Thanks to a wet winter and a cool spring, the freestone rivers in the valley are still high making wading difficult and crossing near impossible. Please remember to use your wading belt and always fish with a friend. July is a great month for big bugs on our local freestone rivers! Go with a good supply of flies imitating Green Drakes, Golden Stones, and Salmon flies. If the fish are not looking up, tying a nymph off the back of your dry is a good idea. Use your favorite nymph with a tungsten bead in size 12, 14 or 16. Silver Creek is fishing well and not impacted by the high flows. Expect to see a few of your fishing friends on the river and remember to be kind.
SILVER CREEK—The morning hatch on the Creek is sporadic but expect small Baetis with a few Callibeatis. We are still waiting for the Tricos to make an appearance. The midday to afternoon fishing is starting to pick up as Damsels as well as Calibeatis Duns and Spinners can be found in abundance in the slower sections. Of course, beetles and ants are also good on windy days. In the evening, Caddis and small PMDs can be prolific.
BIG WOOD RIVER—With the high flows, access is limited and wade fishing should be done with extreme caution. The Green Drakes are just starting to make an appearance up and down the river. In addition, you can expect to see some Pink Alberts, Western Quills, Yellow Sallies, Crane Flies and Baetis. Remember, the best fishing is from mid-morning into the early afternoon, but it will slow down until the evening caddis action. For flies try size 12 to 16 parachute patterns like Purple Haze, Parachute Hare's Ear, or Gulper Specials in olive or tan. If you find the fish keying on Green Drakes you may need to match this hatch with cripples, emergers or duns. Nymphing dry dropper style, with an indicator, or European style can also be very effective.
WARM SPRINGS AND TRAIL CREEK—Both of these rivers, while still high, are a great alternative to the Wood. They have both been stocked and have a good population of wild fish. Use the same flies and techniques you would use on the Wood.
UPPER BIG LOST RIVER—Like the Wood, flows are high, but the water is clear. Fishing is very limited, but should start to improve over the next two weeks.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY—Below Mackay, the flows are too high to wade fish. Wait for it to drop to more fishable levels at around 350 CFS.
SALMON RIVER—The Upper Salmon offers excellent floating with limited walk and wade opportunities. Fish orange and yellow Stimulators, grasshopper patterns, or caddis. These fish also love standard beaded nymphs like pheasant tails, prince nymphs, and hare's ear nymphs in size 16 to 12.
LOCAL PONDS—Gavers Lagoon, Penny Lake and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and would make great locations for a family picnic.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Flows are holding steady on this classic tailwater and are perfect for drift boat fishing. We are still waiting to see Salmon flies, but try casting big foamy stones along the banks. Parking the boat and working the riffles and back channels might be good ideas. There are some Pink Alberts, size 16, during the day as well and in the evening, be sure to have plenty of Caddis.