High water levels have dominated most of our summer fishing conversations. But late last week we finally turned the corner where all of our streams are now in prime condition for success. And it should get even better. Let's get right to it.
SILVER CREEK—Because the Creek is so hatch oriented for success and because we're in that "in-between" hatch stage, fishing is decent but not overwhelming. Trico is slipping away and if found, is very short in its duration. Dave's Trico Spinner #22 and a Cut-Wing Trico Spinner #22 will do the job when and if they appear at roughly around 10 a.m. Callibeatis is mainly a much stronger September hatch. Yet a few Callibeatis duns have been seen in the afternoon and a Para Speckled Dun #18 or a Thorax Partridge Dun #18 will work nicely. Beatis spinners are also present and a Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 will take fish found working to it. The best news is that Grasshoppers are in abundance and the fish are very receptive to Hopper imitations. This can produce some very large trout.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Still not at normal levels for this time of year, but the Wood certainly improved from last week. Much more water has opened up and the wading is more comfortable. Some hatches are seen in the afternoon but because of more water than usual, matching them specifically is not necessary. Para Adams #14-16, Para Pink Albert's #14 and Tan Gulper Specials #16 are moving fish on the surface. I haven't seen many adult Grasshoppers on the bank, but various Hopper imitations are getting the attention of the bigger fish. Trico is a mainstay for this time of year but because of the lack of "quiet water," Trico has had little impact. If you're willing to throw them, fishing nymphs are producing the much bigger fish. Large Pheasant Tail #12 and a Copper John #12-14 are deadly. I haven't heard any reports or seen the Red Quill (T. hecuba).
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Because of the summer's high water, the Fish and Game has a backlog of fish to plant and as a result, both of these streams including the upper Big Wood are receiving big loads of fish. This will continue through mid-September. Consequently, fishing in the appropriate areas should be excellent. Hatchery trout are not the brightest fish on the planet so basic, standard fly patterns should do the job.
BIG LOST—Because of the heavy planting that took place last week, the Upper Lost (Copper Basin and tributaries) are fishing very well but it is the lower river below the reservoir that now gets our undivided attention. Last week, the water levels dropped to a point where the river has become very fishable. So you should find Trico in the quiet sections in the morning and possibly Crane Flys in the afternoon for some very good surface activity. Even fishing a Para Adams #14-16 blind could produce some good results. That said, the best angling for the big fish is always underneath using weighted Prince Nymphs#10-12, Copper Johns #12 and San Juan Worms #10. At least now, you won't "wade-to-die."
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER'S LAGOON—Weekly planting should happen. Bait, flies and lures will all work well.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Late last week, the water level dropped significantly to its traditional August 600 cfs. Wading has become much easier and the fishing has improved greatly. Look for Pink Albert's, Beatis and Caddis. But for this time of year, Hopper fishing can be king. One word of caution: You might want to take a rock to stand on because it has been crowded and will probably get worse.