Things are taking a dramatic turn on area rivers, as the seemingly endless array of â€œeasyâ€ fishing opportunities becomes more and more limited. This is not to say the fishing is bad, itâ€™s just different. The bugs are smaller, the fishing windows are smaller, and fine tuned skills will come into play as well as the brain game. Expect to see fish rising at low light levels and be prepared to be challenged by what the fish are going to take. Have plenty of spinner patterns, small terrestrials, cripple patterns, and emergent patterns. There is still opportunity to fish big flies in the afternoon, just fish Hoppers and Stimulators in the pockets and seams around the heaviest water.
Tricos are still the main attraction on the Creek these days, and should remain so for the next month. The variables are air temperatures and wind. Most mornings are perfect, but do plan on the occasional blow on some days. There have also been some very cool nights in the South Valley, dictating a late start in the morning. For those early risers, Trico Duns that didnâ€™t emerge before the dawn, are often found in enough numbers to get fish eating them. This can be a good time to find big fish snacking away in the wide open. When the later Trico Spinner Fall begins to wane, the Baetis, Pale Morning Dunn and Callibaetis will often times show up for an hour or so.
Afternoonâ€™s are Hopper and Damsel Fly time. Find long quiet stretches to fish, and work up or downstream, keeping the fly pinned to the bank. Fish these flies on 3X or heavier tippets.
The evenings are a nice time to be on the Creek. The â€œMagic Hourâ€ is epitomized here. Have the same bugs with you that you fished in the morning.
Big Wood River
The Wood has dropped dramatically from its flows just a few weeks ago. With the dropping water will come fish movement. Afternoon shade or deep water will be sought after by the fish. Fish deep when itâ€™s hot, or fish under overhanging branches and near fast water.
In the morning and evening fish very close to the bank as fish will move to feeding areas. At low light and with bugs on the water, fish will sit in very shallow water, when the sun gets high and the insect activity slows fish will retreat to deeper or covered holding water.
Expect to see Trico in the mornings, with occurrences of random Mayfly spinners in the morning and evening. Keep the flies you fish on Silver Creek with you, and donâ€™t go to the river without Rusty Spinners, Ants, and Sparkle Duns. Fish Hoppers in the afternoons and itâ€™s al about Caddis when the sun hits the horizon.
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
Fun fishing, but the timing of it seems to fluctuate by the day. There are still good numbers of bugs up top, and finding rising fish is the norm. Fish all day if you go, as the spinner falls seem to come and go at random intervals. The wind certainly matters as well. The calmer it stays, the more surface activity you will find. If the fish are rising, Caddis and small Mayfly imitations will take fish. If nothing is rising, search the water with medium sized Royal Trudes, Parachute Adams, or your favorite size 16 â€“ 14 Attractor Pattern.
Big Lost River
The Lost continues to drop slowly. There is still some time to wait before this gem begins to produce a late season fishing boon, but we are not to far out. Continue to watch the CFS here as this will be a wonderful addition as the other area fisheries become tougher with the summer heat and lower flows.
South Fork of the Boise
The South Fork is coming back down to earth after a terrific early season. With the waning of the big bugs, expect to see the Pink Albert and the Grasshopper to become the main food source for these fish. The river is still at a boaters flow with some limited wading opportunities for individuals or groups of two. Finding room for more than that in an area can be make for lots of walking.
Little Wood River
For a pleasant fishing experience, check out the water above the reservoir. At times the Little Wood can represent the kind of river John Gierach was talking about in this weeks quote. If you go, take general Attractor patterns and a good friend.