What an up and down spring it has been for the river this year. We experienced another big runoff similiar to the year of 2017 and to top it off, we had mudslides spill into the river and close the road down for a short period of time. It’s always nice to see the river get a good flush, and give the fish a break for a while.. Now the Owyhee River is currently flowing at 262cfs. These flows are a little higher then what we’re used too, and it should drop down to normal summertime flows once we head into July, but with that being said, they are still perfect for wading and the fishing is starting to pick up! PMD’s have began to show up on the lower river in decent numbers and will start to be prevalent throughout the system as we head into July. There is starting to be a decent PMD hatch around 3:00pm that’s lasting for a few hours. Besides PMD’s you can expect to see some caddis, callibaetis, and midges. Nymphing will be most productive still until the hatches start to become more prolific. Your go to tailwater baetis nymphs like the splitcase PMD and splitcase BWO would be a great lead fly and drop a variety of zebra midges or small baetis nymph’s behind it.
Boise River – In Town
The river is currently dropping and should be safe to recreational float and fish by the weekend! I’m sure after the high flows we experienced the river will have changed quite significantly as it did in 2017 which will make for a fun time exploring new structure. Once the flows drop, your best chances to find those big browns and bows that live in town would be to streamer fish. The big fish will need a little bit to find their new holding spots so now is your chance to catch one out in the open! Using sculpin patterns and big articulated streamers might get you that fish. Remember that when streamer fishing you might go sometime without getting a strike so cover water, look for structure (down trees, overhangs, cut banks, boulders) and hold on! Nymphing your go to pheasant tails, hares ear, zebra midges, and copper johns always have success when fishing in town.
Anderson Ranch Tail Water- South Fork Boise
Flows have finally dropped to summertime average flows and are holding around 1740cfs. Fishing has been great with the drop of flows, and expect to see one of the most prolific caddis hatches of the year right now. The fish eating caddis are sporadic at best, but when you find a pod of fish eating, you can pick them off one by one. Big foam bugs tight to the bank is definitely the go to and Salmon Flies should be making their annual showing here in the next week or two so stop by the shop and make sure your ready for the biggest bug of the year. Also make sure you have some cicadas as fish have been picking those up as well. If you’re having a hard time getting fish on top, running jig head droppers and stonefly nymphs will be a good bet below the big bug. We should start to see PMD’s and Pink Alberts in good numbers soon so the fishing should be great this summer with the runoff we had. Please keep in mind that there are still some fish guarding their redds from the spring spawn so please let these fish do their thing.
Middle/North/Upper South Fork Boise Freestone
Flows at the twin springs gauge on the Middle Fork Boise have dropped well over a 1,000cfs in the last week. This means that the upper Boise watershed is starting to come into shape and we have made it past the peak of the run off. Expect these tribs to fish well into July and can be one of your better dry fly fishing for eager hungry trout! Any attractor pattern such as a stimulator, humpy, royal wulff, etc… will do the trick for these fish. They may not be big fish up in these freestones but can be a lot of fun to escape some of the crowds of our more popular rivers. You can also try some streamers in some of the deeper holes and may be surprised at what you might pull out.
CJ Strike Reservoir
Weather has been an issue last week on C. J. Strike. With cooler temps and the wind picking up mid day made for some interesting boat rides and casting. Although running to the side of the lake that is protected by the wind has been a good option. If you can have someone controlling the boat where you are comfortable with getting casts, then it might be one of your best days on the lake. The morning bite has been really good for poppers for smallmouth which is always fun. Black poppers seem to produce the bigger smallies. The streamer bite is still productive with crayfish patterns and chartreuse/white clousers. We have moved away from throwing a sink tip with the streamers to full floating line. The crappie are still in the brushy areas and are eager to take any dry fly that you might have in your box. A size 12 parachute Adams seems to be the ticket this past week. Double dries are always a good choice. The carp were being carp this past week. Patrolling the flats we did not see that many carp feeding. It seems the cooler weather may have pushed them to deeper water. We did have a few shots but no hook ups. The carp we did see were in full spawn and were to busy chasing each other to be looking at anything we were throwing. What ever you are throwing put it on the bank! The fish are right off the shelfs and waiting to eat what comes by. With the steady warming in the coming week and into July expect carp fishing to become more productive. Good luck out there and hope to see you on the water. Rob Griggs
Stop by or call our Boise Fly Shop for up to date information on where to fish and what to use. (208) 939-6065
Boise River Fish & Game Regulations