Hello Everyone! Hans here with the Sturtevants weekly fishing report.
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 on most Tuesday nights by our resident bug nerd and lead guide Carl Evenson. For beginners of all ages we are offering a Learn to Fish and Youth Fly Fishing Kids Camp. So give us a call or stop by the shop for up to date info and friendly free advice.
The Big Wood
A diverse mix of bugs make for great dry fly fishing on the Wood. While the Green Drake hatch is subsiding, a few of these big green mayflies are still around in and above Ketchum. Morning through early afternoon PMD’s, Pink Alberts, Midges, and small Slate Grey Mayflies keep the birds and fish on the lookout. Many fish are holding in shallow riffles and tailouts where they have easy access to floating meals but the intense midday heat has drove some fish into the deeper pools and runs. Hoppers are already starting to show up in numbers, especially mid-valley. A Purple Parawulff and Zebra Midge dropper makes for a good prospecting rig. In the late evening the Caddis hatch is gaining momentum.
A great mid summer dry fly fishery. Bushy attractor patterns with a beadhead dropper close beneath is standard tackle. The far lower stretches in Ketchum are beginning to suffer from high water temps. Fishing gets better as you head upstream until you pass Rooks Creek above Frenchmans Bend hot springs where flows are quite low and the fishing is slowing down considerably.
Cool and clean, Trail Creek is well worth an afternoon of exploring. Kids and beginners will find plenty of willing fish around the footpaths by the Boundary Creek campsites. For those willing to explore the upper section beyond Boundary Creek see very little fishing pressure. Pull off the road anywhere and find some water to explore, but be wary of Moose.
In the last week flows have been bouncing around from scary-low to just below average. Disregarding day-to-day variation, this season has seen generally low flows and higher temperatures. Many fish are concentrated into the deeper runs and pools and subsequently so are the fishermen. Despite all of this, catch rates are still healthy and the bug activity is coming on strong. The early morning hatch of Tricos, PMD’s and Baetis is getting stronger and lasting longer with each day. Terrestrials and Damselflies are fishing well in the midday heat. A drowned ant dropper underneath a Beetle pattern works for a midday searching pattern. As the sun sets against the mountains to the west PMD’s and Caddis keep the dry fly fishing going. The ‘Creek takes on a new personality with the falling evening light.
The Big Lost
Below the Mackay reservoir flows have dropped below 300 cfs bringing the Lower Lost into a very wadeable level. This is an excellent option for those looking for a getaway from the Wood River Valley. A Cranefly pattern with a Zebra Midge pattern fished deep below makes for a good searching setup. Skating and skipping a big Cranefly across the water and watching massive tailwater rainbows sail out of the water after your fly is one of the most exciting ways to catch trout in our region. Sturtevants still has a supply of the coveted and famous Mackay Special, the magic pattern for this type of fishing, so stock up before they are gone forever. The lower Copper Basin is on fire! Try fishing the far lower stretch of the East Fork below the Wildhorse Creek confluence. A huge morning hatch of assorted Mayflies has the fish working the surface. Upper Star Hope is getting very thin with skittish fish starting to get pushed into ever diminishing holding water.
Snake River Carp
A continual string of 100+ degree days in the Snake River Corridor and the end of the spawning season has sent the Carp into a frenzy. The sheer numbers of fish holding on the flats and sunning themselves on the surface is staggering. I recently saw two Carp compete to chase down a fly, this is a rare and exciting sight in the Carpin’ world. The increased number of shallow water fish are putting them more vulnerable to bowfisherman who, in turn, are bad for us who chase these fish with a fly rod.
Low flows above the reservoir are slowing the fishing down considerably. High in the headwaters of this system is much under fished and excellent backcountry fishing for feisty Brookies. For those willing to explore this area, keep your radar up- this notorious Rattlesnake country.
Headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
Mid-July is the best time to explore the stunningly Beautiful headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. Marsh Creek, Bear Valley Creek, the Upper Middle Fork, and the numerous tributaries offer excellent light line fly fishing for wild Cutthroat and Brookies. This is the best place to view Chinook Salmon spawning in the wild. If you are lucky enough to witness this incredible sight be very cautious not to disrupt these fish.