The FISHING REPORT

The Owyhee River

During the heat of the summer months, the Owyhee can get hot and cold when it comes to dry fly fishing. Some days the best dry fly activity can be found in the early morning and in the late evening times. Fish will key on dainty flies like CDC winged caddis (size 12-18), emerging mayfly patterns like the PMD (size 16-18), and midge patterns.  Nymphing with small patterns like the split case PMD, the split case BWO, a no-bead-head pheasant tail, and zebra midge, all size 16-20, can be lifesavers.

On a good day, which are most days, the fish will be looking for hoppers. Try a variety of hopper patterns, because the fish see many.  Longer leaders are recommended with light tippets. Smaller terrestrials like ants and beetles are always on the menu. Fish can be hugged tight against the bank, so be sure you look before you step in.

Streamer fishing can also be fun. We recommend throwing your favorite streamer, no sink tip needed. Play with color when it comes to your streamers. Both light and dark sculpzillas can do the trick, or an olive and white Dalai Lama.  If you want to try something really crazy, take a mouse pattern out and chuck it against the bank during the heat of the day. The browns have been known to attack mice on occasion. NOTE that in Oregon you cannot fish past sunset, so no night fishing per state law.

South fork of the boise river

UPDATE 8/22/22:

Flows are around 600 CFS. You are able to float the river, and you can also wade it. Keep an eye on the flows with this link. If flows bump above 600 CFS, we express caution to wading the river. https://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/uv/?site_no=13190500&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00010

Canyon Float Report:

Debris, like deadfall, is very common this time of the year, and very often gets stuck in rapids. Use extreme caution when rafting the canyon, and be sure to scout the rapid if available.

It is our recommendation that you avoid wading the South Fork of the Boise with flows over 600 CFS. Flows are currently around 1200 CFS.

Grasshoppers (size 8-12) in a variety of colors are being nailed from the surface. Always get your fly near the bank with a nice long drift from the boat. 9-foot 3X leaders are just fine. Trout have not been leader-shy; however, depending on your hopper, it is always a good idea to bring a few different patterns. Stimulator patterns (size 8-12) are a fun twist to throw at the fish. Flashy elk winged patterns of all kinds can be a great dropper from your foam hopper. If the fish are not interested in the hopper, they may nail the attracter right behind it. 

Smaller terrestrials (size 12-14) are another great food source. If you find the fish refusing your larger flies, then get tricky with a smaller beetle. It is one of the flies that is thrown the least, and the success rate can be fantastic. Ant patterns in the same size range can also be a tasty treat for trout. These ants and beetles can be hard to see, so use them as a dropper to a larger, more visible fly.

Caddis (size 12-18) and pinks (size 16-18) can be seen on the water. Often you can find fish rising steadily to caddis and pinks, so it is always worth having a few on you. Be stealthy when throwing these smaller flies by dropping your tippet down to 4X or even 5X.

Upper South Fork Boise near Pine and Featherville:

Hoppers (size 10-12) and Caddis (size 12-14) are key flies to have, along with colorful stimulator patterns in that same size range. The fish are often opportunistic and will eat a big bug off the surface of the water. There are a lot of deeper sections of river and when you find them, switching to a nymph (size 12-14) for a little while can prove extremely productive.

Middle Fork of the Boise River:

Opportunistic fish are looking up for hoppers (size 10-12), and be sure to fish the riffles. Larger rock structures and rock gardens are a great place to stop and fish. Long deeper sections of the river can produce fish; however; if you find yourself seeing flashes under the water, switch to a nymph (size 12-14). Although nymphing can be productive, we go to this river to fish big, flashy flies. This is a great time of year to try out your favorite attracter pattern. Lastly, if you stay late, the fish can become selective to feeding on caddis (size 12-14). This also happens to be when the mosquitos come out.

North Fork of the Boise River:

The most beautiful looking water is found here. Great for camping. The fishing here is typically slow with only small fish seen and caught.

