The FISHING REPORT

The Owyhee River

Great things are in store for those who make the drive to the Owyhee River. A typical day will start and end with a midge hatch (size 20-24). Midges are always on the Owyhee; however, fishing can be fun if the fish want them. If you find yourself in slow moving to almost stagnate water, try dragging your small midge over the surface of the water. This small wake can sometimes stimulate a strike to an otherwise snobby fish keyed on to midges.

The BWO (size 18-20) will start to hatch at around 11am, and sometimes sooner depending of the heat of the day. It will be smaller than the midge hatch, but when both hatches are taking place the fish will likely key onto the BWO.  You can determine this with longer pauses in-between a rising fish. It’s always nice to throw an adult pattern, because they are easy to see. You should not be without a cripple pattern or an emerging pattern like the RS2. Hint! Hint! We don’t leave home without them.

If you think beetles are good, try standing in one spot for too long on the bank. Ants (size 16-20) will be everywhere. Black ants, red ants, and my favorite, the two-toned ant, fall into the water all the time. The ant is one of the patterns we have seen fish specifically key into on the water. Even amongst a wonderful mayfly hatch, the fish will be stuck on the ant. We typically see this behavior late in the day.

We love when the caddis (size 12-16) hatch. Look for those splashy rises in the day and late into the evening, because a good caddis hatch can save the day. Caddis will swarm the water late in the day, and you better be ready for it. Olive caddis, tan caddis, and brown olive caddis will hatch, and you might be surprised to know that the fish can get particular when it comes to color. If you find yourself in a caddis hatch, simply try another color to see if that changes your luck.

 

South fork of the boise river

CLOSED UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

 

The South Fork of the Boise River is currently running at 295 CFS. This is not a typical flow. The flows are normally at 1200-1600 CFS normally.

This could mean two things for anglers.

 

ONE, if the flows remain between 295-600 CFS during opener it will mean anglers can start off walking and wading. You can be best prepared with a dark-bodied caddis (size 12-16), BWOs (size 18-20) in both adults and emerging patterns, and midges (size 18-22).  Nymphing will be the most productive way to approach the water. Early season nymphing includes flies such as stonefly nymphs (size 8-10), golden stone nymphs (size 8-10), hare’s ear (size 10-16), caddis pupa (size 14-16), and mayfly or midge attracter nymphs such as copper john, pheasant tail, rainbow warrior (size 14-20) and zebra midge (size 18-22). 

Also be prepared with large and medium streamers such as Wooly Bugger, Sculpzilla, Mini Sex Dungeon, and Dolly Llama both dark and light in color, depending on the day.

TWO, flows can increase 1000-1600 CFS right during opener and, therefore, wading is not recommended. If you do choose to wade we express extreme caution.  At these flows it is time to break out your drift boat and be ready to throw streamers and large nymph flies from the list above.

The Boise River in-town

The river has been at a steady 500 CFS with rain showers easily bumping it up to 700 CFS. Although fish are being caught, it is not ideal conditions for the river. Some days the fishing is just off, while other days it will treat you like you are God’s gift to fly fishing.

The warmer weather is starting to bring out the bugs. At around 11am a BWO (size 18) hatch will take place. Larger midges (size 18-20) can be seen throughout the river, but we haven’t seen fish keying onto them. On a warm evening, the caddis (size 14-16) are starting to hatch. This is great news because when the caddis start popping, the fish will key on to them. Best time to catch the caddis is in the evening; that is when the fish will likely be taking them from the surface. The river can still be tricky. You can find the most beautiful dry fly water with not a single rising fish, and another pocket of water that will make you wonder “why here”? So it’s best to cover some area when looking for rising fish. They are out there, you just need to find them.

We have found that nymphing deep is the most affective way to approach the river in town. Some days the fish will take larger (size 12-14) nymphs and other days smaller (size 16-18) nymphs. If you are confident in your cast, be sure to tie a double fly rig to determine what they are after. When you do, adapt to the day for the best results.  Also, with caddis starting to become more active, it can benefit you to have a few caddis pupa on hand (size 14-18). The caddis pupa can be one of those subsurface bugs that our local fish sometimes desire above anything else.

Silver Creek

CLOSED UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Opener on Silver Creek can be quite the gathering, and rightfully so. Anglers from around the area come to celebrate the opening weekend with hungry fish waiting for them. If crowds on the river are not your thing we suggest skipping out during Memorial Day Weekend. Be prepared with a variety of small terrestrials, such as green and black beetles (size 14-12) and larger ants (size 14-18). Dry fly activity will also include BWOs (size 18-22) and midges (size 20-22). 

SMALL CREEKS

Jump Creek: This time of year Jump creek can be a fun little hike for all ages. The little, native redband trout will key onto small caddis (size 14-16) and small Adams flies (size 14-18). It’s important to know that this creek gets very busy in the warm months. It quickly can become crowded with people who show no etiquette towards someone fishing. As you fish, people may jump in or throw sticks in the water for dogs to fetch. If isolation is what you seek, this may not be the place for you. If you go, go early in the day.

 

duck valley

It is rumored that Billy Shaw Reservoir has been stocked with a great number of fish and some larger trophy-sized fish. This being said, it is hard to look away from Sheep Creek and Mountain View reservoir, because they are fishing fantastic. YES, it is worth the drive this year!

Sheep Creek reservoir: If you have any friends in the Boise area that love to stillwater fish, then you have already seen the pictures of the fish being caught on Sheep Creek. Our fly of the month is based off this reservoir because it’s fishing so well. The Magic Perch pattern (size 6-8) can be stripped back with a sinking line, getting your fly to the correct depth to catch fish. Depending on the day, the fish will be at different depths, so play around with that. Indicator fishing with chironomids is also very effective. Once again, play with the depths and success is inevitable.

Mountain view: Great fishing is upon us. We received a fantastic report about Mountain View, and the picture we saw were of multiple, massive fish to the net. Leave your indicators behind because it’s time to strip some streamers. Black, olive, or brown buggers will do the trick, along with perch patterns or a flashy bugger. The best set up for this approach is a full sinking line. The faster sink-rate you have, the faster you can fish. I personally wouldn’t go lighter than 2X with my leader and tippet, but some are getting away with 3X.  Pitch your fly out as far as you can, and let the line sink. Some fish will be sitting at five feet deep, while others will be closer to the ten foot mark. Use your intuition to play with depth as you fish and discover the how you can be most successful on the water. 

As always keep an eye on the weather. High winds and rain can come in a flash. Having wading boot strapped in your tube can be insurance in case you get blown off the water and have to walk back to your vehicle.

bass fishing

We are on the cusp of bass season. If you happen to have access to a private bass pond, now is the time to fish it. Also, if you need a friend to take on that private pond, look us up.  For the rest of us that rely on public waters, here is the report. Bass are starting to become more active and starting to bed. During this time the fish will most likely strike out of aggression rather than being hungry…and boy is it fun to take advantage of that. Get ready with poppers and other flashy flies like the meat whistle in black and in white. If you do find yourself out on the water, and nothing is hitting on top, be sure to have our fly of the month, the MAGIC PERCH (size 6-8) on a sinking line. Play with different retrieves to deterring the aggression level of the fish for that day. 

high mountain lakes

We are always itching to get out to the high mountain lakes as early as New Years day. Sadly, the lakes do not become available until early July on an average year. Early season mountain lake fishing is typically done with a float tube, because the melting snow will raise most water levels on the lake. When we know more about the lakes, we will update this report.

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