UPDATED : Fishing Forecast August 14th – 21st

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To our friends outside the area, a local wildfire is affecting some activities in the Ketchum Sun Valley community. We are monitoring evacuations in certain areas, as well as air quality. Visit this link for more info, or call the shop to check on the status of your upcoming fishing trip or plans to visit the region, as some but not all areas are affected. http://inciweb.org/incident/3635/

This August, let’s get small. As the Tricos on the Creek get smaller, as they always do late in the hatch, so shall your flies and tippet sizes if you wish to remain successful. As the water on the Wood drops, smaller flies are becoming the staple here as well. Also, you will need to lower your profile as you approach fish. Rather than casting longer lines, shorten your presentations to improve your hook setting chances. Getting small will allow you to do this. The days are getting noticeably shorter this time of year and the mornings are consistently cool thus making our fish window smaller. Please still keep in mind that with the lower than average flows, the fish need to be returned immediately to the water. Take the time this August and learn how to use a Ketchum Release Tool.

The Big Wood
The Wood has been our most consistent fishery this August. The fishing has remained good most of the day into the evening with the hot late afternoon being the least productive. With the lower flows, anglers need to focus on presentation, fly selection, and stealth to remain successful. The fish are in shallow water looking for oxygen and food and to fool these trout you need to make your first presentation count. Often these fish will give you one chance and then they are done with you. Through out the day, you will find many different types of insects including Caddis, Western Quills, small Crane flies, PMDs, Pink Alberts, Tricos and Baetis. If you find fish feeding on the Tricos or Baetis, you will need to use your Silver Creek flies and presentation skills. Still, small dries like Parachute Adams, Pink Alberts, Tan or Olive Gulper Specials, or Purple Hazes in size 16 or 18 fished in the margins and shallow riffles will take fish when none are rising. Also, hoppers might turn fish during the heat of the day. Nymphing remains the most productive with small Zebra Midge, Beaded Pheasant Tails, Rainbow Warriors, and Bishop’s Dynamite. A dry dropper rig is effective, but European Nymphing with a single or multiple nymphs on a long leader is the most productive. My favorite presentation tool for the Wood is a 12 foot Tenkara rod with a dry dropper set up or two nymphs. The extra length of the rod helps you get perfect drifts and eliminates the need to mend.

Silver Creek
The morning fishing on the Creek continues to be good with a plethora of Tricos, a smattering of Baetis, and intermittent Callibaetis Spinners. While early surface feeders can be found shortly after sun up, the best action is between 9 and 11 AM. After 11, the fish will start looking for hoppers, beetles and ants blown into the river as the day heats up and the winds kick into gear. Morning winds can be a spoiler and blow the the hatch away and next weeks forecast does call for more wind, but you never know unless you go. If the wind blows the hatch off, nymphing with small drab Baetis and Trico nymphs can save the day. If the hatch does occur and the fish pod, be warned the Tricos have shrunk and the fish will no longer consistently take size 20s and 22s. It is time to start running small size 24 Harrop’s Tricos and Baetis spinners with Trouthunter 6.5X. If you decide to stay into the afternoon, look for the Callibaetis hatch to really get going in the sloughs and the pond. This hatch does seem to be impervious to the wind. The evenings have seen good caddis, baetis, and some PMDs action; however, with the shorter days the action really shuts down once it cools off after sunset.

Big Lost River Upper & Lower
The upper reaches of the Lost ( East, West, and North Fork as well as Wildhorse) are quite low and the fish are spread out in the deeper runs. Patient anglers who appreciate solitude, stunning vistas, and lots of hiking with intermittent fishing will still enjoy a day spent on this water. Even the lower reaches of the Upper Lost, below the North Fork, require lots of hiking to find fish. In August, these fish tend to get selective and spooky. If you find fish, try smaller parachute patterns in size 14 and 16 like a Purple Haze, a Gulper Special, or a Parachute Adams. While searching, try a tan or purple Morrish Hopper trailed by a small Zebra Midge (16 or 18) in red, black, or olive. Below Mackay, the flows are holding steady at 367 CFS and should continue to drop. While wading at this level can be tricky, you should be able to find places to cross so you can move about the river. Please respect the land owners along this river and stay within the high water line. In the early to mid mornings you will see good numbers of Tricos and a handful of Baetis. If you can find a spot where the bugs collect and the fish can hold, you will find success. Take an assortment of high vis Trico Duns and Spinners in white and black; these fish often feed on these bugs in the riffles and foam lines and it can be very difficult to see your fly. When the hatch subsides be prepared to nymph the riffles and runs with small tail-waters nymphs and sunken Tricos. You might also try skating a Crane Fly.

Warm Springs
Dollar Hide pass is closed due to fire; however, you can still fish from Rooks Creek down. The water is very low so you will need to approach the riffles and runs with caution otherwise you will spook the fish. Use fine tippets and small flies to catch these wily trout. During the day try dry dropper rigs with Stimulators or Elk Hair Caddis and small beaded droppers like red, black, brown or green Zebra Midge. In the evening, the caddis hatch has been good.

The Stanley Area
The fishing remains good on both the upper and lower Salmon River. Just like the Wood, the fish like the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. While the hatch activity has waned a bit, 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 is very effective. Black, brown, and olive streamers or buggers swung through the fast water are picking up some nice fish as well. As for dries, try a Spruce moth pattern along the stretches of river lined with evergreens. Bear Valley Creek and Valley Creek have also been fishing well with hoppers, ants, nymphs and streamer patterns. If you venture into Bear Valley Creek, keep you eyes open for salmon. They are a beautiful sight and fun to observe, but please give them plenty of space.

South Fork of the Boise
As of the writing of this report, The South Fork is closed due to the Beaver Creek Complex Fire. Please check with us for the most up to date reports for this area.

Local Ponds
If you want some fish to fry or to take the kids for an outing, try one of our family friendly ponds….Lake Creek, Penny Lake and Gavers Lagoon have been recently stocked and are a great option. If the fish get tough, try a smaller hook with Salmon eggs or small Zebra midge.

High Mountain Lakes
Norton, Baker, Fourth of July, and Cain Lake…all our high mountain lakes are fishing well this time of year. If you want to escape the crowds in August, try packing into the White Clouds, Pioneers or Sawtooths with a Tenkara rod with a puck full of beetles, ants and caddis. Come on in to the store and we will hook you up!

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Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!

Silver Creek

Tricos

Baetis

Callibaetis

PMDs

Caddis

Damsels

Hoppers

Beetles

Ants

The Big Wood

Tricos

Micro Caddis

Western Quills

Crane Flies

PMDs

Baetis

Pink Alberts

Parachute Adams

Hoppers

Zebra Midge

Beaded Pheasant Tail

Bishop’s Dynamite

Rainbow Warriors

Warm Springs

Stimulators

Elk Hair Caddis

Caddis

Zebra Midge

Lower & Upper Big Lost

Purple Haze

Gulper Special

Parachute Adams

Morish Hopper

Zebra Midge

Tricos

Baetis

Trico Duns

Spinners

Crane Fly

The Stanley Area

Stone Flies

Pheasant Tail

Bishop’s Dynamite

Streamers

Spruce Moth

Olive Buggers

Beaded Nymphs
Nymphs

High Mountain Lakes

Beetles

Ants

Caddis

“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” – Zane Grey

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