

Big Wood

South Fork of the Boise

The Salmon

The Big Lost

Copper Basin

90 cfs

158 cfs

1690 cfs

433 cfs

316 cfs

35 cfs

share this:

Fly Fishing Forecast August 17th – 24th

ForecastStillO

“About the only certainty, other than uncertainty, in fly fishing is that a fly won’t catch a fish if it stays in its box.” ~ Arnold Gingrich

The Sun Valley Summer Symphony is coming to an end and many schools around the country are beginning again. These things are as certain as “death and taxes.” So if you have been putting off fly fishing this summer, get out while the days are still warm enough to wet wade, the Tricos are still alight in the morning air, and the hoppers are clattering up and down the valley. Simple truths are often the most obvious…you can’t catch fish if your flies are not on the water.

SILVER CREEK
The Creek has been seeing relatively light angler pressure lately as the Tricos wane and we wait for the Callibaetis to ramp up in the afternoons. In the morning you will still find decent bugs (Tricos, Baetis, PMDs, and Callibaetis) with the peak surface activity between 9 and 11 AM. After the morning activity, the fish will start looking for hoppers, beetles and ants blown into the river as well as any remaining Damsels that may be fluttering about. Of course, which bug you find in the most abundance will depend on where you are on the Creek. If the wind blows the hatch off, nymphing with small Baetis, Midge, or Trico nymphs can save the day. If you stay into the afternoon and evening, look for the Callibaetis hatch to really get going in the pond. Remember, while fishing the Creek this season can be spectacular at times, the fishing in general remains spotty due to low water and erratic hatches. Much of the walk and wade portions of the Preserve are simply too shallow forcing most of the fish to seek the protection of deeper, cooler water

BIG WOOD
The Wood has fished well this August for small fish with the occasional larger fish and should continue to do so. The key is finding water that has not been overly pressured. The fishing really seems to turn on mid morning and can stay good most of the day with a lull in the late afternoon before the evening hatch. Depending on where you are on the river, you may find good numbers of Tricos anytime between 9 and 11AM. Use your Silver Creek arsenal and skills on these fish. There are also good numbers of Caddis throughout the day and a mix of mayflies including Pink Alberts, Rusty Spinners, Baetis and PMDs. Black ants and hoppers are worth a go during the heat of the day. If there are no visible feeders, a dry dropper rig is very effective. For a nymph try a small brown, black, olive, or red Zebra Midge beneath your favorite hopper or parachute pattern. Euro nymphing is very effective this time of year as well with a double nymph rig. Try a large Beaded Pheasant Tail trailed by a more diminutive Zebra midge, Rainbow Warrior, or Bishop’s Dynamite in the faster water.

WARM SPRINGS
If you love fishing small creeks, Warm Springs is just the place. As you work through a stretch of river keep in mind the fish will be concentrated in the deeper water and around cover. Be stealthy and you will have a chance of fooling the wily, wild fish. For beginners, Fish and Game keeps this river well stocked around the bridges. Fly wise, try yellow or orange Stimulators or Spruce Moth patterns for dries. Tying on a dropper is a good idea as well; Bishop’s Dynamite, Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tails, and Prince Nymphs all work well.

THE SALMON
The fire near Stanley Lake is out! The upper river is very low and perfect for wade fishing, and we are still floating the lower river for at least another few weeks. The fishing is good on both the upper and lower Salmon River and spruce moth patterns have been turning fish along the stretches of river lined with evergreens. Even if you don’t see any bugs in the air, try using a tan stone fly in size 14 to 8 trailed by a smaller beaded nymph like a Pheasant Tail or a Bishop’s Dynamite in the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. You might also try swinging black, brown, and olive streamers or buggers.

BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows have dropped for the second time this summer to just below 400 CFS. Be sure to check before you go and know they may go up, or down, while you are there. As a general rule, if the flows are above 350 CFS it is very difficult to wade comfortably. With the high flows, the fish are early fishing on the surface and nymphing is the most productive technique even though there are scads of Tricos, Baetis, and PMDs in the air throughout the morning into the early afternoon. Try a variety of different nymphs: San Juan Worms, King Prince, PTs, and small Beatis and Midge patterns. You might also try a dancing large crane fly pattern; we have a great selection of Mackay Specials.

UPPER BIG LOST
With the cooler morning temps, the fishing is best late in the morning into the afternoon. The water is very low and the trout are concentrated in the best water. As a result the fish have seen some pressure over the last several weeks. As a rule, if the fish are there, you will catch them on the first few well presented casts; if nothing moves to strike your fly, move to the next spot. The most successful anglers cover large expanses of water. For flies, try small hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph such as a Zebra Midge, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or a Beaded Pheasant Tail.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
Not much has changed here all summer. The flows remain around 1700 CFS. While drifting, try hoppers along with a trailing nymph to search the bank. Pinks Alberts have been spotty, but should continue to hatch throughout the day depending on where you are on the river. Be sure to have this pattern in a cripple for selective fish. In the evenings, caddis are still the main course. Nymphing the riffles and seams with large stone fly imitations, caddis larva, and small zebra midge is effective all day for trout and whitefish.

STILLWATERS & LOCAL WATERS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. These are great places for a family picnic or a fly fishing lesson. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters, so drop on by and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

 

 

Silver Creek

Big Wood

South Fork of the Boise

The Salmon

The Big Lost

Copper Basin

93 cfs

163 cfs

1690 cfs

410 cfs

384 cfs

36 cfs

share this:

Fly Fishing Forecast August 10th – 17th

“Cast your fly with confidence.” ~Theodore Gordon

And release your fish with compassion. Studies have shown that when large trout are fought to exhaustion, then held out of the water for 30 to 60 seconds during hook removal and photo, these trout have a dramatic decrease in their survival rate. Here is a list of best practices when releasing trout:

(1) Always land your fish as quickly as possible.

(2) Handle the fish as little as possible. Learn how to use a Ketchum Release.

(3) Take lots of pictures of the entire process of landing and releasing the fish, and if the camera is not ready, keep the fish in the water until it is and only remove the fish for a few seconds for the photo.

(4) When holding a fish, always have wet hands and support the weight of the fish without squeezing it.

(5) Revive the fish with its head into the current until it is ready to swim away.

Video with tips from Keepemwet Fishing™

SILVER CREEK
The Tricos, while present in the mornings, have started to fade. Still, the morning fishing can be good with a complex mix of bugs. The early morning twilight still starts with a few Trico duns and Calibaetis spinners on the water. As the air temp rises to around 65 degrees, this gives way to a modest spinner fall and the onslaught of the supper small Baetis. The Baetis will keep the fish feeding until the Damsels make an appearance. The midday fishing can be good with Dmasels and Calibaetis as well as hoppers and beetles. The river takes a rest in the late afternoon and then cranks back up for a the late evening PMDs. While fishing the Creek can spectacular at times, the fishing in general remains spotty. Much of the walk and wade portions of the Preserve are simply too shallow forcing most of the fish to seek the protection of deeper, cooler water.

BIG WOOD
The fishing on the Wood remains good, but it does require some persistence. August fish have seen a few flies and tend to be more selective. Also, when they do eat a fly they do it with incredible speed resulting in many missed takes. The first problem can be solved by using smaller flies and tippet. To solve the missed strike conundrum, shorten your presentations and work on line management and quick, not hard, sets. If you keep at it you will find more and larger trout. Also the Wood is fishing well in the morning with a mix of Baetis, Tricos, and PMDs and again in the evening with Caddis. The late afternoon can be slow. For flies try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze trailed by a Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 18 and 16.

WARM SPRINGS
Warm Springs is perfect for those who love fishing small creeks. With the low flows, the fish are in the deeper water and around cover. Employ stealth to fool the wild fish. If you are looking for some easy and productive fishing, Fish and Game keeps this river well stocked around the bridges. For flies, try yellow or orange Stimulators or Spruce Moth patterns for dries. Tying on a dropper is a good idea as well; Bishop’s Dynamite, Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tails, and Prince Nymphs all work well.

 

THE SALMON
There is a fire near Stanley Lake making the area potentially smokey. The Lowman Fire may also send smoke into the valley depending on the wind. At the moment, we have not had to cancel any trips, but please check with us if you have any concerns. The upper river is very low, but we are still floating the lower reaches. The dry fly fishing remains strong thanks to the Spruce Moth; try a size 16 or 14 cream colored Elk Hair Caddis or Yellow Stimulator to imitate this bug. Fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs is also productive for trout and whitefish.

BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows continue to fluctuate; they could be anywhere from 400 to 500 CFS depending on the day. Be sure to check before you go and know they may go up, or down, while you are there. As a general rule, if the flows are above 400 CFS it is very difficult to wade comfortably. Still, those willing to seek fishable water, nymphing is the most productive technique even though there are some Tricos, Baetis, and PMDs in the air throughout the morning into the early afternoon. Try a variety of different nymphs: San Juan Worms, King Prince, PTs, and small Beatis and Midge patterns. You might also try a dancing large crane fly pattern; we have a great selection of Mackay Specials.

UPPER BIG LOST
The flows on the East Fork are getting low, but the main stem below the North Fork is in very good shape. Fishing in this area is not about catching large numbers of fish; if you like to hike, fish, and have a chance at a few really nice fish then give this area a go. Look for the deeper runs and expect the fish to be concentrated in these areas. While covering likely water, keep in mind, these fish are opportunistic feeders and they will often take the first presentation, but seldom give you a second chance. For flies, try Parachute Adams, PMD or Purple Haze along with small nymphs, like Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamite, Pheasant tails or Prince Nymphs.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The South Fork has been very consistent; flows remain around 1700 CFS. While drifting, try hoppers along with a trailing nymph to search the bank. Pinks Alberts have been spotty, but should continue to hatch throughout the day depending on where you are on the river. Be sure to have this pattern in a cripple for selective fish. In the evenings, caddis are still the main course. Nymphing the riffles and seams with large stone fly imitations, caddis larva, and small zebra midge is effective all day for trout and whitefish.

STILLWATERS & LOCAL WATERS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. These are great places for a family picnic or a fly fishing lesson. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters, so drop on by and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

 

 

Silver Creek

Big Wood

South Fork of the Boise

The Salmon

The Big Lost

92 cfs

182 cfs

1700 cfs

456 cfs

423 cfs

share this: