“Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers.” – Roderick Haig-Brown
With the Wood blown out since the first of the month, I could have easily put away my rod and stayed home. Instead, I went exploring and fished creeks that I had previously overlooked right here in the Wood River Valley and beyond: the East Fork, the North Fork, the Upper Wood, the Little Wood, and Summit Creek…just to name a few. We are blessed to have so many great rivers to fish. For me, this has been a good excuse to go explore and be “near” other waters.
The Creek continues to fish well. The Tricos are beginning to thin a bit, but the morning spinner fall is still good. Often the Trico spinner fall coincides with a Baetis spinner fall, so have plenty of both patterns in your arsenal. The House of Harrop flies are the best match for these bugs. The Callibaetis hatch is gaining momentum during the middle of the day. We have a great variety of patterns to match this hatch, depending on what phase the fish key on. Be sure to have plenty of spinners, duns and emergers. Callibaetis are one of the few mayflies that can withstand a breeze, and Hackle Stackers are excellent flies for windy conditions. This is also a great time to toss hoppers during the middle day along with a small nymph dropper.
Another surge of water from heavy rain on the 19th stirred up the river again setting us back a bit longer; however, the river is on a clearing trend and could become fishable later this week. The upper river, above Warm Springs, is still a little off color but is fishing well. I recommend looking at a blog posted by Lance Egan, creator of the Rainbow Warrior and other flies, on fishing murky water (www.flyfishingteamusa.com/blog). The blog mentions some creative ways to approach off color water.
WARM SPRINGS, TRAIL CREEK, NORTH FORK
Warm Springs is still murky, but beginning to clear. There are other small streams that would be ideal for a family outing that are still running clear. I recommend both Trail Creek and the North Fork of the Wood. These creeks are managed as “put and take” fisheries and there are plenty of stocked fish if you are looking for dinner. Also, there is a decent population of wild fish. For flies, your standard attractors will suffice.
THE BIG LOST ABOVE MACKAY
The morning spinner fall has been so spectacular that everything after seems anticlimactic. Expect Tricos, lots of Tricos. And with the low water (137 CFS), expect selective trout. This time of year the Tricos are small, and your flies should match this. Have an abundance of size 22 and 24 Trico spinners and duns in your box and fish long leaders down to 6X. As the Trico hatch wanes, a few Baetis take the stage and these will hatch sporadically throughout the day. Once the spinner fall is done, nymphing is a good way to stay productive. Try small Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamite, and WD40s in size 18-22.
THE UPPER LOST
With the Wood blown out since the first of the month, this area has seen more pressure than usual, but the fishing has remained good. The key to success is finding water that has not been overly pressured and covering a lot of ground. These fish typically will respond to a well presented fly, but seldom give a second chance. If you go early fish with small dries like Purple Haze and Rusty Spinners in size 14 and 16. You may even encounter fish feeding on Tricos. As the day heats up, hoppers, ants, and Caddis will move fish.
The rain keeps coming and both Valley and Basin Creek have been causing the lower river to go off color. Please check with us if you have a trip booked this week or plan on fishing the area and we will give you an up to the moment report. At the moment the best fishing is above the town of Stanley or on Stanley Creek or Yankee Fork.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
Water mangers are bumping up the flows this week to 2,400 CFS to help restore lost fish habitat. Obviously, this will make fishing difficult. by August 29th flows will return to 1,700 CFS.
These are a good option if you are looking for a place to introduce someone to fly fishing or a place to catch supper. All these local fishing holes (Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon) have been recently stocked. We can take care of you no matter what style of fishing you choose to do so come on by the shop and we can provide you with the appropriate bait or suggest some flies that will work.
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Water Flows – August 13th
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise