“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this ― you haven’t.”
– Thomas Edison
It is the problem fish, the ones that continue to feed even after the box and bag of tricks have been emptied, that keep the angler coming back. These fish teach humility and remind us that there is still more to learn.
The Big Wood
The Wood just continues to fish well and should improve over the next few weeks. With the forecast calling for highs in the 70s to low 80s and lows in the 40s, this is the week we begin to cross the threshold from summer to fall. We can expect cooler temperatures to slow the morning activity and the better fishing will slowly shift back to the middle of the day. In the meanwhile, Tricos can be found in certain stretches of the lower and middle river along with Baetis, caddis, PMDs, and small crane flies. Look for fish feeding on these small bugs in the slow, shallow tailouts. These fish can be spooky; you will need to employ your best Silver Creek tactics with 6x, long leaders, and downstream presentations. Red Quills may make an appearance soon as the weather cools significantly. If bugs are not present, hoppers and ants can really save the day. Trailing a small size 16 or 18 nymph can also be effective.
The morning hatch has been sporadic at best and anglers on the Creek are finding that the morning activity is starting to really slow down. Still, Tricos, Baetis, along with a few Callibaetis, can be found on the water. But the better action is coming midday into the afternoon with a Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall. These bugs can be identified by their rhythmic bouncing along the river’s edge. Hopefully, we will begin to see the Fall Baetis emergence and simultaneous spinner falls increase as the days get shorter and cooler, especially on cloudy days or on days when the smoke diffuses the sun. Also, hoppers will turn trout when the wind blows. Remember, when fishing the Preserve, the visitor center remains closed. Look for posted information at each access allowing you to sign in via your phone with a QR code or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
The Big Lost Upper
The fishing on the main stem of the Upper Lost is really your best option with the lower than average flows. The fishing is best from the middle of the day into the afternoon. Don’t expect to see too many bugs and be prepared to cover a lot of ground to find fish. These fish are opportunistic feeders and will usually go for an attractor dry fly, but they may only give you one shot. Expect decent numbers of small wild fish as well as a chance at a large fish or two.
The Big Lost Lower
Flows are back up to around 480 CFS, which is difficult to wade. Still, the Trico hatches have been decent. In the morning, anglers may find fish feeding on the surface on the abundant Tricos, some Baetis, and a dash of crane flies. As the Tricos fade, the Baetis remain and should keep the fish looking up well into midday. When the morning hatch is done, the fishing can really slow down, but searching the riffles and deep water with nymphs can be productive.
Even with low flows, the fishing is worth exploring along the Salmon River. As you travel the length of this river, there are plenty of pull offs to park your car. For flies, take Large attractors and plenty of hoppers. Also, Spruce Moths are still a major player and can provide excellent dry fly fishing.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows have dropped to 798 CFS opening more walk and wade options. The bug activity is slow to get going with caddis and Pink Alberts hatching in the early afternoon. Your best option is to search the water with hoppers and a trailing nymph.
Gaver’s Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and make a great location for a family picnic.
If you are looking for a unique alternative, try one of our local reservoirs. Magic, Mackay, and the Little Wood reservoirs can be fished either from shore, a boat, or a float tube; however, please be aware that strong afternoon winds can make boating/ tubing unsafe. As for techniques in all these reservoirs, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 or 5 sinking line. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can also be effective.
Big Wood & Warm Springs: Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Big Lost: Crane Flies | Chubby Chernobyl | PMDs | Yellow Sallies | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince
South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: Damsels | PMD | Callibaetis | Baetis | Tricos | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Stillwater Flies: Seal Buggars | Balanced Leeches | Bouface Leech | Snowcone Chironomids | Egg Patterns | Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise