“If fishing interferes with your business, give up your business…the trout do not rise in Greenwood Cemetery.” ~ Sparse Grey Hackle
The nonstop flights into Sun Valley continue into the fall season and some great deals can be found! The cool fall mornings, the yellow, orange foliage, and some of the best fishing of the season awaits. And with school back in session, the crowds have dispersed. There is no time like the present to make fishing in Sun Valley your business!
The Creek is transitioning from a summer fishery into its fall glory. The Tricos have run their course and most of the morning bug activity consists of Baetis duns and spinners in size 22 and 24. The Callibaetis have taken over center stage and can be found betweeen 2 and 3 in the afternoon in the slower stretches of the Creek. Be sure to have a good selection of cripples, trailing shuck emergers, spinners, and duns in size 16 and 18 as the fish tend to feed selectively on specific phases of the Callibaetis depending on the day and conditions. Beetles, ants, and hoppers are also very effective, especially on the windy days.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is fishing very well. The water is low and clear, and the fish are starting to look for all kinds of late summer bugs from terrestrials, like flying ants and hoppers, to smaller Baetis and Tricos. With the low water, anglers need to be cautious when approaching the runs. The bigger fish are often waiting to ambush insects in the skinny water along the seams. Fish with light tippet and small parachute patterns before searching the deeper chutes with large dries and dry dropper rigs. This is a perfect water level to try out Tenkara if you have not yet given it a go. The length of a Tenkara rod gives you unparalleled control of your presentation and is a fun way to fish a single dry, a dry dropper, or a single nymph, Euro style. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows have come down to a wadeable, with caution, 606 CFS. It is prime time hopper fishing on the South Fork and working the banks with a variety of hopper patterns in a size 10 or 8 can be effective; however, the fish are quite selective. If you are getting refusals, try a different pattern. Small, tan crane flies are a good patten to try on selective feeders. Pink Alberts have been emerging in the late afternoon and offer a good opportunity to find some fantastic, but picky, fish on smaller dries and emergers. Nymphing is also very productive with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.
Looking for a good place to take the family? Try Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. All have been stocked over the summer and are a great opportunity to introduce neophytes to fishing of any kind. Drop on by before you go and we will make sure you have the right gear, flies, or bait to be successful.
The water is low on the Salmon opening up a lot of great walk and wade opportunities around the Stanley area. We are still offering float trips on the lower reaches of the river as well, but don’t be surprised if you need to exit the boat to push it through some shallow riffles. Still, floating is a great way to cover water and find some great late summer angling opportunities. Along the wooded stretches of the river, look for a few Spruce Moths to be fluttering about. Whether you see them or not, try using a tan caddis or stone fly in size 14 to 8 trailed by a smaller beaded nymph like a Pheasant Tail or a Bishop’s Dynamite along the banks or in the shallow riffles above the deeper runs. Swinging black, brown, and olive streamers or buggers can also be productive and you might even find a resident Bull trout.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are up again at just over 400 CFS. The flows should drop as we head into September and the need to irrigate diminishes, so keep an eye on the Idaho Streamflow website. In the meanwhile, the wading is challenging and the river is difficult to get around. The Trico and Baetis hatches have been very strong, but with the high flows, finding rising fish is a challenge. Nymphing is the most effective method. Try standard dry dropper rigs or fish Euro Style techniques. The best patterns include Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice. If you find rising fish, have a good selection of high vis Tricos and Baetis.
UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
The water is low, clear, and cool. The best fishing has shifted from early mornings and late evenings right back to the middle of the day; classic fall fishing has already begun on the Upper Lost. The fish are concentrated in the deeper buckets, and anglers who are willing to walk from good holding water to the next are finding the most success. By the end of the day, if you have walked a few miles of river and have a handful of fish, you have been successful. For flies, try small hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph such as a Zebra Midge, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or a Beaded Pheasant Tail.
South Fork of the Boise