Fishing Report – July 23, 2012

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Its prime time for fishing in the Wood River Valley and the fishing is good. All of our waters are in great shape. The mornings and evenings are cool and comfortable and wet wading in the afternoon on our local streams is a refreshing option.

On the Big Wood we are seeing a mix of medium size mayflies, mostly pinks and pmd’s,  a good number of yellow sally stoneflies, and some of the larger golden stones. Feeding activity will begin sometime after 9 a.m. as it warms up and the bugs begin to hatch. In the heat of the late afternoon things will quiet down a bit only to pick up in the later evening as it cools off after 7 p.m. For fly selections on the Big Wood I’d have size 16 pmd and pink parachute patterns, yellow and tan stimulators from size 10-14, and elk hair and  x-caddis patterns in 14-18 for evening. Look for hoppers to start fishing well on the Big Wood and a trailing nymph behind that hopper or a double nymph rig may entice the bigger fish reluctant to come to the surface. For nymphs we like larger prince or stonefly patterns, size 8-12, with zebra midge, lightning bugs and copper john’s as trailing patterns in sizes 16-20. These same fly patterns and tactics will be apply for Warm Springs, Trail Creek and over the hill on the Big Lost and Copper Basin streams.

Let’s head down to Silver Creek. It’s the time of season when we see a plethora of bugs on the creek. The awaited trico hatch has begun and should be the go-to in the early mornings. Baetis and pmd mayflies can be present at anytime, and we’ll likely see some callibaetis activity in the ponds and sloughs. Note that the fish will tend to key on the bugs present in the highest numbers, not necessarily the largest. If your presentations are being ignored, look carefully at the water to note which bugs you’re seeing. Going smaller is typically your first/best alternative, but also consider tippet size, 6 and 7X will be the norm and fluorocarbon tippet will help reduce visibility. With all this mayfly activity it would be wise to have an ample selection of the aforementioned bugs in a variety of stages, but remember presentation is the key. Presentation will always trump bug selection! As the mayfly activity quiets down in the late morning and the breeze comes up it’s time to up your tippet strength and try some prospecting with hoppers, beetles and damsel flies.  Hoppers in particular are starting to produce on the creek and there’s nothing better than the aggressive strike a large meal like this can produce.

We’re always happy to share some “good, free advice” so stop by both of our convenient locations in Ketchum and Hailey for the latest report, to refresh your fly box, or book a trip with one of our friendly and knowledgeable guides. Also check out our free casting clinic every Tuesday evening at 6:00 p.m. Atkinson’s park in Ketchum.

Fishing report provided by Jim Santa




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