“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
– Yogi Berra
As one of the few fishable rivers in the state of Idaho, the Creek certainly saw its share of anglers this weekend. The crowds will wane for the rest of June, especially now that the Owyhee has dropped to a fishable level. The crowds will return to the Creek in July as the summer hatches become more consistent. In the meanwhile, don’t limit yourself to only fishing the Preserve or the Pond. June is a great month to fish our local stillwaters or go explore some of the fishing opportunities in neighboring states.
The flows are robust on the Creek and should remain above average for the season. If you go into the Pond, it is not a bad idea to take some fins with you to help navigate the deeper areas. The S-curves and Upper Preserve are looking good and fish should continue to fill in as the competition for food increases. At the moment, you can expect to find a hodgepodge of Callibaetis, Baetis, and PMDs in the afternoon throughout the river. Bug activity is typically sporadic this time of year, but the warm weather over the opener made for great hatches. In the evening, caddis are starting to make an appearance as well, but you may also find good numbers of crane flies. The surface activity is limited, but a wily angler can find areas of consistent surface feeders throughout the day. Also, a variety of techniques will take fish. For example, fishing with small nymphs dead drift or swimming a Callibaetis or Damsel nymphs can be effective. We are within the window when the Brown Drakes may make an appearance any evening…keep your eyes and ears on social media as anglers are notoriously bad at keeping secrets.
Magic and the Little Wood reservoirs are both full of water and can fish well in the newly flooded coves. You can fish from shore or a float tube with ease, just be aware of the spring winds that can make boating unsafe. Another great Stillwater option is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation. If you have a day or two, this is definitely worth the trip. This fishery is managed by the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes and has three different reservoirs to pick from: Mountain View, Lake Billy Shaw, and Sheep Creek. For a small fee, you can fish all three and camping facilities are available for an additional fee. As for techniques in all of these reservoirs, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 or 5 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka freshwater plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. Sheep Creek Specials always seem to work in Duck Valley. Also, suspending a series of nymphs or chironomids at the right depth can also be effective at both locations. Come on by the shop and we can set you up.
THE UPPER LOST
The status of Trail Creek Pass has not yet been updated. It remains closed due to mudslides and avalanche debris. When, and if, it will open depends on the extent of the damage. We are hopeful that it will open in late June or early July. This drainage has a tad less snow than the Big Wood, but runoff will keep this area un-fishable for much of June.
THIS BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have dropped under 1000 CFS, which is still not suitable for wading. We will now need to wait until August before we see wadable flows again on this fishery.
THE BIG WOOD
The flows on the Wood and all its tributaries remain too high to fish safely. Cooler temperatures in the forecast for the week ahead will slow the snow melt and the water may start to clear north of town. However, flows are going to continue to seesaw throughout the month of June.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows continue to go even higher as more water pours into Anderson. Floating is not recommended at these levels. The water is swift and cold, and a simple mistake could be fatal.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood