Despite the smoke from the fires and lower water conditions than I can recall, fishing continues to be reasonable for anglers willing to venture forth. Hatch activity has been a bit inconsistent resulting in some rather unconventional methods being used for success. Unless we get a change in weather, this will probably be our plight for the next few weeks. We’re sailing into unchartered territory so let’s take a look:
SILVER CREEK—Again, your fishing location dictates what you find. Trico and Beatis spinners continue as our main morning hatches but the amount of bugs on the water is very iffy and in general, has been weak for most of the year. As we approach mid-August, the duration of the hatches will now get even shorter. Regardless, Dave’s Trico Spinner #22, Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 and a Beatis Sparkle Dun #22 will find a few feeders. For you brave souls, night fishing has been somewhat productive using Wooly Buggers and the like. But you still need to be careful wading in the dark.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The river is now lower than I recall seeing and with warm water conditions to boot, fishing has gotten tougher. Morning Trico and early afternoon Beatis hatches are present but they certainly aren’t overwhelming. Dave’s Trico #20, Para Adams #20 and Cream Sparkle Duns #18-20 work for small risers in the flats and tail portions of runs but the margin for error is high. As a result, I moved from the conventional approaches to more unconventional methods for better success. Fishing Black Ants #12-14, Black Beatles #12-14 and even some small, Purple Chernobyl Ants #12-14 have worked quite well. Nymphing has been so-so.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both are very low and fishing is tough. One fish per run is about all you get. Para Adams #16-18 and Pheasant Tail Nymphs #16 will take fish.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—The upper river including the main stem of the upper Lost is very, very low (111 cfs at Chilly Gage) making it not my first choice. But the lower river below the reservoir is in fine shape and fishing great. Trico has been spectacular. Dave’s Trico and Para Adams #18-20 are taking fish. Crane Fly’s in the afternoon and fishing Prince Nymphs #12, Copper Johns #12 and Red San Juan Worms #10 should round out your arsenal.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Both are planted regularly and various baits and small flies will always find a few fish.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Because of the fires in the area and road closures, reports have been sketchy. But if you’re going, can get there and can stand the possible smoke, Pink Albert’s #16 and Hopper patterns should be your best choices of flies.