I met Terry at his house early on a late July morning. Terry and I had not fished together since last summer and neither of us had floated the South Fork of the Boise this year. I threw my gear in his truck and we took off for the South Fork.
As we approached the Cow Creek bridge, it was apparent that Mormon crickets were a possible food source. Large black crickets peppered the road and the Cow Creek bridge.
"Should we toss a few in and see if they're eating them today?" Terry asked with childish delight.
"Sure!" I responded, already envisioning the likely results of our test.
We both grabbed a cricket in each hand and walk onto the bridge. The river left bank always held a few fish and we knew right where they lived. Splat, splat. Two dark crickets hit the water hard but floated in the surface film down the bank alongside the willows. Shhlurp! Shhlurp! Two large rainbow trout made quick work of the chunky crickets. Terry and I looked up at each other with wide eyes.
"Let's float this section first!" Terry said.
"I think that's a great idea!" I responded logically.
We dropped off the shuttle bike at the take out and launched the boat at Cow Creek. We rigged the "big bug" rod with a Mormon cricket pattern and another smaller rod with a grasshopper.
"Ok Terry, you're up!" I said, setting the rod down in the ready position, 30 feet of fly line out of the reel.
In Terry's boat we use the 3 strikes you're out rule and the one fish landed, swap rule. I landed my fish so it was now Terry's turn at bat.
Terry worked the banks, threading his fly in and out of the bushes. It wasn't long before he was into a nice fish of his own.
"Let's do that one again!" Terry said, taking into consideration our success and earliness of the day.
"Makes sense to me." I responded, as I held the boat so Terry could exit and make the shuttle.
I had always wanted to fish streamers on the South Fork from the boat but had never committed to doing it. While Terry was running the shuttle I rigged up my other rod with a money minnow and began casting it from the shore at the take out. My sparkly minnow danced in the water. I was only checking how the fly looked in the water when a large flash darted at my fly, inhaling it. I set the hook and fought the large rainbow from the boat. Seems to work pretty well. I netted the fish just as Terry returned with the truck and trailer.
"Fish took a streamer. I think I'm going to try this on our next float." I chuckled, as I released the fish.
We launched the boat at the same spot as before. Once again, the fish were eager to rise to the cricket pattern. We lost a few flies in the trees and tied on a large purple chubby instead of a cricket. It also worked confirming my theory that these fish will eat almost anything big and buggy when placed in the right spot with the right presentation.
After playing with these rising fish for probably too long, we pulled the anchor and drifted down to another spot looking for pink eating trout. Once again, a healthy population of fish were feeding on the surface. Terry and I each connected with several fish at this location before moving on.
"Shall we grab a couple more crickets and feed the fish before we leave?" Terry questioned.
"I was hoping you'd say that..." I responded with a smile.