Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Big Lost - Mackay - Idaho

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
February Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
March Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
Blue Wing Olives Afternoon #16-20 Blue Dun, BWO Emerger
April Blue Wing Olives Afternoon #16-20 Blue Dun, BWO Emerger
Caddis Evening #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
May Caddis Evening #14-16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
Stoneflies Afternoon-Evening #6-10 Stimulator, Golden Stone
PMD's Mid-Morning-Afternoon #14-16 Parachute PMD, PMD Thorax
June Stoneflies Afternoon-Evening #6-10 Stimulator, Golden Stone
PMD's Mid-Morning-Afternoon #14-16 Parachute PMD, PMD Thorax
Green Drakes Mid-Morning-Afternoon #10-12 Green Drake Dun, Green Drake Cripple
Yellow Sallies Afternoon-Evening #14-16 Yellow Sally Stimulator, Little Yellow Stone
July PMD's Mid-Morning-Afternoon #14-16 Parachute PMD, PMD Thorax
Yellow Sallies Afternoon-Evening #14-16 Yellow Sally Stimulator, Little Yellow Stone
Terrestrials All Day #12-16 Hopper, Ant Patterns
August Terrestrials All Day #12-16 Hopper, Ant Patterns
PMD's Afternoon #14-16 Parachute PMD, PMD Thorax
Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
September Blue Wing Olives Afternoon #16-20 Blue Dun, BWO Emerger
Terrestrials All Day #12-16 Hopper, Ant Patterns
Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
October Blue Wing Olives Afternoon #16-20 Blue Dun, BWO Emerger
Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
November Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge
December Midges All Day #18-22 Zebra Midge, Miracle Midge

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

For anglers bask in the serenity of Big Lost – Mackay, these are the finest spots for a memorable fly fishing experience:

  • Wildhorse Creek: Renowned for its exceptional trout fishing.
  • Mackay Reservoir: Impressive water body, housing numerous species including rainbow, brown and bull trout.
  • Big Lost River downstream: Ideal for fishing big rainbows in the tailwater.
  • Copper Basin: The creeks of the basin are teeming with brook and cutthroat trout.
  • High Mountain Lakes: Outdoor trekkers can enjoy wild fishing experiences in remote, pristine alpine settings.

In these waters, a variety of aquatic insects are common, allowing for diverse and productive hatch-matching. Tools you might need include:

  1. Nymphs: Essential for effectively matching most aquatic insect lifecycles.
  2. Dry flies: Highly effective during hatch.
  3. Streamers: Great for predatory fish species.

Best Access Points

The Big Lost River in Mackay, Idaho constitutes a premier destination for fly fishing. Here are some of the best recommended access points to fly fish on the Big Lost:

  • Mackay Reservoir: Offering numerous fishing spots along the shores, this reservoir is highly accessible.
  • Darlington Ditch: It is located just downstream from Mackay Reservoir, making it a go-to spot for many.
  • Bypass Canal: This canal, north of Mackay, offers significant fishing prospects.
  • Trail Creek Bridge: Fly fishing near this bridge can be very rewarding, especially in the spring.
  • Gorge Access Point: Below the Mackay Dam, the river enters a gorge where one can fish.

Please consult local regulations before casting out, as some areas may be subject to restrictions.

Local Fish

  • Trout: Three species of trout are commonly found in Big Lost – Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and Cutthroat Trout. They are the most targeted fish for fly fishing due to their abundance.
  • Mountain Whitefish: Also commonly available in the river, Mountain Whitefish are another great catch for fly fishers.
  • Bull Trout: Although less common, bull trout are a prized catch. They are a native species of Idaho and require specific catch-and-release regulations.
  • Brook Trout: Brook Trout, though not native, can be found in several tributaries of the Big Lost River.
  • Steelhead: This migratory form of Rainbow Trout can be found seasonally in the Big Lost River, typically during the spring and fall seasons.
  • Chinook Salmon: Seasonal runs of Chinook Salmon make for an exciting fly fishing opportunity. They are usually available during late summer and early fall.
  • Sockeye Salmon: These salmon also frequent the area, though they’re less common than Chinook Salmon.
  • Sturgeon: Although not typically targeted by fly fishermen due to their massive size, there have been some reports of sturgeon catches in the Big Lost River.

About The River

The serene and beautiful area of Big Lost – Mackay, nestled amidst the mountains of Custer County, Idaho, is vast and rich in history. This region is part of the Big Lost River Valley which authenticates the name, Big Lost.

  • It comprises the charming little town of Mackay, meaning “reaching the heights” in Gaelic.
  • Established in the late 19th century, Mackay was once a bustling epicenter for mining, ranching, and farming activities.
  • Mackay’s history is well preserved in its mining heritage, spectacular buildings, and the museums that honor this past.

Today, the Big Lost – Mackay region is a popular internationally recognized hotspot for outdoor adventures, including hiking, fishing, and hunting. Here, visitors can enjoy the raw beauty of the Lost River Range, Borah Peak, and the stunning landscapes.

Whether you’re a nature lover, adventurer, or history buff, the Big Lost – Mackay area is a fascinating place to explore and appreciate!

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