“You want to catch the fish, but you want more to figure it out, and the particular satisfactions stem less from the eventuality than the process by which the whole thing unfolds.”
– Ted Leeson
What keeps me returning to the river bank is more than just the pursuit of trout. It is the chortle of the sandhill crane, the aerial dance of the mayfly, the changing light reflected on the water, the turning of the cottonwood leaves. This September, head to the river and witness the whole thing unfold.
The Creek is slowly transitioning into a fall fishery, which means the tricos are mostly done. On the unseasonably warm days, you may still find a few tricos mixed with baetis. The baetis may be strong enough to get fish feeding intermittently on the surface and provide targets for the angler. On cloudy days, expect baetis in size 22 and 24 to be the dominant hatch. These hatches are generally strong enough in short bursts to get most all the fish involved on the surface. Of course, callibaetis (size 16 and 18) are still going to be a factor throughout the day in the pond and sloughs over the next few weeks. And finally, Mahogany Duns (size 16) and October caddis (size 12) should get rolling as we head into the second half of September. 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 or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
The Wood is low and the water is cool. As a result there is no need to start fishing too early in the day. On any given day you will find a nice mix of bugs including small caddis, baetis, flying ants, crane flies, and red quills. When you find fish, they tend to be spread out in and around the deeper holding water, feeding voraciously. Approach with caution and observe the water before making your first cast and you are sure to find fish holding in a variety of water types.
The Upper Lost
Focus your fishing on the Main Stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence on down. Expect there to be maybe a slew of smaller fish with one or two good fish per bucket. There might be a few whitefish as well. Like all our mountain rivers, fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are still holding at 200 CFS. The cooler weather has moved the bug activity to the late morning and through the middle of the day. Expect to see a few tricos and a plethora of baetis, especially on the cool, cloudy days. When the bugs are gone, be prepared to nymph.
Before traveling up 75 to Stanley be sure to check on road closures due to the Ross Fork Fire. If you decide to go, 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; however, floating the lower reaches is still an option.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are up a tad to just under 600 CFS but should drop even more very soon. Expect to see pinks, PMDs, baetis, and flavs in the afternoons. Also, craneflies will be seen skittering about along with a few caddis. If you find no bugs, you might try a hopper. Nymphing is also going to be productive especially for whitefish.
Lake Creek Pond, Penny Lake, and Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and are a nice place for a family picnic.
Big Wood: Baetis | Rusty Spinner | 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: Tricos | Callibaetis | 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: Tricos | 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||129 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||225 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||587 cfs|