“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”
― John Ruskin

Yet, an angler cannot create a masterpiece on love and skill alone. Water, trout, and bugs are needed, along with cool air, yellow leaves, and stunning vistas. With all the elements assembled, expect a magnum opus.

The Big Wood
The cold snap we are currently experiencing has forced the Wood to transition into a winter fishery. This means fewer bugs and a shorter fishing window. Also, the fish will gravitate towards the best holding water and move out of the fast riffles. There may still be some pleasant days ahead, but the fall hatches have started to wane, and midge will become the primary food source. That said, the fish tend to feed tenaciously this time of year, as they sense the days getting shorter and the food supply diminishing.

Silver Creek
November is the last month to fish the Creek above the Highway 20 Bridge. The Creek below the bridge, however, remains open until the end of March. In general, the surface activity has been spotty with the best action in the late afternoons. And the cooler weather we are now experiencing should produce some brief, but intense Baetis hatches. The fish are eager to feed, so any hatch activity will get the fish active both on the surface and subsurface. Nymphing with small midge and Baetis nymphs is most productive and streamers are turning some fish as well. Because of the cold water temps, be sure to layer up under your waders. And please be aware that the Brown spawning activity has really picked up and it is best just to leave these fish alone. Please don’t wade through the redds. And finally, 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
This is a great option if you are seeking solitude. Soon this area will be covered in snow and Trail Creek Pass will be closed, so take advantage of it while you can. Focus your efforts on the best holding water and you are sure to find a few trout and whitefish. The key to success, as always up here, is to stay mobile.

The Big Lost Lower
At just below 50 CFS, stealth is the name of the game. You will find a good concentration of fish in and around the buckets. On your approach, scan the water looking for feeding fish. These fish are your easiest targets and your first few casts will produce. After that, the fish get leery. Rest them and come back and pick off a few more. In the afternoon, there will be a short window of decent dry activity, and more than likely the fish are eating Baetis or midge. With the low clear water, it is a good idea to use light tippet for these selective trout whether nymphing or fishing dries.

The Salmon
Despite the cold, fishing during the most pleasant time of day, the late afternoon, can still be productive. If you hit the right spot, you will find good concentrations of rainbows, cutthroat, whitefish, and bull trout. Focus your attention on the riffles above the deeper holding water, and if one area is not producing, just move to a different pullout along the road.

Southfork of the Boise
With flows holding steady at 295 CFS, this is a great late fall fishery. The cooler weather, like all our fisheries, has jump-started the Baetis activity. The fishing window has shortened, but it is more intense. Look for a mix of Baetis and midge in the afternoon. Before and after this window, nymphing is most productive.

Big Wood & Warm Springs: Harrop’s Baetis | Gulper Special Olive | High Vis Adams | Elk Hair Caddis | Chubby Chernobyl | Ant CFO Black | Iron Lotus | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Bullet Quill | Hot Rib Hare’s Ear | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | Duracell Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive  | King Prince

Silver Creek: Baetis | Parachute Kicking Hopper | Harrop’s Callibaetis | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | Bullet French Nymph | Quilldigon | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pine Squirrel Leech

Big Lost: Harrop’s Baetis | Gulper Special Olive | High Vis Adams | Elk Hair Caddis | Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Bullet Quill | Hot Rib Hare’s Ear | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | Duracell Jig  | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince | Mops

Salmon: Chubby Chernobyl | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Lite Brite Perdigons 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | KJ Hot Rib Hares Ear Nymph | Sob Czech in Olive and Grey | Pheasant Tails | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince | Buggers

South Fork of the Boise: Harrop’s Baetis | Gulper Special Olive | High Vis Adams | Elk Hair Caddis | Chubby Chernobyl | Ant CFO Black | Iron Lotus | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Bullet Quill | Hot Rib Hare’s Ear | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | Duracell Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince | Mops

 

Silver Creek
Big Wood
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise
Salmon River
72.9 cfs
156 cfs
46.8 cfs
299 cfs
1180 cfs