A true western tailwater, the South Fork of the Boise River is a revered local favorite. If fishing for 16 – 18 inch (average) bows is your game, then you’ve come to the right place.
However, don’t expect an easy day. With plenty of summer pressure and an abundance of food in the river, these fish don’t come easy – especially the big boys. You may have to work, but the rewards far outweigh the effort.
Tucked into a deep basalt canyon on the edge of where the dessert meets the Rockies, the crisp, clear water flows from the bottom of Anderson Ranch Reservoir for about 10 accessible miles to Danskin Bridge.
The best time to fish the river is by far in early autumn and late spring (when flows are down and fish are concentrated). However, this piece of water is extremely popular with the boaters once flows come up for the summer.
The season kicks off in late may, but things really get cooking once the Salmonflies pop in late June. This is one of the most anticipated hatches of the year on the river as it really brings the big fish to the surface.
Throughout the early summer you can expect routine hatches of Salmonflies, Golden Stones, Caddis, and Pink Cahills. As the season progresses into the stale heat of August and September, you’ll need to have a healthy selection of Flavs, PMDs, Craneflies, and Hoppers.
In the late fall, the river transitions as the cottonwoods and bank-lined willows turn to brilliant shades of red, orange, and amber. Flows drop back to a manageable level – around 300 CFS – and the Baetis, and Midges come alive. When you’re having a good day on the South Fork, there’s no better place to be on earth!