“If I were a bird, I would fly about the Earth seeking the successive autumns.” –George Eliot
You are a bird, a migratory bird. You have flown about the earth and decided that there is no more splendid autumn than the one you have found in the Wood River Valley. After all, you have never seen water so beautiful, skies so blue, and trout so plentiful. You wake from your surreal dream and decide to stay. You hire a guide.
On sunny, pleasant days there are still good numbers of Baetis mixed with the seasons last Tricos. Some Callibaetis and Mahogany Duns will be in the mix as well. If there is cloud cover, the Baetis and the Mahogany Duns could be around most of the day. In the slough, the seasons last Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall is taking place. When the wind blows, it is hopper time. As the days get shorter, the big browns will start to move around in preparation for the spawn. Remember to wear lots of layers if you decide to spend a day in a float tube.
The Big Wood
During the fall, anglers on the Wood have a choice… go big or go small. On the big side, Hecubas (Red Quills) have been spotted up and down the river and with the nasty weather forecast for this weekend, these bugs will be fantastic. On the small side, it is time for the Fall Baetis. You will need your Silver Creek Baetis as well as some with high vis posts in sizes 18-24 to match this hatch. The Fall Baetis can be prolific this time of year, especially on cool cloudy days. While waiting for these bugs to hit the water, try a small dark nymph dangled below a size 12 parachute pattern.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
These streams are quite low this time of year but can be a fun diversion for a couple hours of fishing. You will find some of the same bugs hatching here that you will find on the Wood and the Lost. And with the low water, the fish will be skittish, but a well-presented fly will get a take.
Expect cool temperatures in the morning. There is no reason to start fishing until after 11 AM once things warm a tad. When you do hit the water, search with standard nymphs or streamers. You may find some October Caddis in the afternoons and Orange Stimulators in size 12 and 14 work well to imitate this hatch.
South Fork of the Boise
The South Fork has dropped and is holding steady at 600 CFS and the fall wade fishing is perfect right now. You can really tell the days are getting shorter in the canyon, especially when the sun leaves the water. Bring layers. For bugs you can still find a good number of small caddis, a few Pink Alberts and the Fall Baetis are beginning to build momentum. A patient dry fly angler will find good action with long leaders, fine tippet, and small flies (16-24). Nymphing Euro Style or Dry Dropper will be very productive.
Upper Lost Drainage
The Hecubas are hatching on the Upper Lost. This is the last big bug of the year and the fish know it. Match this hatch with a size 14 Parachute Adams or Hare’s Ear parachute. It doesn’t take many of these bugs to get the fish looking for them. As usual, cover a lot of classic Upper Lost holding water and you will find some great fall fishing.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are steady at just above 200 CFS. The Baetis hatch, with a few Tricos, has been fantastic between 10 and 12 roughly. Post hatch fishing is slow, but persistent nymph fishers will keep producing fish. The Baetis are best matched with patterns ranging in size from 20 to 24 and the House of Harrop has the best selection to fool these seasoned fish.
All the ponds were stocked in late August for the last time, but there are plenty of fish to play with. Drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.
South Fork of the Boise: Pink Alberts | Hoppers | 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: Tricos | Callibaetis | Baetis | Mahogany Duns | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost, Big Wood and Tributaries: Tricos | Beatis | Hecubas (Red Quills) | Purple Haze | Elk Hair Caddis | Golden Stone | Pats Rubber Legs | Buggers | Chubby Chernobyl’s | Bishop’s Dynamite | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon | King Prince Nymph | Zebra Midge
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise