Hello Everyone! Hans here with the Sturtevants weekly fishing report for Sun Valley, Silver Creek, The Big Wood River, The Big Lost, and surrounding waters.
Muddy waters still running below Warm Springs Creek, but those who fish this water regardless have been finding success. Expect this off-color to stick around, but hopefully start to clear up enough to draw fishermen back to the lower Wood.
Free casting clinics are being held at Atkinson’s Park every Monday night at 6pm as well as Sturtevants free Bugs and Brews entomology classes taught by our resident bug nerd and lead guide Carl Evenson. So give us a call or stop by the shop for up to date info and friendly free advice.
The Big Wood
Continued wet weather has kept the Big Wood running muddy below Warm Springs. A year ago to date fires were raging, now we have rain- a trade I will gladly make. Though fishing has been put down a bit, this water will give us great fishing through the fall. Above Warm Springs there is a slight off color to the water. Displaced fishermen and guide parties, pushed off the lower river, have put a fair bit of pressure on this stretch. A well presented Parawulff, Stimulator, or Parachute Ant will take fish on the surface. Subsurface nymphing a combination of San Juan Worms, Lightning Bugs, Copper Johns, ect will produce- Standard stuff. As the lower river begins to clear fish hold close and tight to the bank where side seams create slow pockets. These fish can be taken on dries in surprisingly dirty water. Soon, the calling of Autumn will kickstart aggressive feeding in the larger fish. Sculpin pattern streamers swung deep into the tinted water draw vicious strikes. Sink tips and full sinking lines are the best way to get your streamer into the strike zone. Rio Versileaders are a great option to avoid buying an entirely new line for dredging streamers. These removable sink-tips attach directly to your floating line and come in different sink rates, strengths, and lengths.
Totally blown out with ash from a mudslide on Dollarhide Summit. The only option out this drainage is a warm mud bath in the hot springs. The Dollarhide Summit road to Featherville is impassable from two slides- one on the summit itself and one below the Big and Little Smoky Creek confluence.
Getting low and seeing the effects of increased fishing pressure. Exploring away from the road is the best bet at avoiding the heaviest hit areas. Still, for a casual session or easy beginner practice the area around Boundary Creek is hard to beat. Nothing fancy here- simple dries and a beadhead nymphs are the ticket.
Morning Trico action is holding strong and anglers who hit this hatch right are finding the classic pods of fish in their feeding frenzy. Be on the water early and wait for the hatch. Tricos are the main focus with good numbers of Baetis in the mix. Trico spinners and Baetis of all life stages should fill the flybox. Running out of that one magic fly mid-hatch can be devastating. In the late morning the spinnerfall ends abruptly and is replaced by a much slower going and steady appearance of Callibaetis that chug along into the afternoon. Late morning into the early afternoon is the best time to throw Hoppers and Terrestrials. As the sun gets low an array of small Baetis and Caddis draw fish to the surface once again.
The Big Lost
Similar to the upper Big Wood, this fishery has seen an increase in pressure due to displaced fisherman after the Wood muddied. In the case of the Upper Lost, even with this increase in fishermen it is hardly crowded. From the Copper Basin turnoff downstream is fishing best. The lower East Fork below the Wildhorse confluence also has enough holding water to fish well. Expect typical midsummer fishing with a Hopper-Dropper rigs midday and an assortment of small mayflies buzzing around in the morning. No need to get up too early early in this stretch, the water needs a bit of time to warm up before fish get active. Below the Mackay Dam Tricos are still the main event.Great presentations are required to stick these increasingly wary fish. Midges and Baetis nymphs will produce when the dry fly fishing gets tough. Most of the action shuts off abruptly just afternoon. The Kokanee run has begun above the reservoir with fat reservoir rainbows following close behind.