Hello Everyone! Hans here with the Sturtevants weekly fishing report.
The relentless pattern of wet and stormy weather that has marked our usually balmy August is finally breaking. A high pressure system is in the forecast which should give the Big Wood a long overdue chance to clear. Sporadic Silver Creek hatches should become much more predictable with the hot weather as well.
The Big Wood
The Big Wood is running off colored below Warm Springs but is clearing nicely above Ketchum. Look for fish tight into the bank, in unusually shallow water and in slow moving side seams. These fish will even eat dries if you can deliver them within sight. Nymphing and especially streamer fishing will pick up dramatically where the water is tinted but shows at least two feet or so of visibility. An Evenson’s Tunghead minnow is a deadly sculpin as the days get shorter and Autumn rolls into the Big Wood Valley.
Warm Springs is still 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. Expect some time before this tributary fishes well again.
Trail Creek is getting low and seeing the effects of increased fishing pressure. Exploring away from the road is your 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, just simple dries and beadhead nymphs are the ticket.
With the variable weather and temperatures in the last week hatches have been spotty. What did surmount to a morning hatch was tiny Tricos and Baetis. With a warm and sunny forecast we should see a resurgence of bug activity. Tricos should hang around for a bit longer until the fall bugs show up. A few Mahogany Duns have been spotted already and should gain momentum along with a new round of fall Baetis. Starting late morning, Callibaetis have proved to be the most consistent hatch. Damsels and assorted terrestrials keep the midday action going alongside the Callibaetis. Predatory Rainbows are sensing the coming of Autumn and the hormonal Browns are increasingly agitated with the anticipated spawn—streamer fishing is here. Not quite time to break out the big nasties, but a mid sized olive/burnt orange woolly bugger stripped erratically on a downstream swing can prove very effective. A loop knot increases your action.
The Big Lost
The upper Lost has benefited from the recent rains and seen a resurgence of badly needed water. Still strategies have changed little. Smaller dries are fishing better morning and evening while large attractors are working midday. As always on the Lost, the efficient angler is nymphing. The streamer action has picked up significantly on the aggressive wild Cutthroat. Choose something obnoxious, flashy, and with good action such as the epoxy headed Skip’s Rainbow Trout or Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow on nothing less than 3x. Below the dam water flows are being cut below 100 cfs. Thin water and concentrated fish require excellent presentations and long light leader. Tricos are still the predominant hatch of the moment making for epic mornings and meager afternoons. Above Mackay Reservoir fishing has been good and the Kokanee spawn is picking up steam. As soon as the reservoir trout sniff out the scent of these salmon they will be waiting close behind, ready to eat eggs. This is poor man’s Alaska- including a good chance of too close for comfort moose encounters.