“Fishing is a quest for knowledge as much of a pursuit of fish; it is as much acquaintance with beavers, dippers, and other fishermen as it is the challenge of catching trout.” ~ Paul Schullery
When the cottonwood leaves start to change color and the air is crisp and clear, the fly fisherman receives the call to adventure and crosses the threshold into the river. Wielding his or her favorite rod and accompanied by a sidekick, the angler faces many challenges but ultimately returns home safe and satisfied with a day on the water pursuing fish, knowledge, solitude, and company. Whatever your fishing quest may entail, let the change of seasons serve as your call to adventure.
The Creek is transitioning as the afternoon Callibaetis hatch begins to wane; however, there are still a few Callibaetis around and you should keep them in your box for the warmer days along with your hoppers, beetles, and ant patterns. But the times they are a changin’ with this onslaught of cooler weather. Any day now, the Mahogany Duns are going to take center stage along with a plethora of Fall Baetis. Come check out our collection of Mahoganies and Baetis atterns, and we will make sure you have the right fly to match the hatch. At the moment, the best fishing is still in the S-curves into the Pond. Keep in mind, the water has really cooled down; if you plan of tubing, take a lot of layers from head to toe. The walk and wade is also starting to pick as the browns begin their pre-spawn behavior. Late September into October can be the best time to pick up an aggressive brown on a streamer pattern.
THE BIG WOOD
It has been raining again, and the Wood below Warm Springs is susceptible to blow outs. If the rain does muddy the water, the good news it it has been clearing quickly. During unsettled weather, we will see some of the best Red Quill hatches of the year. Your Green Drake flies, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or even Para-hoppers in a size 12 will work as imitations for this fly. Cool weather also means Baetis. When this hatch comes off, the fish feed with abandon, although your fly can be hard to see in the low light, overcast conditions; I recommend olive Gulper Specials with an orange high-vis post in a size 20. Hoppers and ants are also working very well on bright days. Trailing a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior behind a hopper is always a good idea.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows have come down again to around 290 CFS. Leave the drift boats at home and come experience some of the best wade fishing of the year on the South Fork. With the unsettled weather, the fall Baetis have been very good. Concentrate your efforts on the soft seams next to the quality holding water. You are sure to see plenty of fish up during the warmest part of the day and may also be able to draw fish up when no bugs are seen. Small hoppers and caddis have also been taking fish. Nymphing the heads of the runs will produce aggressive trout. In the tailouts, nymphing will produce a ton of whitefish. Whether fishing drys or nymphs on the South Fork, we are in for some of the best fishing of the season!
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked over the summer and are a great opportunity to introduce neophytes to fishing of any kind. Drop on by before you go and we will make sure you have the right gear, flies, or bait to be successful.
Stanley can be cold this time of year, especially in the morning. It is not uncommon for temperatures to dip well below freezing. But as the air temps rise and the sun warms the water, the fishing can still be quite good. There can be a decent October Caddis hatch this time of year and size 12 or 14 Orange Stimulators match this hatch well. For the best results, I recommend focusing your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs and dry dropper rigs. For dries try Orange Stimulators, hoppers, ants, caddis, or other high floating easy to see attractors. For nymphs try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
Flows have come down finally and seem to be holding a tad under 300 CFS. Fall means the Tricos will slowly dwindle away and be replaced with a steady supply of Baetis and Midge throughout the warmest time of day. Now, with the lower flows, the dry fly action should be more of a factor and on the cloudy days expect the Baetis to be prolific. When you do find surface feeders, have plenty of Baetis emergers, duns and spinners in size 22 and 24 as well as a few Tricos in the same sizes. The nymphing will remain productive with beaded Pheasant Tail nymphs, Zebra midge, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites fished either Euro style or dry dropper.
UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
The change in seasons has been good for all our local fisheries, and the Upper Lost is no different. The cool water has invigorated the trout and they are feeding well. Focus your attention on the deeper runs and cover the water with Red Quill imitations, hoppers and ant patterns. For searching, try trailing Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior beneath your dry. The water is cool and so are the morning temperatures; there is no need to get an early start up here. The best time to fish is between 1 and 3 in the afternoon.
South Fork of the Boise