“Happily we bask in this warm September sun, which illuminates all creatures.”
– Henry David Thoreau
However, while happily basking in autumnal warmth, the angler notes that the September sun seems to favor one particular creature more…the trout.
After being closed for much of the summer, the Preserve is now open and fishing well. If you decide to bask in the September sun down at the Creek, be prepared for a variety of situations. On the unseasonably warm days, you may still find a few tricos mixed with some baetis. This hatch may be strong enough to get fish feeding intermittently on the surface and provide targets for the angler. On the cloudy days forecasted towards the end of the week, expect the 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 gain momentum as we head into the second half of September.
The water on the Wood is low, clear, and 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. The fish are nicely 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. A single dry, dry-dropper, or single nymph rig is very effective when fished on a long, light leader.
The flows are still holding at 116 CFS. The cool weather has moved the bug activity to the late morning and through the middle of the day. Expect to see a few tricos, midge, and a slew of baetis, especially on the cool, cloudy days. When the bugs are gone, be prepared to nymph. This is a good time to sight fish for the larger trout as the water is crystal clear; however, they have become very selective and spook easily. Use light tippet, small flies, and stealth and you may be able to fool a few.
Upper Lost River
With the lower than average flows, the best place to focus your fishing attention is on the Main Stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence on down. You can expect there to be maybe one or two good fish per bucket as well as a good number of whitefish and small trout. Like all our mountain rivers, fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon.
The Salmon is gorgeous this time of year and the fishing remains solid, especially in the afternoon. Pick a pull out somewhere between Stanley and Challis and you will find a mixed bag of trout and whitefish using a variety of techniques. The water is very low, so focus on the water deep enough that it takes on a green hue.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows remain at 700 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 fluttering about, you might try a hopper/ dropper rig as well. Deep nymphing is also going to be productive with one large and one small beaded fly.
The local ponds have been stocked for the last time 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: Hoppers | EZ Caddis | Bullet French Nymph | Roza Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Quilldigon | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost flies: 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||40.6 cfs|
|Big Wood||89.4 cfs|
|The Big Lost||116 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||698 cfs|
|Salmon River||506 cfs|