Weâ€™ve been writing a lot about Baetis lately and with the weather due here this weekend and coming week, we can expect to see a whole lot more. Indian summer has descended upon us and with the sporadic cloud cover predicted for the weekend the Blue Winged Olive should be out in force. If we see rain later in the week, donâ€™t be discouraged, get to your favorite river with a rain jacket and appreciate the 60 degree temps coupled with dark skies. It should be one fantastic week of fishing.
Baetis has been popping all week despite the bright skies and warm days. Callibaetis are also out in great numbers. Terrestrials are a fall favorite amongst the Creeks trout and the biggest hopper in your fly box will still take a lot of fish. Donâ€™t forget your Ants and Beetles, but when the hatch is on, realistic Baetis and Callibaetis are a must. Donâ€™t hesitate to tie on a bigger Callibaetis while the Baetis are hatching. The bigger fly will catch the greedy fish in the group, then you can switch back to the smaller Baetis pattern to try and hook a few more. The lower Creek is all but deserted these days and is fishing excellent, and the sloughs are also getting little pressure despite great fishing. If you havenâ€™t spent much time exploring new areas on the Creek, the time is now. Cool temps make long walks in waders easier, and with fewer anglers about, some groups of fish feed all day long without ever seeing a human being.
Big Wood River
More of the same on the Big Wood these days. Anglers can prospect the water with big dry flies when the hatches arenâ€™t coming off. A variety of Wulff patterns and Stimulators are all one needs, just cover a lot of water and donâ€™t get locked into one small area no matter how good it looks. When the hatches of Blue Winged Olives and Western Red Quills are coming off it is time to slow down. Keep your eyes peeled in foam lines and the edges of eddies for big fish discreetly sipping away. There is something about the Fall Baetis that makes fish that may never feed off of the surface all season come out from under log jams, boulders and cut-banks to get this little insect. With a week of fair temperatures and cloudy skies coming, the Wood should really show its colors. Speaking of colors, one would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful time of year to be fishing this particular river. Take your camera!
The Lost is getting some mixed reviews with reports of murky water coming through the dam. With the low flows happening, it is still worth an anglerâ€™s time to run some nymphs through the gravel troughs and be ready for the afternoon Blue Winged Olives to come off. Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails and San Juan Worms are all good choices. Be aware that many fish have seen many Bead Head Nymphs this season, and a straight non-beaded fly may look way more appealing to many of these fish. With practiced mending skills and a good amount of spit on your flies, it is quite possible to get the flies deep enough to hook some fish without having to put on a split-shot. Fly Tiers will have a big advantage over the rest of the fishing crowd as they are able to put their weight inside the fly, thus keeping the profile of the fly nice, neat and realistic. If you donâ€™t tie your own flies, the coming winter season is a great time to learn. I would encourage anyone to speak with Brian Richter at the shop to get lined out on what you need to get started in this aspect of our sport!
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
Nighttime is the right time for anglers looking to do well on these deserted rivers. Well, maybe late afternoon until dark. With darker skies coming this week, that could change as fish that are shy about coming out in these low flowing, gin clear rivers may decide it is safe enough on a rainy day. Many years ago the Upper Lost was considered a Fall fishery, that mainly fished best when the sun left the water, we are seeing a return to that type of fishery this season, although now we can expect great fishing as soon as the flows become easier to wade in early summer. General Attractor patterns are all one needs in this area, but cover plenty of water!
South Fork of the Boise
It is truly amazing how this river was giant all summer and fished really well, and now the river is a trickle through the desert and still continues to fish well. The same stretch of canyon, yet two very different fisheries exist here most seasons. Please note that the river is not boatable at this flow. Last weekend many anglers obviously didnâ€™t check the flows and showed up with their boats, only to find they would be wade fishing where they could park a trailer. Really look hard at the foam lines when the hatch is on and stair intently at the riffles. There is no river quite like this one, where really big rainbows know how to feed incredibly discreetly, just barely showing themselves when they sip tiny Baetis from the surface. Move slowly, and really watch the water to be successful. If you have walked into a run and havenâ€™t taken at least 5 or 10 minutes to really give it a hard look before you cast, youâ€™re cheating yourself out of some really cool opportunities.