The approach of the Fall is in the air. Daytime temperatures are a few degrees lower, night time temperatures force us into morning sweaters and hunting dogs are coming out of a summer slumber and getting spirited. These new lows will begin to cool the water and signal the bugs and the fish to get with it – as winter wonâ€™t be far behind. The next week may be more of the same, but as we slip into September be ready to see bigger insects, bigger fish and riskier behavior from the fish. For Rainbows, getting fat for winter is on their minds and for Browns, getting fat for the fall spawn is a life and death priority.
The Creek continues to dull out morning activity, but the window and the hatches have decreased over the past few weeks. The afternoon activity on the other hand has picked up nicely and should continue to stay strong. Callibaetis and Hopper patterns are an anglers best friend right now. Have well tied patterns of each. Fish the Callibaetis to rising fish and if there is no surface activity search the banks with Hopper flies.
Baetis and Pale Morning Duns and Micro Caddis are getting the fish looking up on calm evenings and in the dark a few anglers are finding success with Mouse patterns.
Hatches to get ready for include the Fall Baetis and eventually the Mahogany Dunn. Stock up now on these patterns and be ready to fish them once the weather takes a permanent shift away from summer and into the cool of Autumn.
Big Wood River
The hatches to be ready for on the Wood are also the Fall Baetis and especially the Red Quill. These insects will also show up strong with cooler weather. Right now start thinking Hoppers and Ants. Hoppers are migrating to the cooler banks and green grasses on the river bank, and Flying Ants will often show up in huge numbers this time of the year.
The river seems to have opened a bigger window recently with bigger fish starting to return to afternoon feeding opportunities. This could be a sign of the oncoming fall and their need for calories. Whatever the reason the Wood is fishing well all day long on most days. Parachutes, Irresistibles, small Stimulators, Parachute Ants, Trudes and small Pheasant Tail droppers are excellent fly choices.
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
These rivers are fishing a lot like the Big Wood with fish on the move looking for a meal. Hoppers and Ants may be the only fly you need, but general Attractor patterns in smaller sizes are also a great choice. The fall colors generally show early on the upper Lost so enjoy the view as much as the fishing!
Big Lost River
The flows are up again slightly keeping most anglers away due to limited wading opportunities. The best days of the season are yet to come on this river. Some pocket fishing is available but not optimal.
South Fork of the Boise
Here is the best late season surprise for fly anglers. The South Fork is still at a boatable flow making for some excellent Hopper fishing along the banks and a fair amount of Pink Albert activity late in the afternoon. Big Foam Hoppers and medium sized Stimulators are taking fish from the banks. The later in the day one fishes the better. Watch the flows and as long as they remain high this will continue to be a wonderful drift boat opportunity.
Little Wood River
Still a nice opportunity above the reservoir to catch good numbers of smaller fish. A great place to take a kid fishing!