“Stream tactics can be learned from experience, but stream etymology can be learned only by serious study.”
– Ernest Schwiebert
We are currently experiencing some fantastic bug activity on our local fisheries. Mayflies, Stoneflies and Caddis of all sizes and colors are filling the air and hoppers are already clattering out of your way as you walk to the river. This has been a great July for bugs. Don’t let the complexity of these hatches deter and frustrate you while out fishing. We can help. No matter what level of knowledge you have or wish to have about stream entomology, we can make sure you have the right flies to match the hatch.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard is offering two two-hour Tenkara – Simple Fly Fishing Clinics Thursday, July 17th. You can learn more at www.silver-creek.com/events. We are also now offering a FF201 clinic, an on the water follow up to our popular FF101 clinic. For more info please visit www.silver-creek.com/learn-to-fly-fish/fly-fishing-201.
The flows are low on the creek and the water temps are rising. The Nature Conservancy is monitoring the temperatures and the dissolved oxygen content of the water and may restrict fishing times much like they did in 2001 when the flows were low. In the meanwhile, we need to treat the fish with care and fight them fast to the net and return them immediately to the water after landing. As expected the warmer temps have resulted in an early start to the Tricos hatch. This hatch is in its preliminary stages and the spinner falls have been short, but we can expect this to improve over the next few weeks. The Tricos, in fact all the other mayflies you might encounter such as Callibaetis Spinners, PMDs and Baetis, are early. As a rule of thumb, when the air temp hits 60 to 64 degrees, you can expect to see the bugs on the water. Be sure and have plenty of the House of Harrop flies to match this wonderful complex hatch. When the morning activity wanes, the miday Damsel and Callibaetis fishing has been good. If the wind blows, try beetles, hoppers and ants. The evenings have been very good with caddis and small PMDs right at twilight.
The Green Drakes are still a factor and these bugs are showing up North of Ketchum. Over the next week we will see this hatch diminish. The flows continue to come down and more and more water is opening up everyday, but still wade with caution. Once the Green Drakes are gone you can still expect to find plenty of Caddis, Pink Alberts, PMDs, Baetis and Midge. Fish are still looking up and fishing small (16 and 14) Parachute patterns in the seams is productive. Dry Dropper rigs are also a good way to find fish. Try Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or Chubby Chernobyls trailed by a Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.
The river is still fishing well, especially in the lower stretches down stream of the hot springs. There are stocked fish around the bridges and decent numbers of wild fish as well. There is a mixed bag of bugs including Caddis, Pink Alberts, PMDs, and some Green and Gray Drakes. Smaller dries in size 14 and 16 like Parachute Adams and Purple Hazes are working well but a dry dropper rig with a small Bishop’s Dynamite or Zebra Midge is most productive.
THE BIG LOST
The flows are holding at around 360 CFS on the river below the reservoir and the fishing has been good. There are quite a few Yellow Sallies mixed with some PMDs and Golden Stones in the morning and the dry fly fishing, if you can find fish up, is decent. The most effective technique has been nymphing with tandem flies either suspended beneath an indicator or Euro Style. Try a combination of a large Stone Fly imitation or a San Juan Worm with a smaller offering like a Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior or Bishop’s Dynamite in sizes 16 or 18. The upper river has really come into shape this week and fishing access has opened up all over the river. Still, wading the main stem is difficult. The key to success on the Upper Lost is finding fish. This is a quality, not quantity, fishery, so stay mobile, and you are sure to find some great fish in a beautiful setting. There are good hatches occurring presently, with just about every bug you can imagine available for the fish. Search with Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, or Stimulators in size 10 or 12. Dry dropper rigs work well also and Any standard beaded nymph will produce.
The Salmon is fishing very well in both the lower and upper stretches. Now would be a great time to book a guide to float the this pristine waterway or you can simply hole hop the river above and below the town of Stanley. There are still good numbers of golden Stones, Yellow Sallies and Caddis as well as a hodgepodge of other mayflies. The bottom line: Stimulators in all sizes are bringing fish to the surface. The surface activity has been better in the mornings with nymphing being with Rubber Legged Stones, King and Standard Prince nymphs, and beaded Pheasant Tails being more productive in the afternoon. Swinging a brown or black Woolly Bugger might turn a Bull trout.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are holding steady at 1,600 CFS and while there are still some Salmon flies and Cicadas around, tossing big bugs and the bank while floating has been slow at best. The most productive approach has been focussing around the side channels and shallow riffles with Stone Fly nymphs, Caddis Larva, and Midge patterns sub surface with an indicator. Remember there are a lot of new rocks in the river and floating this should only be done after careful scouting.
Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon have been recently stocked and can provide a nice day for a family picnic or if you are looking for something to fry for dinner. 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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The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise