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Silver Creek New Zealand Guide, Steve Greaney
Trophy caught during the Brown Drake Hatch.
David T. Glasscock
Idaho Angling Services
Idaho Fly Fishing Report
Guided fly fishing 208-788-9709
September 19, 2017
Silver Creek: The Creek is now flowing at 168 cfs. The USGS measuring gauge is at the old Martin Bridge F&G access just downstream of Hwy 20. The irrigators are extracting large volumes of water from Silver Creek and its aquifer. This is mostly to grow barley and alfalfa. After a huge winter snowpack with high water in our rivers, you would think that there might be a bit more water flowing in Silver Creek this summer. It was higher in June, around 220 cfs, but has dropped precipitously. The mean average over a 42 year recording history is 109 cfs. The max flow for this time was in 1975 at 244 cfs. The low was in 2014 at 52 cfs (drought). It appears that there is more and more conpsumtive water usage from the Wood River and Silver Creek basin. It's all too obvious as you drive from Silver Creek north to Bellevue. All you see are miles of irrigation running 24/7. Over my 37 years living next to Silver Creek, I have witnessed more sagebrush land put into AG production. It is scary, as one day the industrialzed AG industry and irrigators may suck the stream dry. Even on drought years such as 2014, the irrigators don't seem to curtail their water usage. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. It's happening and is something anglers need to be thinking about...
To the fishing. Autumn has arrived with much needed rain and cooler temps. Tricos are over for the year. The Damsel hatches are done. There are still a few Callibaetis and Baetis. Hopper activity is good. Brown trout are staging for their annual autumn spawn. Generally speaking the fishing is good.
Big Wood River: The river is flowing at 380 cfs in Hailey. The Baetis hatches have been fantastic. I have not seen the giant Red Quills, but this is the time of year that they should show. The evening Caddis hatches are done for the season. Nymph fishing is reasonable. Streamers are producing as well.
Big Lost River: Below the reservoir, the river is at 295 cfs. Flows coming into the reservoir are low at approx. 10 cfs or less. Further upstream towards the Copper Basin turnoff, flows are around 340 cfs. Irrigators are draining off approximately 330 cfs for irrigation between these two points. The reservoir is still totally full. A few giant Craneflies are still around but are diminishing for the season. Tricos are still out late morning. Fishing is good.
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