We had some welcome rain on Thursday helping to cool things down and it did put some much needed moisture on the Corta Fire, giving firefighters a chance to get the upper hand on it. That being said, they are still working the Corta Fire and Harrison Pass Road will be closed through the weekend.
Now with the rain came lightning and anglers should be aware of some basic safety rules regarding lightning while fishing. According to the National Weather Service, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from its source cloud. With this in mind anglers should quit fishing at the first hint of thunder or lightning. It is also recommended that anglers wait at least 30 minutes after a storm has passed before starting to fish again.
Anglers are much more at risk than golfers when it comes to being struck by lightning. Since graphite rods are an excellent conductor of electricity, put your fishing rod down immediately upon hearing thunder or lightning and then head to a safe place off the water. Boaters are at very high risk and they should immediately head for the nearest shore.
While lightning can occur at any time of the day or night, in our area, the afternoons are when most of our thunderstorms pop up. Get indoors if possible, or find a low place away from trees or other high points to make yourself less of a target for lighting.
Prevention is the best way to avoid being a victim of lighting, so check the weather forecast before heading out. Just because thunderstorms aren’t in the forecast, doesn’t mean they can’t pop up every now and then. So, keep your eyes and ears open for the flash of lighting or the sound of thunder.
Surface water temperatures are in the 70s now driving trout deeper into the lake. Lots of aquatic weed growth making shore fishing difficult in some areas. Fishing for trout is still fair to good though shore anglers are having a tougher time. First thing in the morning they can still be caught from shore, but by about 9 a.m. they start heading to deeper cooler water. The canyon by the dam is producing some nice trout as are the deeper sections of Hendricks and Penrod arms. Bass and perch fishing is fair to good with perch anglers doing well at the south end of the lake in about 15 feet of water using small plastic grubs on a jighead, small crystal buggers on a full sink line or small pieces of worm on a hook or jighead fished between 10 and 15 feet deep. Perch are also being caught in the larger coves in the Hendricks Arm. For fly fishermen changing over to wooly and crystal buggers on a full sink line is a good tactic as the trout head deeper. With Mayflies hatching anglers will also do well with hares ears and PT nymphs. Damselflies are hatching so damselfly nymph fly patterns should be working. One smallmouth bass 15 inches or longer may be kept now. The campground and fish cleaning station is open and is on a first come first served basis.
SOUTH FORK RESERVOIR
Very little change here as surface water temperatures are now in the 70s and aquatic vegetation is growing quickly making some areas of the lake difficult for shore fishermen. With the warmer surface water temperatures, trout are moving into deeper water and the bass fishing has been good. Early morning shore fishing for trout is slow to fair and fishing for trout from a boat is fair. Bass fishing around structure, including weed beds, has been good. Bass anglers are having luck with soft plastic baits, minnow imitation lures and using drop shot rigs. Fishing small PT’s, hares ears or chironomids under a strike indicator have produced a few fish. Black leeches with some red flash should also be effective. Like most of our high desert reservoirs, damselflies are hatching so damselfly nymph and dry patterns are worth a try. Fishing below the dam in the river has been good with now fishable flows. Fishing above the reservoir in the river is fair. One smallmouth or largemouth bass 15 inches or longer may be kept now.
Bass fishing has been fair to good, while trout fishing is fair. Blue gill are being caught with a piece of worm about three feet under a bobber from shore. Best tactic for fly fishermen seems to be using a sink tip or full sink line with a brown or black leech pattern and fishing the deeper water in the center of the lake by the dam from a float tube or small boat. The same presentations as at South Fork should work well here.
Fishing is good for 13- to 16-inch trout that are in good body condition. The same presentations, flies, baits and lures as used at South Fork, should also work well here. The northeast corner of the lake and the south end of the lake have been producing nice trout where the water is averaging eight feet deep. Shore anglers should do well in the canyon by the dam and on the north shore. Bass fishing is good for eight to 10 inch bass with a few over 10 being caught once in a while. Soft plastic baits are working. Best colors seem to be dark olive, brown or purple. On still evenings fishing the edges of the willows with poppers may be worth a try. Fishing below the spillway is slow to poor. NDOW stocked approximately 28,000 trout in the lake in early July
RUBY LAKE NWR
Harrison Pass Road will be closed through the weekend as firefighters continue work on the Corta Fire so anglers will need to go through Secret Pass to get to the Refuge. The road is expected to open early next week. Bass fishing in the south marsh has been good for numbers with anglers regularly catching 20 to 30 fish for a morning or afternoon’s worth of effort. There is approximately one keeper bass (10 inches or larger) for about every six to eight fish. Unit 21 is producing bass from the dikes using olive soft plastic grubs or olive wooly buggers and spinners. However it is weedy and expect to lose some gear. The water temperature here is in the mid-70’s. Dark four to six-inch soft 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, yellow or white. 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. Fishing the collection ditch for trout is fair to good depending upon the day. Small dark flies fished dry or just under the surface have worked as have streamers and spinners. There has been a Mayfly hatch going on so Mayfly nymphs, emergers and dries should work. 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. Wooly and crystal buggers in black, purple or olive are also working. Damselfly dries have also produced fish both in the ditch and the south marsh.
