Trout, and the bugs they feed upon, prefer the most pleasant time of the day. With the lower-than-average flows on some of our rivers, along with daytime highs in the 80s to 90s, the pleasant times are early and late. Also, smaller flies like Tricos, midge, caddis, and Baetis are becoming the mainstays of the trout’s diet. This is not to say the fish won’t eat a big meal; hoppers are clicking all over the valley and are a good option when fishing during the heat of the day.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood continues to fish well despite the heat. Expect to see hatches of Baetis, Tricos and PMDs in the morning. Caddis remain very good in the evening. Best is fishing small parachute patterns or dry dropper rigs in the shallow riffles or seams along the sides of the heavy water. Remember that with the low flows and warm water temps it is vital to return the fish to the water as soon as possible. Learning how to properly land and release fish is as important as learning how to read the water, cast and set the hook.
SILVER CREEK—We are looking forward to another great week of morning action at the Creek. Expect to see Tricos, as well as Baetis, Callibaetis and PMDs throughout the early morning. The fish can be very selective at this stage of the hatch. A perfect drift matched with the right fly is a must to be successful. During the middle of the day, Damsels and Callibaetis are the main fare. Hoppers, beetles and ants are also working if there is a slight wind chop on the surface. Remember, when fishing the Preserve, the Visitor Center remains closed. Look for posted information at each access allowing you to sign in via your phone with a QR code or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
WARM SPRINGS AND TRAIL CREEK—With lower flows, these two creeks are perfect for families and easy wet wading. There are stocked fish around the bridges and campgrounds and plenty of wild fish in between.
UPPER BIG LOST RIVER—The Upper Lost has seen a lot of pressure lately. However, anglers willing to walk long distances between fishable water will still find fish. As the flows drop, it is time to start focusing on the lower East Fork, below the Wildhorse and the North Fork confluence. Take your favorite attractors and an assortment of nymphs and have some fun searching the water.
LOWER LOST RIVER—Due to demands for water downstream, the flows have gone as high as 450 CFS last week and are currently down to just under 400 CFS. These are high flows; it would be best to wait until the flows come down. Also, the fluctuating flows have made the hatches sporadic at best.
SALMON RIVER—The flows are quite low, making the upper river very easy to walk and wade. Floating the lower river is still possible. Spruce moths are starting to make an appearance. A size 16 or 14 cream-colored Elk Hair Caddis works well to imitate this bug. Focus on the areas that are heavily wooded with evergreens and you will find the moth. Small hoppers and stimulators are also very effective. Fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs is also productive.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—The flows remain at 1200 CFS. This is still best fished from a drift boat; however, getting out and working the riffles and runs may be more effective as the bank feeders have been pounded. The main bugs are PMDs and Pink Alberts, and the hatch is occurring late morning into the afternoon. Caddis are around mostly in the evening.
LOCAL PONDS—Gaver’s Lagoon, Penny and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and make a great location for a family picnic.