“I am so glad I live in a land where there are Octobers.”- L.M.Montgomery
October is more than just an excuse to drink beer or don a costume and trick or treat. October days are among the most pleasant of the year. For a fly fisherman, October means Fall Baetis, Mahogany Duns, Red Quills, and aggressively feeding fish. These are the last good hatches of the year, and the fish know it. But October is more than that. Often I find my self setting my rod down and taking a seat on the bank to observe the fall splendor. There is something remarkable in every leaf that floats by. To be able to fish during these days is a bonus. So get out while the getting is good; you will be glad you did.
The Creek is magnificent this time of year. There are good numbers of Fall Baetis and a few Mahogany Duns hatching in the middle of the day into the afternoon. For the Baetis, have a good selection of duns, cripples, and spinners tied by the House of Harrop in size 20-24. For the Mahoganies, you should have the dun, the emerger, and the spinner patterns as well to guarantee success. If these bugs are not present, terrestrials will still take fish, especially of windy days. Also, nymphing dry dropper style with size 20-16 pheasant tails and Baetis nymphs is effective. Be aware of browns on redds and leave them alone.
The weather is perfect and the water is clear. To top it off, the Fall Baetis should be great over the next two weeks and into November. A few Red Quills have still been seen on the upper water, and a cloudy day may still bring good numbers of this bug yet. The one challenge anglers will need to contend with in the influx of freshly fallen leaves. This is the time of year when falls golden foliage starts to come down.Still, the fish have an uncanny ability to see the bugs through the leaves. The most productive method is still nymphing with either a dry dropper rig or Euro Style. Try rubber leg stones, Prince Nymphs, or Zebra Midge. I especially like flys with hot spots, like ICU Midge, Egan’s Frenchy, or the Iron Lotus this time of year.
UPPER WOOD, TRAIL CREEK, NORTH FORK
For the small stream aficionado, try Trail Creek, The East Fork, or The North Fork of the Wood. These rivers are the perfect diversion for a few hours of fun and hold a mixed bag of wild and stocked trout. The same attractor dries you would use on the Wood or the Lost will work fine hear. Remember to keep it simple.
THE BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
This is still the most consistently productive river in our area right now. Flows are up to 158 CFS right now, but this could change any day. Expect Baetis to be the main source of food right now. Be sure have a range of Baetis patterns from size 20 to 24. Trouthunter 6 or 6.5X tippet on a 9 to 12 foot leader is a must. Nymphing is by far the most productive. Try fishing a dry dropper rig or Euro Nymphing with small Baetis style nymphs (18-22) or Zebra Midge in olive, black, or red. Attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior, Iron Lotus, or ICU Midge in size 16 and 18 also work very well.
THE UPPER LOST
With the cooler mornings, the Upper Lost is transitioning in to a mid-day, late afternoon fishery. You can expect to see a smattering of Tricos and Baetis as soon as the air temps get into the 60s as well as some Caddis, but the best action is when the hoopers start to take flight. During the heat of the day, searching the water with a terrestrial can turn some fantastic cutthroat. Don’t go expecting big numbers of fish. Instead, search the water for quality trout.
The morning temps are down right frigid this time of year. Take your time getting down to the water. When you do, find a riffle run and work it over with a double nymph rig or Euro Style. You are sure to find an array of whitefish along with some decent cutthroat, rainbow, and maybe even a Bull trout or two. For nymphs try small rubber legged stones, ICU Midge. Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph. Swinging a Woolly Bugger is good idea as well.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The South Fork will continue to fish well right through October. While the dry fly window is getting shorter, you can still expect to see plenty of Midge, Baetis, Caddis, and Crane Flies most of the afternoon hours. For dries try size 18 caddis in peacock, brown, black, and olive as well as Harrop’s Baetis patterns in size 18-24. As always, nymphing Euro Style or Dry Dropper is very productive for both trout and Mountain Whitefish. For nymphs try small Baetis nymph patterns (18-20), Zebra Midge (18-22), Caddis Larva (12-14), Stone Fly patterns (10-12), or San Juan Worms. Pulling large streamers could potentially tie you into a monster Bull Trout.
Penny Lake, Lake Creek Pond or Gaver Lagoon are the perfect option for a family, fall picnic. We have a complete assortment of spinning gear, lures, bait, and flies so drop on by the shop and we can hook you up no matter the style of fishing you prefer.
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Water Flows – October 10th
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise