Sorry I missed last week but visiting kids overrode typing out a timely column. Despite the low water and irritating smoke from the fires, fishing has been very good and it’s been an utter delight to be on the water. As we move into late August, change or a transitional period is coming, thus making the upcoming fishing forecast even that much the better. Because there is a lot going on, let's get right too it.
SILVER CREEK—Depending upon where and when you’re out, fishing has been tough at times but also very good. Although it’s now on its downside and waning, Trico is still a major morning player and needs to be dealt with. The problem is that its quantity and duration will shrink with each passing day. Regardless, a Dave's CDC Trico Spinner #22 and a Cut-Wing Trico Spinner #22 will do the job if the hatch appears. Beatis spinners are and will continue to be significant for at least a few more weeks and a Mason Quill Beatis Spinner#22 will always take fish. Afternoons have been spotty with both Hoppers and Blue Damsels patterns finding a few nice fish but it will be this time of day that will slowly begin changing and shifting too. Although it is early (stronger in Sept.) and the continuing hot weather could have an effect, it’s now time to begin looking for the emergence of Callibeatis duns (not spinners) in the floating section, mid-afternoon. Smaller than its normal size, a Thorax Partridge Callibeatis Dun #18, Para Callibeatis #18 or a Slate Tan No Hackle #18, can all be effective. I would also keep some Callibeatis Nymphs (sorry Lampl) and Callibeatis Cripples #18 handy as well.
BIG WOOD RIVER—A pure delight to fish. Fishing it with my daughter last week, in only three runs fished, she not only had a multitude of fish to the fly (a little slow on the trigger) but more than a few sizeable fish (14"-15") to boot. Hatches of Beatis and the Western March Brown (Rithrogena hageni) were seen with fish both looking for and actively feeding on them. Fortunately, matching flys to the hatch was not necessary, a Para Adams #16-18, Tan Gulper Specials #16-18 and a Cream Parachute #16-18 provided all the activity you wanted (Note: The larger size did produce refusals). Although I was very lazy going about it, nymphing was a little disappointing. We also moved a few fish on a small hopper imitation but because I have not seen many hoppers on the banks, fishing imitations was not very active. I'm very cautious and somewhat reluctant to bring it up, but to my surprise and delight, I actually saw three or four Red Quills (T. hecuba) take flight (birds got them) which gave me great hope for maybe what's to come. A much stronger September hatch but not uncommon to see in the 70's and 80's at this time of year, it is now something to keep your eyes on. Also of note, with the very low water, many fish will move too and be found in the shallow, slack, tail ends of runs. Tough to fish (very spooky), many big guys are there so don't step on them.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both streams are getting very low. So good fishing is now found in selected places (depth). Unfortunately that's where everybody fishes. Standard patterns in size 18 and a small Bead Head Prince Nymph #14-16 will find fish.
BIG LOST DRAINAGE—The upper streams (North Fork, East Fork, Summit Creek) have improved. If my son can catch fish with only one fly and a borrowed fly rod, something good can be found. Big Wood fly patterns should suffice. Because the water level of the lower rivers is very manageable and the morning Trico hatch has been terrific, the best fishing has been below the reservoir. CDC Trico Spinner #18-20 and Para Adams will find great fish in both the slack water and back eddies of the stream. Never leave home without a few Prince Nymphs #10-12, Copper John's #12-14 and San Juan Worms, a staple for this stretch of water.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Always planted with fish on a regular basis, they are great places for bank fishing. Various baits and flys are all effective.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Still running high which means floating is still your best option. No real or firm reports but I would look to Hoppers, Pink Alberts and Caddis patterns for success.