July 15, 2010 Warren Dredge Ponds Report

Posted by Nate at 8:41 PM on Thursday, Jul 15th, 2010

One of Idaho’s great hidden gems is the Warren Dredge Ponds located about 40 miles north of McCall on Warren Wagon Road.  The Dredge Ponds are 2 miles outside of the town of Warren, which used to be a thriving metropolis back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  The whole valley was once a lush meadow with a gorgeous stream (Warren Creek) running through the center of it.  The early pioneers discovered gold and silver in the valley and this is how the dredge ponds came into existence.  In the middle of the valley lies remnants of an old dredger that created a unique fishery in the state of Idaho.  The ponds are stocked to the gills (no pun intended) with little eastern brooks that are prime for the taking if you have the right fly.

I had the distinct pleasure of fishing with one of the best fly fishermen I have ever fished with; my brother Nathan.  Nathan resides in Nashville Tennessee, and he only fly fishes when he comes home, but he never seems to lose his touch.  We started off fishing at one of the several ponds and we both had tied on an Emperor Caddis Black #20.  We separated and both took a different side of the pond so we could divide and conquer.  Like clockwork, Nathan’s first cast resulted in a nice 7” brookie; and from that point on, I was playing catch up to keep up with his catch numbers.  After about 25 fish, Nathan’s Emperor Caddis Black had seen better days, so he tied on a new fly, one that he thought was an Emperor Caddis.  It turns out he had tied on a goose biot mayfly and suddenly he was getting no bites or any false takes.  At this point we were separated and I had no idea why he was not catching any fish because I was routinely catching fish on the Emperor Caddis Black.  We finished fishing that pond and we met back up and I looked at his fly and realized he was using the wrong fly for the job.  Whenever you are fishing a heavily fished area there is no substitute for the right fly.

So the day went on fishing miscellaneous ponds catching small brookies, so we decided to fish Warren Creek to see if bigger fish resided in it.  We started on the lower section and we picked up a couple, but the fish were small so we headed up river to find bigger fish.  I decided to tie on a Beetle #12 and started fishing upside down for the fish.  I would cast down river and skate my beetle across holding waters and out of nowhere fish would strike the beetle like a bolt of lightening.  Anytime you are faced with crystal clear water and fish that spook easy, the upside down technique is a great way to pick up fish that otherwise you would’ve scared before you got a hook in front of them.  We fished on for a few more hours, picking up some nice brookies and wild native rainbows.

My brother and I finished up the day on one more pond, and we decided to use new flies and experiment a little bit.  I had tied on a Black Ant #14 and Nathan tied on a Little Morman Girl #16.  We fished on picking up a few more fish before we called it a day and headed back to camp.  On the day we caught lots of fish, we had some good gut laughs and waded through some very cold stretches of river.  The flies we used on the day were:

Emperor Caddis Black #20 & #18
Beetle #16
Black Ant #14
Emperor Caddis Gray #18
Little Mormon Girl #16

Black Emperor Caddis Black Emperor Caddis $2.25
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Beetle BeetleThe most realistic beetle pattern available. It has a peacock belly, a sculptured body, and exactly 6 moose hair legs. DFI beetles are killer... $2.10
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Black Ant Black Ant $2.20
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Little Mormon Girl Little Mormon Girl $2.25
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