“Every angler is an expert in the husbandry of hope, doling it out one spot, one cast, one fly at a time.”
– Ted Leeson
No matter the season, anglers are eternal optimists. However, October seems to fill the glass a tad more than others.
The Creek has transitioned into full fall mode. Expect to find mostly baetis hatching with a few mahogany duns, October caddis, callibaetis, and midge. The surface feeding window is short, from mid to late afternoon until the sun and temperature drops. The hatch can be sporadic to prolific depending on the day and where you are on the Creek. If the wind blows, the rules change; shorten your leader to nine feet and 4x and get out your terrestrials. Of course, nymphs and streamers can also be very effective this time of year. Remember, while fishing in the Preserve, you are required to sign in. This can be done via your phone with the QR code posted at all access points, by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682, or by simply dropping into the visitor center.
The Wood is a great choice in October. The cottonwood leaves are turning and there are plenty of lovely wild trout willing to take a fly. The bugs have been active from about noon till three. Look for fish in the tail outs, the seams along the edges of the fast water, and in the slower dancing water. Spend the prime hours searching for risers with a long leader and a small baetis or caddis pattern. If no risers are present, cover the water with a Hecuba (Red Quill) with a small nymph trailing behind.
The Upper Lost
The Upper Lost is low and cold. But once the day warms up there are enough bugs to keep the fish active. If you decide to go, go in the afternoon and cover a lot of water. This is a great option for spectacular fall scenery and solitude.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are holding steady at 190 CFS. There is a very good midday hatch of baetis and a few remaining tricos. The trout are eating vigorously in the riffles. You will need to search for the larger trout and they can be very selective late in the season.
Morning temps are already below freezing. Despite the chilly temperatures, the Salmon River continues to offer consistent whitefish and trout fishing. This time of year, nymphing will result in the highest catch rates, but the trout will also take a streamer. Find a pull out and have fun.
South Fork of the Boise
With the flows holding steady at 300 CFS, wading is your best option. Look for baetis and midge during the comfortable times of the day. You will still see caddis, crane flies, and some flavs. Nymphing is also going to be productive.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
These rivers are very small this time of year and can be a good challenge for those who are willing to crawl to catch spooky fish in crystal clear water.
Lake Creek Pond, Penny Lake, and Gaver’s Lagoon are a nice place for a fall family picnic and the chance to catch a few remaining stocked trout.
Big Wood: Baetis | Caddies | Crane Flies | Hopper Patterns | Red Quills (Hecuba) | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Silver Creek: Baetis | Mahogany Duns | October Caddis| Hopper Patterns | Bullet French Nymph | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pine Squirrel Leech
Salmon: Hopper Patterns | Chubby Chernobyl | Spruce Moth | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite
Big Lost Flies: Baetis | Crane Flies | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
South Fork of the Boise: Caddis | Pink Alberts | Baetis | Flav | Deep Cleaner | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Rain Drop Jigs | Maktima UV Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs
|Silver Creek||88 cfs|
|Big Wood||143 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||193 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||299 cfs|