“The craft of angling is the catching of fish, but the art of angling is its receptiveness to these connections, the art of letting one thing lead to another until, if only locally and momentarily, you realize some small completeness.” – Ted Leeson from The Habit of Rivers
All those who come to angling, no matter the skill level achieved, can experience the soul of the sport. Simply stand in a river bathed in autumnal light and allow the next cast to complete the moment. And then do it again.
If you are heading down to the Creek be prepared for a variety of conditions. You may still find a few Tricos mixed with some Baetis. The hatch will be strong enough to get fish to the surface but may not get the larger fish involved. To get the bigger fish you might try running a dry dropper rig where you can see the bigger fish holding. A hopper with a small beaded or non-beaded pheasant tail, a Zebra midge, or any small dark nymph can be effective. On the cloudy, cool days expect the Baetis in size 22 and 24 to be the dominate hatch. These hatches are generally strong enough to get most all the fish involved on the surface. Use a long leader down to 6x or 7x as always on the Creek and position yourself so the fish see the fly first and not the leader. Of course, the Callibaetis (size 18) are still going to be a factor latter in the day in the pond and sloughs. Mahogany Duns (size 16) will also keep getting stronger. On windy days, shorten your leader down to a stout 4x and tie on a hopper or an ant and cover the likely water: cut banks, drop offs, channels between the weeds. This is best done from a float tube so you can cover a ton of water. If you tube be prepared for the cold and wear an extra layer under your waders.
The Big Wood
The Wood is a spectacular fall fishery. While the water is low, the fish are still spread out from the fast, shallow riffles to the slow tailouts at the bottom of a run. Fish small parachute or caddis patterns in size 16 and 18 over any likely holding water and you are likely to have a good day. You might run into some terrestrials this time of year; often an ant will get a solid take while a hopper will get a rejection. Also, Red Quills should get rolling now that cooler weather dominates the forecast. Remember to approach the water with caution and scan the shallow edges and tailouts or you will spook more fish than you catch. When fishing big bugs, like the Red Quill, a hopper, or an ant you can easily get away with using 5x, but you still need to exercise caution. Nymphing the Wood this time of year can be extremely productive.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
Though they are but small, they might just surprise you with the quality of the fish they hold. Be stealthy. Be efficient. And cover a lot of water. These small gems are still worth the trip for small stream aficionados.
While the floating season has ended, hole hopping and cherry-picking the best runs is a perfect way to spend the day. If you go, take it slow and let the sun hit the water. Enjoy the view as the Sawtooth Mountains may receive the first dusting of snow of the season.
South Fork of the Boise
Still high at 1400 CFS for wade fisherman, but the drift boaters are getting an extended season. Look for Pinks and Flavs along with fall Baetis to be the main course. Also, craneflies will be seen skittering about with a caddis still lingering in the evenings. If you find no bugs about, you might try a hopper as well. Nymphing is also going to be productive with the usual suspects. Fall fishing on this river can truly be spectacular.
Upper Lost Drainage
The traffic up here is on the heavy side as hunters jockey for position. There are a few fishermen as well. The best action is happening on the Main Stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence and down. The river is low and the fish are holding in the deeper, green-hued runs. You can expect there to be a few good fish per bucket. The fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon. Don’t expect to see too many bugs and be prepared to cover a lot of ground to find fish.
The Lost Below Mackay
Below the reservoir, the flows have dropped to around 220 CFS. The Tricos and Baetis are still hatching but the cooler temperatures have moved the bug activity to the late morning and through the middle of the day. When the bugs are gone be prepared to nymph. Of late, the fish are harder to hook, which may be because of the pressure they are under from anglers. The key to success on these fish is contact with your flies. Euro Nymphing techniques will increase your catch rate dramatically.
All the ponds have been recently stocked. 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 | 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 | 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 | 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