“I look at trees, hunt mushrooms, and watch animals. Fishing is what gets me out into the woods so I can notice these things.”
– John D. Voelker
The best anglers notice things. Like Emerson’s transparent eyeball, they transcend the obvious and mingle with the sublime.
This is a great time of year to explore the Creek in a float tube. Be sure to don long underwear or you might start to shiver. If you head to the Nature Conservancy or Kilpatrick’s Pond, expect to find the usual array of fall bugs. In the late morning we are still seeing some Tricos mixed with good numbers of Baetis. Afternoons are a mix of Baetis and Callibaetis along with the occasional Mahogany Dun or October Caddis. Terrestrials are always a good bet when the wind blows, but the fish are getting leary of hoppers. Try an ant and beetle pattern instead. Also, small Baetis and Zebra nymphs are producing fish when all else fails. 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 beautiful this time of year. Look for Hecubas, the last big bug of the season, up and down the Wood. Even if you are not seeing any, the fish are looking for them. Baetis are also hatching and should keep the fish feeding throughout the day. Also look for small Crane Flies to be skittering across the surface. Along with hoppers, flying ants have been abundant. As always, the nymphing has been most productive.
The Upper Lost
The water in this part of the Lost is low, clear, and cold. If you go, focus your attention on the Main Stem from the North Fork confluence and down. Since the river is low, the fish are concentrated in the green water. You can expect there to be a few good fish per run and a slew of small eager trout. Like all the freestones in the valley, the fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon.
The Lost Below Mackay
Flows are up a tad to 229 CFS. As the morning air loses its chill, there will be some Tricos and good numbers of Baetis through the middle of the day. Look for heads in the seams and in the tailouts and good numbers of small fish in the riffles. The big fish usually group together, so be on the lookout for them. When the bugs are gone, be prepared to nymph.
While the rain has helped contain the Ross Fork fire, you should still check to see if 75 is open before committing to a trip over the hill as dry conditions return. If you go, there are plenty of good access points along the river from above the town of Stanley on down. For flies, try large attractors or hoppers. Standard nymphs, tied off the back of these big bugs will also produce.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are holding at around 600 CFS, a good level for wade fishing. They may drop even more over the next week or two. As always, look for Pinks and Flavs along with fall Baetis during the comfortable times. Look for crane flies skittering about followed by a vicious take. The caddis in the evenings have remained strong. If you find no bugs in the air, you might try a hopper or a crane fly. Nymphing is also going to be productive.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
If you like hunting trout in skinny water, then you might give these two Big Wood tributaries a try. The water will be low and the wild fish will be shy. During the summer, Fish and Game stocks these rivers around the bridges and some of these fish will still be around. But, if you seek wild fish, just leave the beaten path and explore.
Lake Creek Pond, Penny Lake, and Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and are a nice place for a fall 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||79.6 cfs|
|Big Wood||149 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||200 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||308 cfs|