A few weeks ago my friend Jeremy, my dad, my son, and I spent a day fishing on Stump Creek in Eastern Idaho. After a very quiet slow few hours of fly fishing, the early afternoon proved to be very productive as a I caught 20 + fish in about two hours. Jeremy and my dad both caught 10+ trout. The best fly combo was a double Renegade as my top fly and a bead head prince nymph/hare’s ear as my dropper. With this setup I actually hooked two fish at the same time four different times. It was a riot to see two fish at the same time take the flies and then immediately dash in opposite directions. Luckily they were small enough that my line didn’t immediately snap in half. Regretfully I never actually landed both fish. My son Tom had a blast reeling in the fish and fighting them as they darted around in the creek.
I caught a few fish in the 16″ range, a handful in the 12-14″ range and the rest were under 12″. This fish in the afternoon were consistently bigger. We fished an upper section of the creek in the afternoon which may have been the difference. I caught 2 whitefish and the rest were Cutthroat trout. Usually we catch a few nice brown trout in the 14-18″ range.
Stump Creek’s flow was already about a foot low for June which does not bode well for later summer fishing. The Caribou highlands only received about 85-90% of snowpack. Coupled with last years 60%, the area has had two bad winters in a row. The Blackfoot River is also flowing very low – less than its 25% average.
Most of Stump Creek flows on private land so we are grateful to the land owners who do allow fishing access across their land.
Size 6-12 Double Renegade
Size 14-16 Beadhead Prince or Hare’s Ear Nymph
My family and I went fishing on Hawkins Reservoir near Arimo, Idaho last Friday (April 22, 2016). The fishing was pretty slow. My wife caught one 12″ rainbow on a size 12 bead head prince nymph. I spent most of the time rigging kids poles or untying messes so my fishing was pretty limited. We used clear plastic casting bubbles (3-Pack Casting Bubbles 1 1/8″ X 1 3/4″) and a variety of flies – dark colored wooly worms, hare’s ears nymphs, damsel fly nymphs, and prince nymphs. Hawkins is a family friendly fishery that contains rainbow and cutthroat trout and is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. See http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=231 for a stocking schedule.
Size 12 Beadhead Prince Nymph
Fly Fishing Idaho’s Warm River
I spent this last Saturday fly fishing with my son and dad on Warm River near Ashton, Idaho. We parked at the Bear Gulch parking area and hiked down to the river. It takes about 20 minutes to hike to the river from the parking area.
Warm River is mainly spring fed and isn’t impacted by early season runoff or all of the rain we have been receiving in Eastern Idaho the last few weeks. This makes Warm River an excellent place for early season Idaho fly fishing.
Overall, the fishing was above average for Warm River. I caught 15+ fish – one brown, a few rainbows and a bunch of whitefish. Despite having a few flies on the surface, the fish were taking nymphs fished with a little split shot above the first fly. I caught the majority of the fish on a double renegade/bead head prince nymph combo. My dad had some luck on a smaller adult stone fly pattern fished slightly below the surface.
Last Friday our group of 4 caught over 30 fish on the Upper Blackfoot River. It wasn’t the best day but each of us caught one fish over 20″. My sister-in-law landed a 23 inch Cutthroat. Regretfully we didn’t have a camera at that moment.
Dodging soaking thunderstorms was the name of the game on Stump Creek this last Friday. In between some drenching thunderstorms, fishing was quite good. Between three fisherman, we caught over 40 fish and missed a lot more. Most fish were in the 8-10″ class but we caught around 15 that were 12″ +. I caught around 20 fish – one 18″ brown and the rest were cutthroat. A really nice 18″ snapped my line.