Fly Fishing on Idaho’s Blackfoot River – Opening Day
Fly fishing on Idaho’s Blackfoot River was excellent on opening day. We didn’t catch a lot of trout (about 10 each) but the overall size of the fish was between 16-20″. My dad landed one 22″ cutthroat and we both lost or lipped at least 3-4 each that were in the 20″ + range. Fishing was the best in the mid morning and gradually declined as the day started to heat up. Most of the fish were caught sub-surface on bead head prince nymphs and smaller sized woolly buggers. Later in the morning I started to catch a few of the larger trout on a blue damsel fly. It was fun to watch the large cutthroats surface to get the damsel fly but I was a little fast on setting the hook a couple of times and missed three large trout.
Here a couple of links to my dad hooking into some nice cutthroats:
Last week my family went to Oneida Narrows Reservoir near Preston, Idaho. It was beautiful day and we were able to catch 10+ Smallmouth Bass on red and black beadhead wooly worms (size 4). A couple of the Smallmouths reached 14″ and were about 2 lbs. We fished off the bank with a spinning rod, clear bubble and fly. A boat or pontoon would be excellent on this reservoir.
On Saturday I went fishing to Stump Creek in Eastern Idaho. The water was still a little high and off color. Worse than the water…not a single hatch of any kind on the creek. It was a little weird to be on a creek without any bugs flying around. I was still able to catch 11 trout, mostly 6-10″ cutthroats with one 14″ brown.
Top flies for the day were a size 14-16 beadhead hare’s ear, a size 4-6 beadhead black and red wooly bugger, and a size 4 muddler minnow for the brown. I fished all the flies with split shot about 10-14 inches above the fly.
Here are a couple of pictures of the fish and the Stump Creek Valley:
The water in the Blackfoot has fallen another 3-4 inches and is flowing significantly lower than usual. Last year’s abundance has not carried over into this year. The water temperature is also increasing. As a result I caught around 10 fish all in the 8-12″ range. The big fish seem to have vacated the river heading back to the deep cool waters of the reservoir. I only saw one bigger fish that rose lazily at a hopper but really made no effort to take the bug.
Regretfully the Blackfoot may have to be scratched for the rest of the summer as high temps and low water are dominating Eastern Idaho. There are still a lot of smaller fish in the system which will provide some entertainment but odds of catching a larger fish diminish each day.
Fly of the day: A blue damsel fly was again the most productive but I also caught some on a bead head prince nymph and a bead head wooly worm (orange and black).
Here are a few pictures of the Blackfoot:
|Blue Damsel Fly Pattern|
The Blackfoot River opened up this week and I was able to go fishing on July 3 and 4. Water levels are about 6-8 inches low from normal flow which means that, if the summer heat continues, it may be a short fishing season on the Blackfoot. Overall fishing was pretty decent. I caught around 30 fish the two days. Most were in the 8-12 inch range but I did land two really nice cutthroats, a 24 inch and 22 inch. Below is the picture of the 24 inch cutthroat.
The flies of the trip were black and red (orange) wooly buggers with a bead head (size 4), a size 14 bead head prince nymph, and a blue damsel fly (size 12/14).
The grasshoppers were just starting to come out. In a few weeks grasshoppers should provide some good dry fly fishing.