Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Big Wood - Sawtooth - Idaho

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

Water Flow Chart

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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

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Afternoon 18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
February Midge Afternoon 18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
March Midge, Little Black Stoneflies Afternoon 18-22; 14-16 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge, Black Stimulator
April Blue Winged Olive Afternoon 16-20 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun
Midge, Little Black Stoneflies Afternoon 18-22; 14-16 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge, Black Stimulator
May Blue Winged Olive Afternoon 16-20 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun
Salmonfly All Day 6-8 Chubby Chernobyl, Salmon Fly Foam
Golden Stone All Day 8-10 Golden Stonefly Nymph, Golden Stone Dry Fly
June Blue Winged Olive Afternoon 16-20 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun
Salmonfly All Day 6-8 Chubby Chernobyl, Salmon Fly Foam
Golden Stone All Day 8-10 Golden Stonefly Nymph, Golden Stone Dry Fly
Green Drakes All Day 10-14 Green Drake Dun, Green Drake Cripple
July Trico Early Morning 18-24 Trico Spinner, Trico Dun
Golden Stone All Day 8-10 Golden Stonefly Nymph, Golden Stone Dry Fly
Green Drakes All Day 10-14 Green Drake Dun, Green Drake Cripple
Yellow Sally Afternoon until Dusk 12-16 Yellow Sally Stone Dry Fly, Yellow Sally Nymph
August Trico Early Morning 18-24 Trico Spinner, Trico Dun
Hopper All Day 6-12 Parachute Hopper, Foam Hopper
Yellow Sally Afternoon until Dusk 12-16 Yellow Sally Stone Dry Fly, Yellow Sally Nymph
September Hopper All Day 6-12 Parachute Hopper, Foam Hopper
Midge Afternoon 18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
October Blue Winged Olive Afternoon 16-20 Blue Winged Olive Comparadun
November Midge Afternoon 18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra Midge
December Midge Afternoon 18-22 Griffith's Gnat, Zebra 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

The Big Wood and Sawtooth rivers are renowned for their exceptional fly fishing opportunities. Here are some noteworthy spots:

  • North Fork, Big Wood River: A popular part of the river, located just north of Ketchum. It’s packed with Rainbow and Brown trout.
  • Warm Springs Creek, Big Wood River: Found at the base of Bald Mountain, this location offers incredible scenic views and a plethora of Cutthroat trout.
  • Murphy Bridge, Big Wood River: A tranquil location near Bellevue, also rich with Rainbow and Brown trout.
  • Lower Stanley, Salmon River: Near the Sawtooths, this stretch on the Salmon River offers Whitefish and Cutthroat trout, along with a catch-and-release Bull trout fishing.
  • Redfish Lake, Sawtooth: Ideal for fishing from the shore or a boat. Species include Rainbow trout and Kokanee Salmon.

All of these locations provide not only a memorable fishing experience but also breathtaking mountain landscapes.

Best Access Points

Fly fishing on the Big Wood River in Sawtooth offers remarkable opportunities, but knowing the best access points enhances the overall fishing experience. Here are some notable spots:

  • Picabo Bridge: Convenient public access with adjacent parking
  • Gimlet Bridge: Preferred by experienced anglers offering deeper pools and technical water
  • Highway 20 / Stanton Crossing: Accessible spring but water level may rise in summer
  • Ketchum / River Run Day Lodge: Offers access to some of the river’s prime sections
  • Warm Springs: Provides conveniently spaced points for all skill levels

Remember to check local regulations for each spot, as they may vary. The Big Wood River is catch and release, single barbless hooks only, which ensures healthy populations for the future.

Local Fish

  • Trout
    • Rainbow Trout: This species is one of the most common and popular targets for fly fishing.
    • Brown Trout: These are not as plentiful, but they are known for putting up a solid fight, making them a worthy catch.
    • Brook Trout: While smaller in size, Brook trout can be found in almost all waters throughout the area.
    • Cutthroat Trout: Native to the Sawtooth region, the Cutthroat is an elusive catch with striking markings.

  • Grayling: Grayling is an elusive, cold-water fish that takes skill to catch, making it a favorite for many fly fishers in the area.

  • Whitefish: Known for their hard pull, Mountain Whitefish are considered a must-catch for fly fishers in the Sawtooth area.

  • Chinook Salmon: While less common, there’s an added thrill for fly fishers in landing this larger, hard-fighting fish during the summer season.

About The River

If you’re a nature lover, Big Wood – Sawtooth is a must visit! This breathtaking area is located in the heart of Idaho and has a fascinating history. Its journey began over 140 million years ago in the Cretaceous period, with the formation of its stellar granitic rocks.

Here are three fascinating points about its history:

  • The stunning Sawtooth Range is a result of powerful tectonic forces that pushed up the Earth’s crust to create these jagged peaks around 40 million years ago.
  • Glacial activity additionally shaped the valley’s terrain, carving out its distinctive glacial cirques and U-shaped valleys.
  • The area features evidence of human occupation dating back to the paleo-indian period, around 10,000 years ago. This included cultures such as the Shoshone and Bannock peoples.

So, for the authentic combination of nature and history, Big Wood – Sawtooth is unbeatable! Remember, while strolling through its trails, you are treading on millions of years of fascinating geological and human history.

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