“Water is taught by thirst.” – Emily Dickinson
Due to the warm weather and rain over the last week, the low altitude snow has started to melt. Our freestones and tail-waters are already seeing higher than average flows for this time of year. This is the first phase of what will be a long and interesting run-off for the Wood River Valley. During lean water years, we learn the value of water; on years of plenty, we learn patience.
It is steelhead time! As of March 20th, 100 fish have made their way to the Sawtooth Hatchery. At the moment the water is mostly clear on down to Yankee Fork, which is flowing high and muddy. Even Valley Creek flows are high for this time of year. The conditions can change rapidly, so please check with us before you go.
The Wood below Warm Springs is high and muddy. Unless we get a cold snap that halts the low altitude snow melt, this portion of the river may not fish again until summer. However, the colder temperatures that are in the forecast may clear and drop the river above Warm Springs making it fishable as we head into the last days of the season. With the high flows, nymphing is the way to go. Try a heavy double nymph rig with an indicator or Euro Style. For flies, a Rubber Leg Stone, Golden Stone, San Juan Worm, King Prince, or Pheasant Tail will serve well as an anchor fly. Trail behind this a smaller fly like a Copper John, Rainbow Warrior, or a Bishop’s Dynamite. Streamers will also turn some big fish. The fish are feeding heavily this time of year in anticipation of the spring spawn and the higher flows are stirring up all kinds of food. Remember, the last day to fish the Wood is Friday, March 31st.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The river has bumped up to 600 CFS. Flows may go even higher even before the river closes (March 31st). The upper river is running clear, but the feeder creeks are flowing high and muddy. Still, those willing to dead drift a nymph or swing a streamer may find some decent fishing. For nymphs, try small Baetis nymph patterns (18-20), Zebra Midge (18-22), Caddis Larva (12-14), Stone Fly patterns (10-12), or San Juan Worms.
THE BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows are holding at 475 CFS; at this level wading is very difficult. Expect the flows to go even higher as we approach April. If you go, be prepared to nymph with heavy flies and swift flows. Also, be sure to tighten your wading belt and use a wading staff.
Silver Creek is now closed until opening day May 27th.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Lost