The 36th FIPS-Mouche World Fly Fishing Championships were held in Vail, Colorado last week and Fly Fishing Team USA finished on the podium for the second time in two years. This is also the second year SCO guide Bret Bishop served as the team captain. These gentlemen went up against the best competitive teams in the world, twenty-four in all, including Spain, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Finland, Poland, and England to name a few. In the end, Team USA embraced that which they could not control and enjoyed the adventures that fly fishing competition provides. There is always more to learn…with fly rods in hand.
The crowds have been light at the Creek the last few weeks and this week’s cooler temps will move the hatch activity into the late afternoon once again. There have been a smattering of Tricos around in the late mornings on warm days and the afternoon Callibaetis has been hit or miss of late. But as one hatch comes and goes, another takes its place. The Baetis are gaining strength and we are seeing more Mahogany Duns everyday. Hoppers and ants have also been filling in the gaps between hatches, especially when there is a wind chop on the surface. The Creek is certainly going through its summer to fall transition, but the fishing remains decent for the anglers willing to toss a variety of bugs and use different techniques to fool these selective feeders.
The Wood has spectacular fall fishing right now with the river lined with yellow Cottonwoods. The fall hatches are in full swing. More Baetis are beginning to hatch each day and Red Quills have been spotted up and down the river. With yet another cold front in the forecast, these hatches should continue to strengthen. If no rising fish can be found, nymphing the Wood this time of year can be extremely productive. Fishing dry dropper style with a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a bead head pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior is a good approach.
The Stanley Basin is a great place to fish in the fall. The morning air is crisp and the water temps are low so there is no reason start too early. But as the air temps come up and the sun warms the water, the fishing can still be very good. Look for October Caddis along the banks and in the air. It does not take very many of these bugs to get the fish on them. Try size 12 or 14 Orange Stimulators to match this hatch. For the best results, focus your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs and dry dropper rigs. For dries, try hoppers, ants, caddis, or other high floating easy to see attractors. For nymphs, try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph.
THE UPPER LOST
Blaine County Road and Bridge will be conducting road maintenance to the gravel portion of Trail Creek Road. Planned construction is scheduled to begin Monday September 19, 2016 – September 30, 2016. During this timeframe, Trail Creek Road will be CLOSED to all traffic during the operating hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and reopened daily at 4:00 p.m. With the cool mornings and shorter days, the fishing is best from about 11AM till 4PM. The water is very low, and the fish are concentrated in the areas where there is structure and depth. If you like to walk and fish and then walk some more, this is a great option. Red Quills are hatching and there are hoppers and fly ants around. The fish, while spooky, have been hitting the bigger bugs lately and a dry dropper trailing a Zebra Midge or a Bishop’s Dynamite is always effective, if not for the trout, then for the large whitefish in this stretch of river.
BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows are bouncing around a bit and are currently around 211 CFS. This is a very comfortable flow to wade. The Tricos are present and Baetis are still hatching well. Remember, the early morning fishing is slow until the sun hits the water. You can expect to see bugs clear into the early afternoon before slowing down dramatically once the bugs clear out. Low water means you need to exercise stealth to be successful. When targeting surface feeders, long leaders to 6X and diminutive flies are a must. Be sure to have plenty of Harrop’s Baetis spinners and duns in size 18-22. Nymphing is a good option as well. Try small Baetis style nymphs (18-22) or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 and 18.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are going up and it is not clear as to why or when they will come done again. This will throw a monkey wrench into the fishing until the flows stabilize. When they do, expect to see Baetis, Flavs, and a few Pinks. Also, caddis, hopper, and ant patterns have been taking fish. Nymphing with small caddis larva, WD40s and Zebra Midge will be most productive especially on a double nymph rig with a Stone Fly or San Juan Worm. Keep your eyes on the Idaho Water Data website to see when the flows stabilize before you go.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. These are great places for a family picnic or a fly fishing lesson. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters, so drop on by and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Lost