The Owyhee River

The Owyhee River:

Owyhee flows are currently around 250 CFS.  This is typical summer flows, and it’s likely they will remain at this stage throughout the summer. A heavy rain can blow out the river during this season, so be on the lookout for rain in the Owyhee drainage. The water is not terribly clear right now, so you can get away with 5X tippets, and maybe even a 4X fluorocarbon.

Right now the most reliable hatch is the BWO (size 18-20). This hatch starts at around 11:30am, and the number of rising fish builds as the hatch thickens.  The fish are keying on the full adult fly, along with an emerging dun. More selective trout will feed on a cripple pattern or a looped-wing emerger.         

Midges (size 18-22) can be found on the water. It’s likely the fish will not rise until the BWO hatch starts to build; however, it does not mean they won’t feed on a thick hatch of midges. As the warmer weather moves in, we will see a spin in midge feeding activity from early in the day to late in the evening. A fantastic midge pattern to start with is the RS2, along with the Griffin’s gnat and hatching midge. An adult midge in grey or black may be easier to see, and the fish can determine between the two colors. It is in your best interest to have a few midge patterns on you just in case you come across selective feeding fish.

The skwala has yet to be seen, and there was concern when the river flows bumped to over 1000 CFS. The skwala nymph is a “clinger” nymph, meaning it will stick to a rock well underwater, so be ready with both the adult and nymphs at this time. This is the one time of year where you can get away with throwing a much larger nymph that the fish will key into.

The nymphs we recommend will be on the smaller side (size 18-22). Black and red zebra midges, small perdigon flies, Sanjuan worms, PMD split wing emergers, BWO split wing emergers, juju baetis, and pheasant tails.   Using 3X and 4X tippets will do the trick. Nymphing early morning can bring in a few fish, and we have found that it will not affect the dry fly activity that is to come in that same stretch of river you are nymphing.

Streamers are always fun to throw in all sizes. Stripping streamers can be a fun way to search for the most aggressive fish in the stream. Right now, we would recommend the jig style streamers. Simply toss it out like you would a nymph, and give it a little action as it floats downstream. We have found this technique to be productive.

South Fork & Middle Fork of the Boise River

South Fork Boise River

Closed until Memorial Day weekend.

South Fork Boise River

Runoff has started on this river with flows going up over 1800 CFS. The flows will reach higher levels very soon. The water will be muddy until flows begin to drop later in the spring.

The Boise River

Boise River in Town:

River flows have spiked. If the flows are over 800 CFS the river can be dangerous to wade.  Water will most likely be off-color for a week or so.

Silver Creek

Silver Creek:

Closed until Memorial Day weekend.


Small Creeks:

Most small creeks will be blown out due to run off. However, there are always those really small desert creeks that hold red-band rainbow trout. Spring is the best time to fish those creeks as it is still too cold for the rattlesnakes.

Duck Valley

Duck Valley:

Water temperatures are a little on the cool side, but that doesn’t mean the fish won’t eat. Chironomids (size 12-14) in black, olive, and red are a great start. Throwing a chrome chironomid is never a bad idea. You can start with a depth of 5-7 feet using an indicator. If using indicators are not your style, you have the option to slowly retrieve your flies after allowing them to sink. Chironomids can emerge rather quickly when water temperatures come up. When this happens, you can strip them in like a streamer to mimic a fast emergence. 


Small leeches (size 8-12) in a multitude of variegated colors seem to be a favorite to the fish out there. A Halloween leech is one of the most popular, with others like chartreuse and black, or brown and black. Let’s just say the wilder the colors, the more likely it will work.

Bass & Warm Water Fishing

Warm Water Fishing:

With water warming up, especially in the small ponds around the city, we can start seeing some movement with the warm water species. Bluegill and bass will be the first to start chasing flies. It won’t take long for the carp to start milling around.  The best place to find some warm water fishing will be in our local ponds. Later in the spring, after a week of seventy-degree weather, be sure to check out Crane Falls and Cove Arm.

High Mountain Lakes

High Mountain Lakes

No recent snow suggests the mountain lakes are fishing fantastic. However, after the first snow, the trails will be covered and the lakes will soon ice over. The lower reservoirs in the mountains will remain open and can be fished as long as the roads stay open.

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