This is a great time of year to “just be” while standing knee deep in your favorite fishing run. But, in addition to matching the quiet outside, you also need to match the temperature. Remember your layers. November days start cold, even frigid. The temperature can swing anywhere from 20 to 30 degrees between sunrise and sunset. Both SIMMS and Patagonia have an array of base, mid, and outer layers to help anglers adjust to these conditions. When fishing this fall, remember to “just be” comfortably.
November is the last month to fish the Creek above the Highway 20 Bridge and it is a great time to find some solitude as well. In general, the surface activity has been spotty with the best action in the late afternoons. However, the cooler weather we are now experiencing should produce some intense Baetis hatches. Be prepared for this with a good selection of Baetis duns, emergers, and spinners from the House of Harrop in sizes 20-22. The fish are really 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: 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.
THE BIG WOOD
It is finally cold enough to really get the Wood into full fall mode. Be sure to take advantage of these next two weeks, because once the extreme cold hits the valley, the Wood will slow down dramatically as it transitions into a winter fishery. Remember, cloud cover always tends to bring out the best hatches, and there are several inclement days in the forecast. Why not call in sick? The fish tend to feed tenaciously this time of year, as they sense the days getting shorter and the food supply diminishing. For dries, have a good selection of Baetis patterns and be prepared to fish them with a long, fine leader. Terrestrials, especially black ants, work really well this time of year. Still, the most productive method remains nymphing with either a dry dropper rig or Euro Style. The most effective patterns include Red or Black Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, or the Iron Lotus in size 18- 20.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With flows holding steady at 300 CFS, this is a really good late fall fishing opportunity. The cooler weather, like all our fisheries, has really jump started the Baetis activity. The fishing window has shortened, but it is more intense. Look for a mix of Baetis and midge, with a few small crane flies, between 1 and 3 in the afternoon. Before and after this window, nymphing is most productive with Red San Juan Worms, Rubber Leg Stones, Caddis Larva as well as small Zebra Midge and Baetis Nymphs. You might also consider streamer fishing to search for an aggressive Rainbow or Bull Trout.
Even though the summer stocking has come to an end, there is still plenty of hold over fish in our local ponds such as Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon. Drop on by before you go and we will make sure you have the right gear, flies, or bait to be successful.
This area continues to be one of the best fall fisheries in terms of shear numbers of fish. If you hit the right spot, you will find good concentrations of rainbows, cutthroat, whitefish, and bull trout. It is can be down right chilly here in the morning and when the sun sets the temperatures drop rapidly. So fish during the most pleasant time of day, the late afternoon, is best. 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. Nymphing is the most productive with Rubber Legged Stones, King Prince Nymphs, or Bishop’s Dynamites with an indicator or Euro Style.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have really come down significantly. At 59 CFS, stealth is the name of the game. You will find a good concentration of fish in the buckets and the shallow water at the head and tail outs of the runs. These fish are your easiest targets and your first few casts will produce. After that, the fish get weary. Rest them and came back and pick off a few more. If you like a challenge, hunt the lunkers in the skinny water sight nymphing. In the afternoon, there will be a short window of decent dry activity and more than likely the fish are eating Baetis or midge. Harrop’s parachute Baetis as well as olive Gulper Specials work best. With the low clear water, it is a good idea to use light tippet for these selective trout whether nymphing or fishing dries. Try Trouthunter 6.5 or 7 fluorocarbon. When nymphing, try an Egan’s Frenchie, an Iron Lotus, or a Bishop’ s Dynamite in size 16 or 18 trailed behind an easy to see dry fly as an indicator. Deep nymphing with an indicator and a San Juan Worm or Prince Nymph followed by a smaller nymph is also productive.
UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
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 trout or two and even a trophy whitefish.The best approach would be to search the water with a flying ant, or other attractor, trailed by a small nymph like a red or black Zebra Midge, beaded Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites. The key to success, as always up here, is to stay mobile and find fish.
South Fork of the Boise