Hi, it's me again! Memorial Day weekend has arrived, meaning general fishing season is about to open. This year’s main topic of conversation will clearly be about water. Remember, we were really not that far off as it pertains to yearly snowpack and water content. But with the dry and warm, temperate spring, much of the snowpack has melted. Normally we should be around the mid-80% range of remaining runoff, but our area and most of the state are less than half that. So most of our river systems will be fishable and hatch timetables will occur much earlier than expected. On the other side of the coin, late-season fishing will be tougher in low water conditions. At least the wading for these old bones will be comfortable. I’ve seen it worse but it is what it is. The weather forecast is great and we should have some nice fishing on those waters that are fishable. Let's take a look-see:
SILVER CREEK—The waters are always clear so this is always a fisherman’s first choice for the season opener. The stream will be low and the hatches somewhat sporadic but you should see a few Pale Morning Duns, Beatis, Callibeatis and Caddis. Although a wide variety of patterns will work for Opening Day, Para PMDs #16-18, Cripple PMD's #16, Para Olive and Beatis Emergers (trailing shuck) #16-20, Thorax Callibeatis Duns #16 and Partridge Caddis #14-18 should be carried. Pheasant Tail Nymphs #14 and because it is early in the season, Ant, Beatle imitations #14-16 and small Wooly Buggers #12-14 can be very effective. Because of the warm weather, I’ve already been asked about the Brown Drakes. Always a crap shoot, I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see it late next week. The rumor mill will let you know. Standard Brown Drakes Duns and Spinner imitations #10-12 as well as nymph patterns should do the trick.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Running at 1300 cfs making it difficult to wade and fish. Side channels and back eddies will be marginal because it is off color. With only 45% of water content left to come down, these conditions won't last long. We could be fishing it less than two weeks. Hatch schedules can move up and it wouldn't surprise me if Green Drakes, Western Quills and both small and large Yellow/Golden Stones will be seen by June 15. It's happened before.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—High and off color but should drop and clear faster than anywhere else.
BIG LOST DRAINAGE—The upper river including Copper Basin is still running high at 1000 cfs, but like the Wood, this won't last long. On the lower river below Mackay Reservoir, they recently raised the flow to 350 cfs making it fishable but if it continues to go upwards, wading and maneuvering will be difficult. Zebra Midges #16-18 were finding the smaller fish but to find the big boys, Prince Nymphs #10-12, Copper Johns #12, San Juan Worms #10, all with weight to get them down, will do the job. Check about water levels before you make the trek.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—All of these ponds and lakes will be heavily planted for Memorial Day and the fishing should be excellent. Flies, various baits and lures should take these uneducated fish at will.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Flowing at 1600 cfs. That means floating the river is your best call, instead of wading. Hatches will be spotty but some Caddis, a few Beatis might be seen. Nymph fishing may also be a good choice as well. Remember, it's still early.