The fishing conditions have begun getting tougher by the day as the local reservoirs are being prepped for the spring run-off. This means a lot of mud and poor fishing for a week or two. Don’t fret though, as the reservoirs will come into shape soon and will again begin to produce nice fish and good fishing.
In the meantime, your best options remain the Lost River, the Snake River and the Salmon River. Keep an eye on the flows for all of these. The conditions are changing daily and staying current on the flows and turbidity is a must for a good day on the water.
The lower Lost River through Mackay is fishing well, but please keep an eye on the gauge: www.waterdata.usgs.gov. If the flows remain in the 300CFS range, you can count on decent wading and great fishing if you hit the right day. Anglers are reporting great action on red colored nymphs like always, and with the right weather there can be some decent Baetis dry fly action. If you see the gauge jump way up, then think about heading elsewhere.
The Snake River provides a wonderful Carp fishery this time of the season. With a quick look at Google Earth anglers can find lots of shallow water flats to hunt these fish. Fishing Carp in shallow water requires the exact same technique you would use on a Bonefish or Permit. It is a great way to warm up for a Saltwater trip or even learn how to Saltwater fish before your first trip. Hunt these fish and then try to drop Damsel Nymphs right on their nose. A few strips and hopefully you can fool these big, hard fighting fish!
Finally, the Steelhead are coming up the Salmon River and anglers are catching a few. Again, be sure to check the conditions as clarity is an important factor, if not the most important as anglers look to site and stalk these fish. Be aware the Steelhead are in the last few miles of their 900 mile journey into Idaho. They are here to spawn and the spawning beds, or Redds, are apparent from the clean swept gravels in the shallow water. Avoid fishing these areas and stepping on them.
Don’t forget Picabo Angler is having another great party on the 24thof May! That is the night before opening day! Grab your tent, your friends and plan on another fun evening to kick off the season!
Happy Fishing Everyone!