Due to a combination of low water, low dissolved oxygen levels, and high temperatures Silver Creek Preserve will still be closed from 10PM to 10AM until conditions improve. Also, flows below Magic Reservoir have been cut to 2 CFS. A major fish kill has already began. Though it is unfortunate to lose these options, our other fisheries are in excellent shape!
The Big Wood
Dry fly fishing on the Wood is coming back into shape after a brief hiatus. Tricos, Hoppers, Caddis and Spruce Moths are making up the bulk of the bugs. Fishing the morning trico hatch on the Wood can sometimes be tricky in the tumbly waters. One way to cheat this hatch is by using a Midge Cluster as a dry with a Drowned Trico dropper. The Drowned Trico is tied with a glass bead head with just enough weight to sink but still light enough to drift around like a natural. Especially in the lower to mid valley and again above the SNRA the Hoppers are out in force. Easy to see and hard to sink, these big bugs make for a great indicator fly to drop a nymph. A somewhat unexpected surprise for the Big Wood is the bumper year for Spruce Moths. These fluttering Caddis like bugs come in cyclical cycles similar to the Cicada- they are always around in some numbers but every once in a while they go through a major population explosion. It looks like this is the case this year. When fish key on these bugs they can go into a full blown feeding frenzy. Mixed with the Spruce Moths the late evening Caddis hatch is bringing many fish to the surface- enough to affect the fishing in the morning as these gorged fish digest the late night meal.
Getting low and warm, Warm Springs is beginning to get tougher than usual. The last holdout of good water is just below the hotsprings. Basic attractor patterns with a small dropper will rise most fish if you can find them. Hatchery stocking occurs slightly above Frenchman’s Bend and both bridges.
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. For the adventurous, there is a stretch of little fished water in the far headwaters. The easiest (though not all that easy) way to get there is by continuing down the path used by climbers at the climbing crag below the road. From there you can bushwhack to this tumbling, plunge pool style creek. This is an excellent adventure, but only for fit hikers who are willing to get off trail.
Silver Creek Preserve is still closed due to High temperatures, low water, and low dissolved. Because dissolved oxygen levels are lowest at night, fishing will be closed from 10PM to 10AM. So technically you can still fish during the day on the Preserve and at anytime on the rest of the Creek. You could still catch the tail end of the Trico hatch and midday terrestrial fishing keeps your options open. However it is best to leave these stressed fish alone and find better fishing elsewhere.
The Big Lost
Water is already starting to get low throughout the system, but the fishing remains hot. In the far upper reaches of the Copper Basin low flows are already pushing fish into crammed pockets and these fish are skittish. Beaver ponds may be your best bet. Below the Wildhorse Creek Confluence and throughout the main stem water levels are much healthier. Prospecting with a Cranefly or Stimulator with a Zebra Midge or standard beadhead should produce. Park the car, take a walk, and put one or two good drifts through each piece of fishy water- the Lost is a game of covering ground. Below the dam Tricos and Craneflies are going strong and the water level makes for great wading. Fishing is best in the morning but nymphing throughout the day almost always produces in these waters. If you have never tried skating a Cranefly on the Lower Lost put it on your list.
Snake River Carp
For those with a bit of a screw loose, deprived of their saltwater fix, or just like to wail on huge fish- Carpin’ is the answer. Its a bit of a fly fishing fad, but for good reason. A #6 to #8 rod paired with a saltwater class reel plenty of backing is standard tackle. Hot and sunny days bring fish into the shallows to feed. The average Carp on the Snake river is pushing 20 pounds and be prepared for a long fight; these fish have serious endurance and strength. Most Carp anglers begin their search around public access points near Hagerman. Finding fish is a non issue, the sheer numbers that inhabit the river is staggering- figuring out how to get them to eat is another story.
Headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
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.