“Ours is the grandest sport. It is an intriguing battle of wits between an angler and a trout; and in addition to appreciating the tradition and grace of the game, we play it in the magnificent out-of-doors.”
– Ernest G. Schwiebert Jr.
What makes our sport truly grand is the community of anglers from around the world who desire to learn and share to best way to outwit fish, and at the same time, to protect those magnificent places in which we pursue them. Celebrate the tradition and grace of the game by visiting local fly shops often and by joining and contributing to clubs and conservation groups. This is certainly a tradition worth preserving.
As the days get shorter and with cooler weather on the horizon, there is no need to go early to the Creek anymore. On the warm days you may still see a few Tricos and Baetis along with Callibaetis spinners around 11 AM, but the best action has shifted to the afternoons with a decent Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall. Have a good assortment of Harrop’s Callibaetis patterns in all phases of this insect’s life from emergers, to duns, and spinners. The Callibaetis are small this time of year so look for patterns in size 18 and 20 to work best. If the wind blows, and it almost always does, have some Callibaetis Hackle Stackers with trailing shucks as well. Of course, hoppers, beetles, and ants should always be in your box this time of year. It will not be long before we start seeing some Mahogany Duns as well. This bug indicates that fall has arrived and winter is just around the corner. Once they show up, the fish really key in on them so be sure to have several in your box.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is fishing very well throughout the middle of the day. The flows are still higher than average, so wade with caution. As the weather turns cooler this week it may trigger the Hecuba (aka Red Quill) hatch. This is the last big hatch of the year, and the fish love them. Your Green Drake flies, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or even Para-hoppers in a size 12 will work as imitations for this fly. The other mayfly of fall will also gain momentum… Baetis. Be sure to have flies you can see well in the shallow riffles and afternoon glare. I recommend olive Gulper Specials with an orange high-vis post. Hoppers and ants are also working very well. During slow times, try trailing a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior behind a hopper.
WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
These beautiful tributaries continue to fish well and are a great alternate to the heavy wading on the Wood. There are plenty of stocked fish around the bridges and if you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, Hecubas, and caddis throughout the day.
THE UPPER LOST
Like the Wood, there may be a few Red Quills fluttering about now that the days are getting cooler. The strategy for success remains the same; cover a lot of water and you will find fish. As always, make your first presentations count, as these fish will feed opportunistically at first and then are hard to fool again. For searching, try a Para Hopper (good for the Hecuba as well), a flying ant, or an Elk Hair Caddis in size 14, 12 or 10 with a small trailing Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are holding at 338 CFS which is a very good flow for fishing, even though the wading remains a bit tough. Keep in mind that the best fishing is in the late morning into the afternoon and then it can dramatically slow down. The Tricos have peaked on the Lost and are on there way out, but the Baetis remain very strong. The challenge remains finding consistently rising fish. When you do find them, be sure to have a good selection of Baetis emergers, duns, and spinners in size 22 and 24. Nymphing is always productive. Try beaded Pheasant Tail nymphs, Zebra midge, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites either Euro style or dry dropper.
With a nip to the morning air, there is no reason to start too early. But as the air temps rise and the sun warms the water, the fishing can still be quite good. There can be a decent October Caddis hatch this time of year and size 12 or 14 Orange Stimulators match this hatch well. 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 Orange Stimulators, 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.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With the lower flows (600 CFS) wade fishermen are free to move about the river. There are still a few Pinks and Flavs around in the afternoon, but the best fishing has been with hoppers and small crane flies. Don’t expect to catch a lot of fish when fishing dries, but the quality has been exceptional. If you desire to keep your rod bent, there are plenty of eager whitefish willing to take a bright colored beaded nymph. Of course, you will always pick up a few trout nymphing as well.
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood