“Anyone can be a fisherman in May.”
– Ernest Hemingway
But September will test your skills. It makes you want to be a better angler.
There are hints of yellow, orange, and red up and down the Wood. These subtle changes coincide with the transition from summer to fall hatches; the cooler air and water temperature have shifted the hatches back to the middle of the day signaling to the trout that it is time to feed as winter is just a few months away. Due to the low flows, the fish are concentrated in and around the best holding water and have become very skittish and leery of bad presentations. Approach the water with caution and make your first casts count or you will spook more fish than you catch. There is a smattering of tricos and baetis throughout the day, so plan on fishing small flies and fine tippet. You may even see some Red Quills fluttering about, the last big bug of the year. If you do, try one as the fish tend to key on it. Nymphing the Wood this time of year can be extremely productive. A dry dropper or a single nymph Euro rig maybe all you need.
Early fishing is still restricted on the Preserve with access allowed daily from 9am until sunset. The morning activity has slowed dramatically and the best fishing is from about 10 AM until around 2 PM. A few tricos remain along with baetis and callibaetis, enough bugs to get the fish feeding on the surface. Look for the midday callibaetis to keep gaining momentum. As always, damsels, hoppers, and ants will work when the hatch dissipates. If you go, please pay attention to the new and improved parking and fishing access points created this May and don’t forget to sign in with your smartphone.
The flows below the reservoir continue to hold at 120 CFS. Tricos and Baetis are still the main fare, but the cooler temperatures have moved the bug activity to the late morning into the afternoon. When the bugs are gone, be prepared to nymph. The key to success is solid line management and contact with your flies. European Nymphing techniques will increase your catch rate dramatically.
Upper Lost River
The best action is on the main stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence on down. You can expect there to be one or two good trout per bucket with a good number of white fish as well. Approach the water like heron and you will find success.
Both the upper and lower Salmon are fishing well right now. With the lower flows, walk and wade fishing is a good way to approach the water. The dry fly action is turning on again with nice cutthroats and rainbows taking caddis and hoppers. Dry dropper fishing is also very good.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are holding at 700 CFS and the fishing is very good. Look for Pinks and Flavs along with fall Baetis to be the main course. Also, crane flies are skittering about with a few caddis still lingering in the evenings. If you find no bugs fluttering about, you might try a hopper. Nymphing is also going to be productive with small, thin nymphs.
The local ponds have been stocked and are ready for a family picnic and some fishing.
Silver Creek Flies: Harrop’s Baetis duns and spinners | Trico duns and spinners | Callibaetis cripples, duns, and spinners | Hoppers | Beetles | Ants | Zebra Midge | Quilldigon
Big Wood flies: Alt RKR PMD | Stimulators | EZ Caddis | Bullet French Nymph | Roza Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Quilldigon | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost flies: Golden Stones | Apple Green PMD | Baetis Sparkle Duns Harrop | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Tasmanian Devil | Roza Perdigon | Lite Brite Perdigons | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Salmon River flies: Chubby Chernobyl | EZ Caddis | Spruce Moth | Tasmanian Devil | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs
South Fork of the Boise flies: Chubby Chernobyl | Caddis | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
|Silver Creek||54.2 cfs|
|Big Wood||93.3 cfs|
|The Big Lost||116 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||711 cfs|
|Salmon River||534 cfs|