Consistently warm weather should begin to transform our rivers in the coming week or two. Some are beginning to drop and become more and more wade friendly. Right now the bite is on and this should continue until the fish find the need to look for cover in the summer shallows, and begin to seek out cooler water as well. Warm days are also going to mean an upswing in the evening fishing. Lately the cooler and sometimes windy evenings have been tougher fishing than normal for the time of year, but look for great evening activity with the approach of July.
The Creek should respond well to the heat with the temperatures in the south valley approaching the low nineties as of late. This will mean early morning insect activity and later evening activity are going to become the prime times to cast a fly. Look for more P.M.D. action in the mornings and expect a smorgasbord of insects later in the afternoon. This may mean switching flies between Baetis, Caddis and Pale Morning Duns with regularity. Small hoppers have begun hatching and anglers should begin adding the smallest version of this fly to their arsenal of terrestrials. Fishing Ants, Beetles and Hoppers when the hatches quite down for the afternoon on the Conservancy water is a fun way to prospect, especially with the a stiff breeze blowing. The lower river should start quieting down for the summer, but is still a good place to explore in the evenings. This area should see an increase in activity as the summer waters rise on the Creek and with the emergence of the first Tricos in a few weeks time.
Big Wood River
The Wood is just down right â€œOn Fireâ€ lately as the fish have the two-fold advantage of lower than normal flows, coupled with great bug activity. The Green Drake has been coming off very late in the day, but that hasnâ€™t kept morning and afternoon anglers from cashing in on their presence. Large dry flies are the only way to go right now with anglers getting strikes from many good sized fish in each run they cast through. A variety of large Drake patterns will work, with the bushiest flies getting loads of attention. Big Stimulators will also take fish. If you are searching the river and see a refusal from a large Rainbow, simply put on a Green Drake Cripple, dress it properly and show it to the fish that refused your more obvious fly. This is just another version of â€œbait and switch.â€
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
These rivers are pretty much right in line with the Big Wood right now. The same flies and tactics will work. You may have to swap a little fish size for the privacy offered by this more remote area, but there are plenty of fish big enough to make it worth the trip over the hill. Cover plenty of water if you go, and take plenty of supplies with you such as food, water, raincoat and a good spare tire!
Big Lost River
The Lost dropped a bit the past few days, but not enough to make the fishing, or the wading any easier. We are still a few weeks away from seeing this river come into a prime flow. There are still poke around places up and down the Mackay area, but for long days of prime fishing we need to wait. Fishing a few access points in conjunction with the water above the reservoir may make the trip over more worthwhile. Plan on nymphing if you go with big bead head flies and smaller trailers behind them.
South Fork of the Boise
It is officially Salmon Fly time on the South Fork with a nice amount of bugs beginning to show on the upper reaches of the river. The fish should be really turned on to the big bug, so if you go, take the biggest Salmon Fly patterns you can purchase, tie your leader to about 6 feet, terminating in 1X and then fish a lot of bank. When you get a strike, allow the fish to really get it in his mouth and then set the hook very hard! If you hit this hatch right and have good driftboat sense, you could find this the best fishing day of your summer.
Donâ€™t forget to explore some of the lesser known fisheries in our area, like the Little Wood, Magic Reservoir, Magic Tailwater, and Carey Lake for Bass and Bluegill!