In a matter of just a week, we've seen dramatic changes in our fishing conditions. Rivers remain high, but backcountry water content has diminished significantly. All rivers will become more and more favorable on a daily basis. Water levels should continue to drop in the next 10 days. Here's what we can expect this week and for the Fourth.
SILVER CREEK—The Creek has been terrific, with strong and diverse hatches. You may encounter a few dead periods throughout the day, but wait an hour and things will change. Most of what you'll see are Pale Morning Duns, Beatis (renamed Diphetor hageni and pronounced hawg-in-nye). Even crazier, a few Tricos have been seen but it's way too early for this to be a player. Fly choices are endless depending on what's happening in front of you. Para PMDs #16-18, PMD Emergers and Cripples #16-18, Para Olive Beatis #20-22, Mason Quill Beatis Spinners #22 and Green Drake patterns #10 should do the job. Many fish are working sub-surface in the evenings. So, Pheasant Tail #16 and Mason Beatis Nymph #18, fished just under the surface, can be deadly. Have fun.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Certainly clear enough to fish but at 1100 cfs, wading can be troublesome and dangerous. Fortunately, getting around should greatly improve with each passing day. Most of the best fishing is still with weighted Prince Nymphs #10, Green Drake Nymphs #10-12 and Copper Johns #12. Some Green Drakes are seen in the lower river (Hailey downstream). Either Green Drake patterns, Para Olive Hares Ear and Regular Para Hares Ear #10-12 will move fish in the quieter sections. I also saw a few Western Quills (E. longimanus) coming off and a Parachute Adams #12-14 will do the job. Yellow Simulators #8, 12-14 should not be ignored. Remember, you'll need to be very careful wading. Hopefully the water levels will quickly subside, allowing us to fish our big hatches effectively.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Warm Springs is clear and fishable. Para Adams #12-16, Yellow Stimulators #12-14, Hemingway Caddis #14 and Bead Head Prince #14 should find fish. Trail Creek is still raging. It is always the last to clear and drop, so you probably won't be able to fish it effectively though the Fourth of July.
BIG LOST DRAINAGE—I have no official reports, but the flows in the upper river have come down enough to make the East Fork high but very fishable. Green Drakes #12, Para Adams #12-14, Yellow Simulators #10-14 and Prince Nymphs #12 should work nicely. The flows below the reservoir are much lower than normal and a Prince Nymph #8-10, Copper Johns #12 and San Juan Worms #10-12 are always the most effective. At this time of year, the best hatches of PMD and especially, the small Yellow Stones (Isoperla mormoni) occur and PMD Parachutes #16-18 and Yellow Stimis #12-14 will work on the surface. I have seen "blizzard-like" conditions with the little Yellow Stones appear and things can get spectacular.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER'S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—All will be heavily planted for the Fourth of July. Great for kids and for people who have difficulty getting around. Bait, lures and various flys will always find fish. Remember to leave a few fish for others.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—At 2000 cfs, lower than I can recall for this time of year. The river needs to be floated for effective fishing. But trying to wade can be marginal at best, so be careful out there. Salmon Flies should be out making for some of the best surface fishing of the entire season.