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“No gold for me. Just the rainbow.”

– Elsa Dutton

If you follow the seasons of a river, study it through a day, a month, a year, a decade, then you understand the nature of change. Sometimes the change is subtle and ephemeral, like a morning hatch. Sometimes the change is torrential, like a summer thunderstorm that turns the river muddy. No matter the nature of the change, the river is never static; it is in constant motion. For the angler, the river is the rainbow.

Silver Creek

While some Tricos and Baetis, along with Callibaetis Spinners, can be found on the Creek in the late morning, the better fishing is coming midday into the afternoon with decent hopper and Callibaetis action. Remember, the late season Callibaetis are smaller than their early season counterparts, so you will need to have plenty of size 18 imitations in all phases of this insect’s life cycle (nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners). The fly can be identified by its rhythmic bouncing just above the water as it prepares to lay eggs. Windy days can be a blessing, making the fish less leader shy and Callibaetis are one of the few bugs that don’t get easily blown away. We should also begin to see the Fall Baetis emergence and simultaneous spinner falls increase as the days get shorter and cooler, especially on cloudy days. Also, we have an abundance of hoppers all along the Creek, and when the wind blows the fish will key on them.

Big Wood

After last week’s heavy rain, the Wood is getting back on track for some fantastic fall fishing. Keep in mind, flows are much higher than average for this time of year and wading should be done with caution. As we head into September, you don’t need to go early since the best fishing is shifting to the middle of the day into the afternoon, especially with this week’s cool down. Tricos can be found in certain stretches of the lower and middle river along with Baetis, Micro Caddis, Rusty Spinners, and Ginger Crane Flies. Hoppers are also a good option, especially if you don’t see any other bugs around. Start looking for Red Quills to make an appearance as the weather cools.

Warm Springs and Trail Creek

These both received a nice boost in flows last week and have been fishing well. If the Wood is too pushy for you, then give one of these tributaries a try. There are plenty of stocked fish near the bridges and a healthy population of wild fish if you wander away from the easy access points.

South Fork of the Boise

The flows have dropped to wadable levels, around 600 CFS. Expect a smattering of Flavs and Pink Alberts hatching in the early afternoon. A few Beatis are beginning to make their midday appearance as well, especially on cloudy days. Your best option is to search the seams and around structure with a dry and a trailing nymph.

The Upper Lost

With the cool mornings, the fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon. The hatches are sporadic and mostly very small bugs, like Tricos and Baetis. Some small caddis are fluttering around as well. Still, these fish are opportunistic feeders and they will usually go for an attractor dry fly, but they may only give you one chance.

Big Lost below Mackay

The flows below the dam are dropping and have fallen to around 575 CFS. The influx of muddy water from the Upper Lost combined with the lake turning over have made the water below the dam off color. Remember, these high flows are going to continue until the reservoir is drained and repairs can be made on the gates. Once the reservoir is drained, the outflow from the reservoir should match the inflow.

Salmon River

The flows are coming down and the river is clear above Stanley. There was an influx of muddy water from Basin Creek and the Yankee Fork last week. While the water is still slightly off color in the lower river, it should be completely clear by the end of the week. As you travel the length of this river, there are plenty of pull offs to park your car and search. For flies, try hopper patterns matched with a beaded nymph.

Local Ponds

Penny Lake, Heagle Park Pond, Lake Creek, and Gaver’s Lagoon have all been recently stocked. If you are looking for a fun spot to have a family picnic and catch a few fish, give these a go.

Silver Creek: Callibeatis | Tricos | Beatis | PMD | Damsel Nymphs/Dry | Caddis | Hoppers | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive  | Small Pheasant Tails 

Big Wood and Warm Springs: Pink Alberts | PMD | Caddis | Crane Flies | Hoppers | Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Chubby Chernobyl

Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | Golden Stones | Spruce Moths | Hoppers | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Prince Nymph

South Fork of the Boise: Pink Alberts | Caddis | Crane Fly | Hoppers | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone




Silver Creek 163 cfs
Big Wood 406 cfs
The Lost Below Mackay 561 cfs
Salmon 629 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 602 cfs