Southeast Idaho drainages all have at least 100% in snow water equivalency this winter which means good runoff and good fishing late in the summer and fall. The Blackfoot River drainage is over 100% and the Bear River is over 125%. This may delay early fishing in streams until the runoff is done but late June through September should be fabulous.
The Snow Survey information can be found here: http://www.id.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/data/current.html
I know that I am jumping the gun by about 6-7 months but this last summer I finally discovered a grasshopper pattern that was exceptionally productive for Idaho Fly Fishing. Like many of you I have tried numerous different grasshopper patterns with varied success.
The Joe’s Hopper has been all but worthless, including all the subtle variations.
The parahopper (grey and tan bodies) has been a good fly and has caught a lot of fish. It’s always good to have some of these in sizes 8-14. One big problem with the parahopper: floatation! Once this fly is taken a few times you can’t keep it on the surface. Add a dropper? It will sink the fly every time, which is frustrating at best!
I tried various foam hoppers with varying success.
Finally this year, thanks to Portneuf River Outfitters in Pocatello, I discovered a foam hopper pattern that the fish consumed with eagerness. One day on the Blackfoot, I caught around 50 fish (mostly 6-10 inchers) on this pattern. They were attacking it with abandon. I even hooked and landed 3 20+ inchers in this fly while losing 5-6 more.
So what is the pattern? Alas, I don’t have a picture at the moment but I will post a picture with the additional info on my next post. Stay tuned!
Plastic Waterproof Fly Box – White
Terrestrial Trout Fly Fishing Flies Collection
Handbook Of Hatches: Introductory Guide to the Foods Trout Eat & the Most Effective Flies to Match Them
Okuma S-903-5 Cascade Fly Combo (5wt, 9-Feet)
So far this year the snow pack and snow water equivalent is well above average, which means that spring runoff should be good and late season fishing even better. The Bear River drainage is at 160% of normal while the Blackfoot River drainage is at 150%. Snow water equivalency is almost 10 inches more than last year.
If the weather pattern holds as predicted, Idaho Fly Fishing should be exceptional next year!
The Blackfoot River was HOT today!! Idaho fly fishing for cutthroat trout could never be better than today. After landing more than 50 fish, I amazingly was worn out (and so was my knee after a few unceremonious falls into the river). The majority of the fish were in the 8-10″ range. I did land 3 over 20″, 2 in the 16-18″ range, and after both long and short battles, lost 3 other fish that were over 20″. One was probably a 24″ that rivaled the biggest cutthroat I have ever caught on the Blackfoot River. It was an amazing, excellent, superb, wild, etc. day to be fly fishing.
Here are some photos from the trip. Note my excellent photography skills hastened by the need to release the trout 🙂
HOT FLIES FOR THE DAY:
Size 16 Bead Head Prince Nymoh
Size 8-10 Gray Colored Foam Hopper (with green strike indicator)