Flows between 600-700 cfs coming out of Mackay Dam make for treacherous wading below. If flow were cut in half, it would be safer for enjoying the golden stone and western green drake activity soon to come on. We still have no info on the river in Copper Basin, but USGS water flow gages tell us that Basin stream flows are are about normal. So that alone suggests that good fishing should be available.
We’ve had a few inquiries about Big Lost River fishing conditions just below Mackay Dam. Right now flow out of the dam is not far below 400 cfs making for difficult and dangerous wading there. That’s about double normal flow for this date. It might be a while before run-off and water demand allow for better wading conditions.
We have not received much information on fishing the Big Lost River so far this year. Currently flow out of Mackay Dam is a bit higher than normal at around 350 cfs. Wading with caution is possible at this amount. Terrestrial insect patterns should work during daytime hours with trico spinner falls during morning hours and caddis evening activity filling out chances for action at other times.
The days of high water below Mackay Dam are gone until after the next winter of big snowfall. Flow just below the dam is where it usually is historically; around 500 cfs (about down to 0 cfs at Arco). This is a bit high for safe wading, but great for float-fishing. We have no reports on fishing this part of the river, but safe to say woolly bugger types, your favorite bead head nymphs (especially as a dropper/trailer with Woolly bugger types), and streamers will work for now. Let’s wait until water drops more before good dry fly fishing kicks in.