July is a special time in the angling community around the Sun Valley area. As we progress into the month of July, a couple main things will happen. One, our weather pattern will (should) stabilize and warm days with lots of sun will become more of the norm after a cool, wet June. Two, our freestone rivers such as the Big Wood, and Upper Big Lost river will be dropping daily and more and more water will open up with each passing day. Lots of opportunities will exist throughout this month for the adventurous angler!
Silver Creek has been hit or miss throughout June with the inconsistent weather patterns we have had. Some days have been spectacular and other days a bit slow. The upper part of the Creek (Nature Conservancy walk and wade section) has seen a lower than normal number of fish this year -- this could be due to lack of vegetation growth that will improve throughout this month. Time will tell. Consistent stable weather down on the creek will help our hatches become more reliable in July. As we move through the month, begin to focus your efforts earlier in the day, when the bulk of the hatches will happen. By the middle of the month, expect to see some of the morning Trico hatch, along with Baetis, Callibaetis, and PMD’s. Terrestrials, like ants, beetles, and small hoppers play a role in the middle part of the day if there is some wind. Other bugs that you could encounter are Damselflies, and crane flies.
It’s early July and flows are still hovering over 1,000 cubic feet per second. The clarity of the river is great, but there is a lot of water due to snowmelt runoff. Crossing is not even a possibility at these levels. Be careful if you step foot in the river, the current is moving fast. If you fish the Wood, you will be hunting for slower water such as side channels, eddies, and anyplace fish can get out of the fast current. Find the slower water and you will find fish. Sometimes this involves more walking than fishing. This is the time of the year for big flies such as Chubby Chernobyls, Green Drakes, Gray Drakes, Purple Hazes, and large nymphs like Stonefly nymphs and prince nymphs. Expect to see Green Drakes in the first couple weeks of July in the afternoons.
Copper Basin (Upper Big Lost River System)
Similar to the Big Wood, Flows are still on the high side, but as the month progresses flows will be on the drop opening up more water each day. Again, big flies the same as the Big Wood will be standard fare. The East Fork and North Fork of the Big Lost are some of the first rivers to settle into shape in the Copper Basin area. The main stem of Big Lost could be the middle of July before it is at a fishable level.
Big Lost River (Lower)
As of this writing, flows are still around 1000 CFS. When flows drop under 500 CFS it will be time to head to Mackay!
South Fork of the Boise
Flows are perfect for drift boats and rafts. Wade fishing is challenging at 1,600 CFS but not impossible. Cicadas, some Salmonflies, and Goldenstones fished tight to the bank will move some fish!
Lake Creek Pond, Penny Lake, and Hayspur Fish Hatchery
These kid and family friendly locations have been stocked and are ready!