Don’t you hate it when the person next to you is catching fish while everyone else isn’t? Sometimes it is location but often it has to do with getting your presentation in front of the fish. Easier said than done, though there are times when the answer is right in front of you.
One angler was using a sinking tip line early in the morning while fish were rising everywhere to a midge hatch, sipping midges just under the surface. He should have been using a floating line fishing a chironomid (midge larvae) pattern just under the surface instead of several feet down.
Other times it isn’t quite so obvious. If you aren’t catching fish don’t stick with the same presentation all day if it isn’t working. We often continue with the same old way of doing things because it has worked before and we are comfortable with it. When the fishing is slow might be the time to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.
Realize that conditions are always changing. Right now both air and surface water temperatures are heating up, so trout are heading deeper for cooler water and bass are heading for the warmer water. Depending upon species and time of day, anglers may need to change their tactics several times in the same day.
Conditions constantly change, so experiment and you might learn something new. Learn from your mistakes. I make tons of them (many more than once) and figure that if I learn from only 10 percent of my mistakes I am going to catch more fish. Also, watch what other successful anglers are doing and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or ideas.
Algae is growing and the water is turning green and surface water temperatures are in the mid 60s. Depending upon the day and the weather, fishing ranges from fair to good for 15 to 18 inch fish with an occasional 20+ inch fish every once in a while. Shore anglers continue to do well by the bridge in the Hendricks Arm using PowerBait and with spinners though as the trout move deeper, shore fishing will start to slow. For fly fishermen midge larva and midge emerger patterns continue to work with the ongoing midge hatches. With Mayflies starting to hatch anglers will also do well with hares ears and PT nymphs. Black or olive wooly buggers were taking fish as well, though black is better as trout are eating black leeches. Damselflies are starting to hatch so damselfly nymph fly patterns should be working. With the lake spilling so heavily this spring, fishing below the dam in the tailwater has been good for reservoir sized fish. No black bass may be kept until Monday, July 1. Then one black bass 15 inches or longer may be kept. The campground is open and is on a first come first served basis.
SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR
Fishing has been good over the past couple of weeks using flies, bait or spinners. This spring SF was stocked stocked with approximately 55,000 trout. Fishing small PT’s, hares ears or chironomids under a strike indicator have all worked. Snail patterns and black leeches with some red flash should also be effective. Like most of our high desert reservoirs, damselflies are hatching so damselfly nymph patterns should be effective. The southwest side of the lake has been productive as has Tomera Cove, Hastings Cove and on either side of the dam. Catfish have become active and anglers may want to try raw shrimp fished in low light conditions or at night. Surface water temperatures are in the mid to high 60s and the bass bite has been good. Fishing below the dam in the river has been good though flows are high. No black bass may be kept until Monday, July 1. Then one black bass 15 inches or longer may be kept.
Jiggs has been with approximately 2300 trout, 300 of which are surplus brood stock averaging around 12 inches. Anglers have been catching some blue gill and trout. Best tactic for fly fishermen seems to be using a sink tip or intermediate sink line with a brown or black leech pattern. A few bass are showing up in the creel. The same presentations as at South Fork should work well here. Trout fishing has been fair to good. Bait anglers are doing best with worms under a bobber.
The spilling has subsided and NDOW stocked approximately 25,000 trout in the lake this week. The water is still fairly clear, but algae is starting to grow. Fishing is good for 12 to 15-inch fish that are in good body condition. The same presentations, flies, baits and lures as used at South Fork, should also work well here. Fishing below the spillway has slowed considerably.
RUBY LAKE NWR
Not much has changed here as fishing continues to be good at the collection ditch for 13- to 16-inch trout with the occasional large trout being taken. Fishing seems to improve on rainy or windy days. Wet flies have been performing better than the dries right now though there has been a Mayfly hatch on the warmer days. These include the usual small nymphs such as PT’s, hares ears, olive soft hackles, BWO emergers, red or blue copper Johns and prince nymphs as well as egg patterns in orange or pink. Wooly and crystal buggers in black, purple or olive are also working. With the dredging done, the water is clearing though there is still some silt suspended from runoff. The South Marsh was recently stocked and fishing at the boat ramp has been good for stockers with an occasional larger fish as well as a few bass. Unit 21 is also producing some bass using olive soft plastic grubs or olive wooly buggers. The water temperature here is in the high-50’s pushing 60 degrees. Fishing the south marsh for bass has been good for numbers but fair to good for size. Dark four-inch plastic grubs hooked weedless are the best bet for bass. Good colors include dark green, brown, purple or blue. Some anglers like a contrasting colored tail such as chartreuse. If you are new to the marsh, stay on the main channel where there are marker poles. However, some of the marker poles have fallen, so if you have a GPS, consider taking it and using the tracker feature so that you can follow your path back to the boat ramp.
JAKES CREEK/BOIES RESERVOIR
Very little change here as fishing continues to be fair to good. Trout fishing is fair to good, bass fishing is slow to fair, and fishing for catfish has been fair. The usual PowerBait and worms as well as small spinners are working for trout. Fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, PT nymphs, copper Johns, and black or olive wooly buggers. The lake is full and with the warmer weather weeds are starting to grow. Soon shore fishing will be difficult.
COLD CREEK RESERVOIR
Fishing here is fair to good for 10- to 12-inch trout and fair for bass. The lake was stocked with 2,000 rainbow trout averaging 11 inches earlier this spring. The usual worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work.
Fishing for 9- to 12-inch fish has been fair to good at Cave Lake. The lake has been stocked with approximately 8,000 fish between 10 and 11 inches this spring. Most anglers are having luck with small worms, though PowerBait is also catching fish. Fly rodders should be using small olive or black bead head crystal buggers, small olive wooly worms, hares ears and prince nymphs. On warmer afternoons if a hatch is seen, small Adams, black ants, Griffith’s gnats, and red or yellow humpies should all work.
Comins Lake continues to fish well with surface water temperatures in the mid to high 60s though shore anglers will see a slow down as the trout move into deeper water. Anglers are catching trout averaging16 to 20 inches on a variety of tackle. Panther Martins, spoons, PowerBait, salmon eggs, and night crawlers should all do well for the majority of bait fisherman. Fly fisherman should use wooly buggers, leech patterns, and nymphs patterns (midges, beaded pheasant tails … etc.). Comins was stocked this spring with approximately 10,000 rainbow trout averaging just over 8-inches.
The reservoir is full and fishing has been good. The water is clearing. The usual springtime flies of wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well. Illipah was stocked with 7500 trout this spring.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR
The reservoir is full! NDOW and Barrick planted the reservoir with 5,000 five to six-inch catfish and 5,000 15-inch catfish on Friday, May 31. Expect the fishing for catfish to pick up as the water temperature is in the mid to high 60’s. Approximately 1,100 crappie from Chimney Creek Reservoir were stocked last week, but anglers are being asked to return any crappie they catch back to the lake for a couple of years while the fishery rebuilds. Bass will be stocked sometime in July and more crappie will be planted in the fall.
The lake is ice free and fishing has been fair for carry over fish but should pick up as the surface water temperatures start to warm up.
High mountain lakes are still inaccessible due to snow and ice. With the wet winter and spring some of the higher elevation lakes may not be accessible until late July and most are probably still iced over. One angler flew over Hidden Lake in his plane earlier this week and it was still completely iced over with lots of snow still on the ground. Robinson Lake was also almost completely covered in ice.
With the recent warm spell, a lot of snow has come off the mountains and flows are finally dropping, though most streams are still well above normal for this time of year. Expect above normal flows for much of the early summer until all the snow finally comes off the mountains. The water is turbid and can be difficult to fish. While the flows are high, fishing below both Wildhorse and South Fork dams has been good as fish are going over the spillway at Wildhorse and through the gates at South Fork. The USFS has opened the road into Lamoille Canyon to the public but flows are still very high. As of June 29 the Bruneau River continues to drop and flows at 169 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Jarbidge is up at 106 cfs, Salmon Falls Creek at 252 cfs, Lamoille Creek at 377 cfs, South Fork of the Humboldt between 650 and 750 cfs, Cleve Creek at 26 cfs and Steptoe Creek at 25 cfs.