Fall is now in full swing with yellow and orange blanketing the landscape and outdoorsman scattering in every direction. The leaves provide a beautiful backdrop for a day of angling but can prove to be a nuisance when the wind picks up. Anglers should plan on fishing Silver Creek or the Big Lost if they do not want to deal with the debris floating down the Big Wood. The South Fork of the Boise is in great shape, anglers willing to make the drive will be rewarded with good Baetis hatches over big fish.
Baetis and Mahoganies are the primary hatches on Silver Creek with streamers and terrestrials producing well between the hatches. As the weather becomes unpredictable so do the hatches, plan on staying for a while if you want to see surface activity. Baetis Hackle Stackers, No-Hackles, Transitional Duns and Gulpers are all great patterns this time of year. The Mahoganies are still spotty but anglers reported some decent hatches in the past few days, make sure you bring a few just in case. If you decide to switch over to a streamer, donâ€™t forget to make the necessary leader adjustments. Your leader should be shortened and strengthened for better casting and durability when fishing streamers.
Fishing on the Big Wood will become more difficult as the leaves accumulate in the river. Anglers should concentrate their efforts on the calm days to avoid the debris that will accumulate when the wind picks up. Currently, we are seeing sporadic Baetis hatches and filling in the downtime with nymphs and attractor dry flies. Red is still the color of choice for most Big Wood nymph fishermen. Zebra Midges (red), Copper Johns (red), Brassies and Kings Princes are all great choices this time of year.
The Big Lost is still cranking at 404cfs to facilitate repairs on the dam. At this level it is still important to use caution when wading. Anglers will find concentrations of surface feeding fish along the foam lines and in the seams. Baetis will be the primary surface bug for the Big Lost with reports of attractors bringing a few fish up to the top. When the hatches slow down you can throw small nymphs or swing streamers to pick off active fish.
South Fork of the Boise
The South Fork is definitely worth the drive for anglers who have enough time to check out this tailwater fishery. Strong Baetis hatches throughout the afternoon should provide anglers with available targets. Pay attention to the foam lines and seams near the banks and focus your efforts on the shallower water for active fish. Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears and Girdle Bugs are all good choices when the surface activity slows down.