It is time to get your nymphs out and start prospecting the local rivers. With this Autumnâ€™s low flows it is important to change your nymphing tactics a little bit. A slightly smaller tippet diameter is important. Tippet sizes near 5X and 4X are recommended. This thin diameter will help nymphs sink faster and allow anglers to cover the entire bottom in a more effective manner. If you are using an indicator, the general rule of thumb is to place the indicator on the line at 1Â½ times the water depth you are fishing, or in most cases on our local rivers, about 4 to 5 feet from the line. Fish are still going to act aggressively as they try to fatten up for the long winter ahead, so try to fish softer rods if you have a choice, as the extra â€œspringâ€ in these rods will protect fragile tippets from breaking.
Nymphs for this time of year are standard. Generally a size 16 with a beadhead will cover most situations. Prince Nymphs, Hareâ€™s Ears, Pheasant Tails, Brassies, Small Stoneflies, and Cased Caddis patterns are all good choices.
There are only a few weeks left to fish the upper waters on Silver Creek before the season closes. The water upstream of Highway 20 closes after November 30th. The river downstream of Highway 20 will remain open through February, but the entire stretch there goes to Catch and Release Only regulations at the end of November.
There are still some Baetis and Mahogany Duns hatching on the river and with the cloud cover this week, we may see a bit of an increase in activity. The cooler days being predicted may mean late afternoon fishing, but it will take a combination of no wind, the warmest time of day, and some cloud cover to really get things turned on for one last Hurrah, before winter takes hold of the Creek.
Big Wood River
The Wood is a great place to spend a Fall day. The river has seen very little pressure lately and whole sections have been angler free for over a month or more. A well presented Pheasant Tail Nymph is all one needs to have a great time on the river. Cover each run thoroughly and take your time. This is a wonderful time of year to find nice sized fish in the thinner water north of Ketchum, or stay between Hailey and Ketchum for more numbers of fish. Late afternoon seems to be the time to find some Baetis and Midges hatching in enough numbers to get a few fish up on the surface and eating vigorously.
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
If the weather permits an angler can find a few nice fish and plenty of unfished water over the pass this week, but with snow in the forecast and cooler days be well prepared. Nymphing with the standards is really the best way to go, although streamer fishing here can be very effective as well.
Big Lost River
The only reports coming from the Lost River are of low water, clear water and difficult fishing. This weeks cloud cover could spur a little more activity and get the fish feeding on Baetis and Midges, but it is truly a roll of the dice should you decide to head over the pass.
South Fork of the Boise
Slow fishing seems to be the norm on the SF of the B right now. The clouds this week could change this and get the last of the seasons Baetis hatches going. There is always a chance to see a blanket Baetis hatch on the South Fork. Take everything from your Silver Creek flies to Nymphs and large Streamers. You could show up on a day requiring 6X tippets and dry fly presentations, or you may end up searching the boulder strewn runs with Streamers and Nymphs. If you are a hunter the South Fork sometimes provides a nice â€œCast and Blastâ€ opportunity, although reports of Chukar populations across the West this year have been extremely poor.