“If your why is strong enough you will figure out how!”
– Bill Walsh
If you only teach me how, I will have success in the moment. But if you teach me why, I can figure out the how again and again.
The Big Wood
September is a special time on the Wood and despite the historic low flows, it continues to fish well from mid-morning into the late afternoon. Since the morning air is crisp, you may want to wear a light jacket and by midday, shed the jacket and consider wet wading. A few yellow leaves can be seen floating in the current and the small patches of yellow and red foliage will begin to spread. As we transition into fall, let’s remember to respect the space of other anglers. If an access is crowded, find another. And of course, respect our quarry and return the trout to the water as quickly as possible. As for the fishing, Tricos can still be found Mid Valley on down to Bellevue. Also, we should start to see the river transition into Fall mode over the next several weeks, which means the Fall Baetis will start to become more of a factor. Caddis are also still fluttering about. Whether fishing with Tricos, Baetis, or caddis, you will need to use long leaders, light tippet, and a bit of stealth to fool these seasoned trout. Nymphing dry dropper style or long and light Euro rigs remains productive. Hoppers and ants are turning a few fish as well.
In the late morning, expect to see a few Tricos, Baetis, and Callibaetis spinners on the water. However, the best action has shifted to the early afternoons with a good Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall. The Callibaetis are smaller this time of year, so try patterns in size 16 and 18. If the wind blows, and it almost always does, try hoppers, beetles, or ants. The weed growth is making nymphing difficult, but you can still find open water to suspend some small nymphs if fish aren’t looking up. 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 remains good on the main stem below the North Fork confluence. With the lower than average flows, the fish are concentrated around the deeper runs, so be prepared to cover a lot of ground. However, if the fishing seems slow, try another stretch of river; these fish need time to reset if they were hit the day before.
The Big Lost Lower
Flows are still high at over 400 CFS, although they could come down any day as irrigation needs diminish. Be sure to check the flows before you go. At the moment, the morning action has been best with a mix of Tricos and Baetis. The afternoon can be quite slow, but sight nymphing can be productive.
Both the upper and lower Salmon are fishing well right now. The dry fly action is turning on again with nice cutthroats and rainbows taking Spruce Moths along the wooded sections and an assortment of mid-sized mayfly and caddis patterns everywhere else.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows have dropped to 600 CFS making this a wade fisherman’s dream. Time to leave the boat at home. Look for fish in and around structure, in shallow riffles, as well as in seams of the deeper runs. Caddis, Baetis, Flavs, and Pinks should be around depending on the day.
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