The Boise River in-town

Flows have dropped to the range of 700-800 CFS. This means the river is fishable in some places, but still considered high in most spots. We do express caution to anglers who wish to wade. It is best to avoid the section from Barber Park to Ann Morrison park as this is a floating section. People float the river on tubes for recreation and can be wildly oblivious to anglers on the water.

Nymphing the Boise River is your best approach. With flows high, we recommend going bigger with your nymphs (size 12) while trailing a smaller nymph (size 14-20) behind. Some of our favorite nymphs are the jig head perdigon in orange, black, and olive, caddis pupa (size 14-16), copper John (size 12-18), and Zebra midge (size 18-20).

We also find ourselves having luck throwing small, heavy streamers. We pair this with a sink tip on our fly line; the longer and faster the sink tip the better. Fish can be in the deeper section of the water, and not necessarily in the deepest parts. The key is getting your fly down to where the fish are. A fly as simple as a wooly bugger (size 8-10) in black, olive, or brown can do the trick. When it comes to streamer selection we all have our favorites, from big and small to metallic and flashy. Whatever you like, we have the medicine.

Silver Creek

The early morning trico spinner fall is the key of the day. Small tricos (size 20-22) will leave the safety of the surrounding bushes and flutter over the creek to lay eggs. This happens early in the morning when temperatures hit 70-75 degrees. You want to be ready in your spot to fish. If you approach the pod of rising fish the wrong way you can send the entire brigade down…and they will not come back up. 6:30 -7:00 a.m. is when you want to get to the river and find your spot.  After the feeding frenzy, the creek will likely go cold with the occasional fish rising to a terrestrial or damsel fly, but pickings will be slim. In the afternoon you may find yourself the only angler at Silver Creek.

SMALL CREEKS

Silver Creek Plunge is a fun little creek to fish. Small brook trout inhabit the creek, with the occasional 10-inch rainbow trout. Small flies like caddis (size 14-18), Adams flies (14-18), small terrestrials such as ants and beetles (size 14-18), and a small bugger (size 10-12) can get the attention of these hungry fish.

 Mores Creek is best fished in the morning when the water is cool. Fish the deeper pockets with little attracter flies (size 14-18), or nymph the holes with your favorite nymph pattern (size 14-18). One of the worst things you can do is stay in one place. Walk the river and find where the trout are hiding.

duck valley

The water is getting very weedy. This fishery is known for its greatness in the spring and early summer weeks. This year it fished better than your average season; however, the hotter temperatures are slowing things down.  Water temperatures are increasing, and if you are looking to fish Duck Valley, plan on keeping what you catch.

bass & warm water fishing

There are spots on the Snake River that have carp milling around that you can drive up to and fish. Casting space can be extremely limiting, but if you have the patience, carp will arrive closer to you. Small crawfish patterns and leeches are a good choice when it comes to a carp fly, while trying to avoid flashy flies. Larger nymphs (size 12) can also do the trick. When fishing for carp the trick is stealth, and therefore you have to forgo the weighted flies, as an improper slap might spook your fish.

If you head to the Owyhee River and keep on going, you can fish carp in the Owyhee Reservoir. Same tactics apply, and space is limited.

If you have a boat, you can find carp in larger flats near bridges on the Snake River. Here will be your best bet at locating tailing carp.

high mountain lakes

Be sure to have hoppers (size 10-12), attracter flies (size 12-16), terrestrial patterns (size 12-14), leeches (size 10-12), larger chubby patterns (size 8-10), and damsel flies.  Every lake will fish differently, and while some fish like the smaller ants, others will only key onto larger terrestrials. It’s always good to have a nice selections of flies for any mountain lake condition. We do get reports on specific lakes, so let us know where you are going and we can hopefully let you know if the lake is fishing well this year. In the shop we have hiking books that can help you find a lake to fish.

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