The FISHING REPORT
The Owyhee River
The Owyhee River:
The Midges (size 18-22) and PMDs (size 18-20) are the more prolific hatch on the water. Midges can be seen all day, but the fish won’t always be feeding on them. However, around late morning we will start seeing the BWO hatch, and if you are spotting a decent hatch, the fish will be rising to them. We recommend having a few adult BWOs, along with the RS2, on hand at all times. In fact, if you see the BWO hatch, start off by throwing the RS2 pattern.
Yellow sallies (size 12-14) should start hatching at any time. This hatch typically takes place right at noon, sometimes intermixed with a caddis hatch (size 14-18). We have seen fish key on yellow sallies during a caddis hatch, so it’s a safe bet that the fish will favor the yellow sally. Although caddis are typically thicker this time of year, right now the hatches are on the lighter side. Fish are still keying onto caddis (specifically the olive caddis) when you see them fluttering around.
A few PMDs (size 16-18) have been spotted on small stretches of water. We may be a little early in recommending them, but you never know. It does seem that the year is starting off slow, and that may include the hatches that we typically would see right now.
Terrestrials can be found all over the river. In fact, if you are wanting to stick to top water fishing, it is your best bet to throw on a large ant (size 14) or a beetle (size 12) to bring up a hungry trout. Be aware of where the bee boxes are. It is a little on the nose, but we do recommend a bee pattern in these areas.
Nymphing and streamer fishing are always ‘a go’ too. Right now we recommend a tungsten Slim Shady, zebra midges, split-winged PMD, and a pheasant tail to start. Streamer pattern recommendations would include Dali Lamas, skulp zilla, and even a simple black bugger.
South Fork & Middle Fork of the Boise River
SF Boise River:
This will likely be flowing at 6000CFS when it opens. This flow is much higher than what we would consider normal flows at 12-1600 CFS. Opener on the SF is usually slow to start when it comes to top water activity. Nymphing heavy stonefly nymphs is your best bet in finding fish right now. We can often find a dark-bodied caddis (size 12-16) this time of year. We recommend a peacock caddis if you see this activity.
We do express extreme caution if you plan on floating the canyon. Last year there was an enormous log jam that, at the flows of 1800CFS and below, you could float right under. As of now we don’t even know if the log jam is there at all, or if it would completely stop you in the middle of the river. The location of this particular jam would make it unavoidable and dangerous. Be sure to scout the canyon before you run it.
Middle Fork of the Boise River:
The Boise River
Boise River in Town:
NOT SAFE AT ALL.
PMDs (size 16-14) are out in force. The morning PMD hatch was the strongest hatch of the day. Fish were rising more consistently and as long as you had a PMD, it seems like the fish were on it. As the day got warmer the fish became more selective on what PMD they were willing to take. We found that the cripple PMD was the fly to have in the afternoon, with some fish coming up to take it even when no fish were seen rising.
There was also a BWO (size 18-20) that popped off… however the fish seemed to key into the PMD every time. There was also a very small may fly (size 24-26) that was hatching, but no interested fish.
A beetle pattern (size 12) was also a favorite to search with. In the afternoon there were no fish to be found, but throwing a beetle in the deep portions of the creek with a long drift seemed to pay off every once in a while.
Throwing streamers near undercuts or in deeper pools can grab the attention of larger fish. Nymphing the same pools can also get you into a trout. Smaller perdigon nymphs (size 14-16) seemed to work just fine targeting fish this way.
There are a few small creeks to fish right now, but most are still a little high in elevation and there is still plenty of snow to keep you from accessing them.
Recent reports have all been good, as long as you can avoid the wind.
Throwing buggers (size 8-10) and trailing a damsel nymph (size 12-14) is one of the most coveted ways to fish Duck Valley, and now is the time. Fish are cruising in the upper column of the water in search of damsel nymphs. When choosing a nymph pattern for still water, recognize the color of the weeds underwater. Damsel nymphs will change color with the weeds they live in, and the fish will key into that same color swimming around.
Two-toned leeches have always worked best in these reservoirs. The Halloween leech is always a favorite, along with a chartreuse and black bugger. But don’t limit yourself to just those two colors. A variety of sparkly leech patterns can also stimulate a strike. So play with colors if you are not getting into fish.
Chironomids (size 10-14) are also a big hit. The worst thing you can do is not change up your outfit if buggers and leeches are not working that day. Try throwing a black, red, green or chrome chironomid. And you don’t always need an indicator. Pitch out chironomids and retrieve them slowly, or throw them under an indicator with some movement every 15-20 seconds. The movement of the chironomids underwater will mimmic them emerging and the fish will strike.
bass & warm water fishing
Warm Water Fishing:
Warm water fishing is here, and having a float tube at Crane Falls will help you get into the right position to catch fish. Right now you can get away with throwing some bass poppers along the banks. The bass are super charges and will hit anything that moves. This makes for fantastic fishing. Buggers and leeches (size 8-12) will also do the trick. Having a #3 sinking line will get your flies in the strike zone fast. You can also be prepared with a few chironomids; however, throwing the leeches and poppers this time of year is typically your best bet.
The clear waters of Cove Arm offer up a really unique quality of bass fishing. Bass are on the banks, deep into the rocks and trees close to shore. If these bass see you, you will likely not catch them. They are very aware of anglers, so throwing long casts towards the bank is your best approach.
You can often find carp milling around the shallows of Cove Arm. It is always fun to see these fish feeding on something subsurface. Determining what it is they are feeding on is the fun part.
Bruneau Sand Dunes
The bluegill are starting to hit top water near the reeds. Throw a small beetle or a large ant near the reeds and give it a little twitch to entice any bluegill near by. They are super fun to catch and there are plenty out there.
Bass fishing can be fun out here too. They will sometimes take a popper; however, they likely are targeting damsel nymphs (size 12-14) in a chartreuse color. Also, the bass will take heavy flashy flies, and are likely hiding in close to the reeds.
high mountain lakes
Middle to late July.