Fishing Forecast July 31st – August 7th

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There is nothing finer than fishing away a summer morning and then listening to music on an August evening. As the Sun Valley Symphony season gets under way, the fishing continues to remain excellent here in the Wood River Valley. In August, we will see the Tricos on the Creek reach their peak and get underway on the Lost and the Wood. The terrestrial fishing will continue to improve this month as the hoppers begin to mature up and down the valley. The Spruce Moth will also become a factor up and down the rivers lined with evergreens. So get out and enjoy the great summer fishing opportunities we have and listen to some great music.

Silver Creek
The hatches on the Creek have been a bit like a “Movable Feast” in the Hemingway definition of the phrase. Each day you never know which bug will take center stage, from TricosBaetis, Callibaetis, or PMDs. But each day this time of year is a celebration of why we love fishing this creek. The early morning activity begins with the appearance of the Trico Duns as well as some Callibaetis Spinners. As the morning progresses the Baetis Spinners might make an appearance followed by the Trico Spinner fall. At the tail end of the spinner fall PMD Spinners and Duns might show up. As you witness these different bugs, observe the fish and their feeding behavior to determine which bug to use when. We have a great selection of spring creek flies from the House of Harrop’s to match all these bugs. As we enter the midway point of the Trico hatch, the fish get even more selective. You will need to use 6X or 6.5X and long 12 to 15 foot leaders to make sure you get good drag free presentations. Also, the Tricos tend to shrink as the hatch progresses, so use even smaller patterns to match. If you are having trouble seeing your fly, try using a larger fly with the diminutive Trico trailing off the back.  When the morning feast is done, switch to Callibaetis, damsels, hoppers, beetles and ants. The evening feast is less frenzied, but you can typically find fish feeding on the the myriad of caddis and PMDs both large and small along with the added bonus of fewer anglers.

The Big Wood
As we enter August, look for the Wood to continue to fish well in the early mornings into the early afternoon and in the evenings with the hottest part of the day being the least productive. This time of year the fish tend to seek the oxygen in the shallow, aerated riffles as well as the abundant food supply these riffles provide. Please remember as the flows decrease and the water temps increase that these fish need to be released as quickly as possible. I recommend using a Ketchum Release tool. They are simple to use and they are good for the fish and don’t damage your fly like hemostats do. As for bugs, in the mornings and evenings expect to find a variety of caddis with micro-caddis be the most prevalent. Some Tricos are being seen in the lower river and this hatch should gain momentum and move up river as the month progresses. We are also seeing a few Pink Alberts, Western Quills, PMDs, Crane Flies and Yellow Sallies. For flies, use size 16  parachute patterns in a variety of colors to match whatever bugs are about. Hoppers are working well as the day heats up. Nymphing with a dry dropper rig or European style is very effective as well. For nymphs try small Zebra Midge, Beaded Pheasant Tails, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

Big Lost River Upper & Lower
While the East and North Forks of the Lost are still producing some fish, the best fishing has moved down stream to the main stem of the Upper Lost.  There are numerous access points along the river from the East Fork and North Fork confluence down and if at first you do not find fish be persistent and cover a lot of water. While attractor drys, like yellow and orange Stimulators and Royal Wulffs will turn fish, it is best to have some smaller drys, like Parachute  PMDs and Purple Haze in size 16 and 18 to fool the tougher fish. Nymphing with standard beaded nymphs will also work on the fish that refuse a dry and they will get you into the Whitefish. Below Mackay, the flows are about 450 CFS and continuing to drop. Strong waders might consider venturing over to this river, but please wade with caution and avoid walking on private land. With the high flows this will mainly be a nymphing game. Try a large Rubber Leg Stone, a San Juan Worm, or a Beaded Prince Nymph trailed by something smaller like a Rainbow Warrior, a Bishop’s Dynamite, a Zebra Midge or any other beaded nymph in size 14 to 18. You might also try skating a Crane Fly. We have a great selection of Mackay Specials just for this purpose.

South Fork of the Boise
Most of the big Salomon flies are done now, although you may still see a few up high. The flows are still right at 1600 CFS, which is a perfect floating level. Still, you are better off parking the drift boat and working the islands and riffles with small caddis, Pink Alberts, Yellow Sallies, small hoppers, or small nymphs and caddis larva. During the day the fishing has been spotty, but the evening fishing on the South Fork has been spectacular during the prolific caddis hatches.

High Mountain Lakes
This is a great time of year to hike up to a high mountain lake and toss beetles, hoppers, or ants at cruising fish. Come on by the shop and we will show you a map to some of our favorites.

Warm Springs
Warm Springs is a small stream with a lot of personality. You can find open meadows with riffles and runs or tight, tree lined pocket water. In August the water is low, so anglers will need to practice stealth in approach and presentation, but some quality fish can be found. Fish and Game also stocks around the bridges for those anglers who like to get a fish for supper. For flies, try a small Purple Haze, Parachute Adams, or Elk Hare Caddis in size 16 or18. A dry dropper rig is also very effective for searching likely water. I like a high-vis dry like a small Turk’s Tarantula or a Arnold’s Unabomber followed by a Beaded Pheasant Tail, Prince Nymph, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or a Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 or 18.

The Stanley Area
The upper and lower Salmon continues to fish well for floating in the lower reaches and walk and wade fishing in the upper. There has been a smattering of mayflies which seem to be keeping the fish interested on the surface. Also we are on the verge of the Spruce Moth making an appearance which really gets the fish, especially the larger fish, going again. If you go, take some tan Caddis or other Spruce Moth patterns as well as an assortment of Parachute patterns in grey, tan and purple in size 14 and 12. These fish also love standard beaded nymphs like pheasant tails, prince nymphs, stone fly nymphs, and hare’s ear nymphs, especially the whitefish, in size 16 to 10. Bear valley Creek and Marsh Creek are also good walk and wade options and are great places to toss hoppers and ants to rising cutthroat in the middle of the day.

Local Ponds
Looking for a place to take your kids fly fishing for the first time….Lake Creek, Penny Lake and Gavers Lagoon have been stocked and are a great option for a family outing.

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Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!

Silver Creek

Tricos

Baetis

Callibaetis

PMDs

Trico Duns

Damsels

Hoppers

Beetles

Ants

The Big Wood

Caddis

Tricos

Pink Alberts

Western Quills

PMDs

Crane Flies

Yellow Sallies

Parachute Patterns

Hoppers

Zebra Midge

Beaded Pheasant Tail

Bishop’s Dynamite

Warm Springs

Purple Haze

Parachute Adams

Elk Hare Caddis

Turk’s Tarantula

Arnold’s Unabomber

Prince Nymph

Pheasant Tail

Rainbow Warrior

Zebra Midge

Bishop’s Dynamite

Lower & Upper Big Lost

Yellow/Orange Stimulators

Roral Wullfs

Parachute

PMDs

Purple Haze

Rubber Leg Stone

San Juan Worms

Prince Nymphs

Rainbow Warrior

Bishop’s Dynamite

Zebra Midge

Crane Fly

High Mountain Lakes

Beetles

Hoppers

Ants

The Stanley Area

Mayflies

Spruce Moth

Caddis

Parachute Patterns

Pheasant Tails

Prince Nymphs

Stone Fly Nymphs

Hare’s Ear Nymphs

Hoppers

Ants

South Fork of the Boise

Caddis

Pink Alberts

Yellow Sallies

Small Hoppers

Caddis Larva

Small Nymphs

Printable version of Dave’s Prescribed Flies

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

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