JAKES CREEK/BOIES RESERVOIR
Very little change here as fishing continues to be fair for trout and fair to good bass. 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. For bass dark soft plastic baits with sparkles are working as are minnow type imitations. The lake is full and with the warmer weather weed growth is in full swing and fishing from shore is difficult. Best bet is with a float tube or small cartopper boat. Bass fishing is pretty good along the weed edges using soft plastic grubs hooked weedless.
COLD CREEK RESERVOIR
Fishing here is fair for 10- to 12-inch trout and fair to good for bass. The usual worms, PowerBait, small spinners and flies should all work.
Fishing for nine- to 12-inch fish has been fair to good at Cave Lake. 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, renegades and red or yellow humpies should all work.
Trout fishing is slowing with the warmer water temperatures as the fish head to the deeper water in the middle of the lake making shore fishing slow. Bass fishing is fair to good using minnow imitations and soft plastic grubs. For trout, anglers should try Panther Martins, spoons, PowerBait, salmon eggs, and night crawlers. Fly fisherman should use wooly buggers, leech patterns, and nymphs patterns (midges, beaded pheasant tails…etc.).
Trout fishing has been fair to good, though with surface water temperatures in the 70’s the fishing dies down around 9:30 am. The usual flies of wooly buggers, prince nymphs, hares ears and chironomid patterns should all work. When hatches are seen fly rodders should try BWO’s, PMD’s, Adams, renegades, damselfly dries and terrestrials. Small spinners, PowerBait and worms should be effective as well.
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 May 31. Expect the fishing for catfish to pick up as the water temperature is in the mid to high 60s. Approximately 1,100 crappie from Chimney Creek Reservoir were stocked, but anglers are being asked to return any crappie they catch back to the lake for a couple of years while the fishery rebuilds. NDOW is in the process of transplanting black bass to the lake.
The lake is full and fishing for tiger trout has been fair to good. Worms or PowerBait fished just off the bottom should work. Flies to try include beetles, ants, black Adams, Griffith’s gnats, yellow or red humpies, yellow or red stimulators and small crystal buggers. The lake was stocked with 3,400 trout July 11 and about 2000 tiger trout a week later.
High mountain lakes have open water and access and fishing is good. The flies used at Angel Lake should all work here. Spin anglers should try small worms or pieces of nightcrawler on a small hook fished below a clear bobber. Small spinners and even small plastic grubs on a jig head should all work.
With the recent warm spell, a lot of snow has come off the mountains and flows have subsided substantially and many are near normal ranges. The water is clear in most streams and fishing has been good. Hoppers are out and yellow or red is the color. Don’t forget ants and beetles, which often work when nothing else does. Bait anglers should try small worms or a hopper on a light wire hook dead drifted through pools, runs and riffles. The upper third of Lamoille Creek by the beaver ponds has fishable flows and was stocked with approximately 2,000 tiger trout in July. Fishing below both Wildhorse and South Fork dams has been good for reservoir sized fish. Fishing above South Fork in the state park is fair for trout with a few smallmouth bass starting to show up. Cleve Creek was stocked with approximately 1,000 rainbow trout averaging almost 10 inches in size two weeks ago. As of July 31, the Bruneau River continues to drop and flows at a very fishable 25 cubic feet/second (cfs), the Jarbidge is up a bit at 37 cfs and fishing has been good, Salmon Falls Creek at 23 cfs, Lamoille Creek still five times normal, though down 50 cfs from last week, at 114cfs below Thomas Creek Campground (normally 21 cfs), South Fork of the Humboldt down a lot to between 35 and 50 cfs, Cleve at 10 cfs and Steptoe Creek at 11 cfs.