No school for my son Nick on Friday usually means we’re fishing somewhere, and this time it was the Middle Fork of the Boise River. By 10 am we were on the road loaded with gear and, more importantly, a healthy supply of food… because it’s almost impossible to keep Nick fed.
The road around the reservoir was in its usual poor, but manageable shape: 17 miles of continual washboard with too many blind corners to count. We stopped at the Slide Gulch Bridge to gear-up and have a snack. After 20 minutes of fishing a great run with not as much as a swirl to the stimulator, we packed up and drove upstream.
“The river is a bit cloudy, Dad”, Nick said. I told him about the slides that took place upstream, and took the opportunity to explain how these events, although disruptive for the short term, have far greater benefits in the long run. As we drove along the river, Nick spotted a swirl in a tail-out of a pool just below Twin Springs. I stopped the truck and we grabbed the rods. We quickly descended to the river and Nick casted to the area where he spotted the rise. I stood back watching him thoroughly work the water. Each cast he made was a little further out than the last, and he mended enough for a 10’ drift. Nick’s focused on the fly suggested that he was almost trying to will the fish to rise.
We worked upstream and eventually found a back-eddy. I placed the fly at the head of the current and quickly hooked up into a fish. Nick helped me land the fish and, as you would expect any son to do, he cut in front of me as I was redressing my fly to steal my water. He brought several fish, that originally had my name on them, to the net, and LDR’d a couple more; then it was time for another snack.
Eventually, we arrived at the mouth of the North Fork. There was a substantial contrast between the two rivers, the Middle Fork still cloudy and silt laden, while the North Fork was gin clear. We both caught a few fish right at the mouth, and then made our way across and up the North Fork. “Nick”, I said, “careful the water is deeper than it looks”, he looked back and I could tell by his expression, he didn’t believe me. He made his first step in, and up to his armpit he went, almost filling his waders. We caught several more fish and made our way back to the truck…Chips and Salsa where waiting, and he had caught enough fish.