Hoppers! That’s the name of the game right now on all of our area fisheries. We’re seeing big numbers of grasshoppers on our waters, and the fish are taking advantage of an easy meal. The hoppers are big and plentiful, and best imitated with a large foam pattern like the Morrish Hopper, More Or Less Hopper, Thunder Thighs Hopper, or Triple Decker in size 6, 8, and 10. All colors are effective – orange, yellow, tan, olive, peach, and even pink.
When fishing hopper patterns, be sure to use the appropriate leaders and tippet. Leaders of 7.5 to 9 feet in 1X, 2X, and 3X are good choices. You need a heavier leader to turn over large, wind resistant flies, and heavier sizes will prevent break-offs from aggressive eats. On Silver Creek, savvy anglers favor fluorocarbon over monofilament, as fluorocarbon is much more abrasion resistant. That is critical when a toothy 22” brown eats your hopper.
The Tricos are still strong on Silver Creek, although the action has been starting later with the recent cooler morning temperatures. Small BWOs continue to be mixed in with Tricos, so keep an eye out for these bugs and be ready to switch patterns. As mentioned, the hopper fishing on Silver Creek has been quite good. If the afternoon looks warm and windy, get down to the Creek.
Anglers on the Big Wood are catching fish on a variety of flies – hoppers, small attractor dries and caddis, copper johns, zebra midges, princes, hoppers, and even streamers. With the above average flows on the river and the cool nights, the Big Wood has been a great fishery. We’re looking forward to the Western Red Quill (Hecuba) in a few weeks; it should be special.
Now is the time to explore the waters of Copper Basin and the Upper Big Lost. Cover lots of water and fish your favorite hoppers and attractor dries. Keep an eye out for flying ants…big cutthroat love them.
The Salmon River downstream from Stanley continues to float and fish well; it’s hopper time on the river for the resident Westslope cutts.
The Lower Big Lost is still quite high at 740 CFS, so that is not a great option at the moment.
It’s a great time to be an angler here in the Wood River valley!
Happy Fishing Everyone!