“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
The fall revitalizes the creeks and rivers after the long summer doldrums, rousing the inhabitants to feast before the onset of winter.
After a chilly few days, warmer weather should return this week. The daily hatch will consist of a few Tricos mixed with good numbers of Baetis. And with the cool mornings, you can expect the surface activity to be more of an afternoon affair. Of course, Callibaetis (size 16 and 18) are still going to be hatching in the pond and sloughs. Mahogany Duns (size 16) and October caddis will keep gaining momentum as well. On windy days, shorten your leader down to a stout 4x and tie on a hopper or beetle and cover the likely water: cut banks, drop-offs, channels between the weeds. Also, if you decide to tube, be prepared for cold water and wear an extra layer under your waders.
The Wood is spectacular in late September. More and more baetis are hatching each day and Red Quills can be found up and down the river. With mild, fall weather in the forecast, these hatches should continue to strengthen into October. Caddis and flying ants are also good options. If no rising fish can be found, nymphing can be extremely productive. Fishing dry dropper style with a small size 16 or 18 nymph is best.
While a few tricos are still present, baetis are the main course. Remember, the early morning fishing is slow until the sun hits the water, then you can expect to see bugs into the early afternoon. The extremely low water (110 CFS) means you need to exercise stealth to be successful. When sight fishing, long leaders to 6X or lighter and diminutive flies are a must.
Upper Lost River
The water is low, clear, and the fish are concentrated in the areas where there is structure and depth. If you like to walk and fish and then walk some more, this is a great option. Red quills and baetis are hatching and hoppers and flying ants are abundant. The fish, while spooky, will give the bigger bugs a try at least once and dry dropper rigs are always effective, if not for the trout, then for the large whitefish in this stretch of river.
The Salmon is a great place to fish in the fall. The morning air is crisp and the water temps are low, so there is no reason to start too early. As the air temps come up and the sun warms the water, the fishing turns on. For the best results, focus your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph, dry dropper rigs, or streamers.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows have come down to under 300 CFS. The drift boats are gone and wade fishing is the way to go. Look for pinks, flavs, baetis, caddis and crane flies to be fluttering about in the afternoon.
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 | October Caddies | 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||44 cfs|
|Big Wood||98.6 cfs|
|The Big Lost||77.4 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||229 cfs|
|Salmon River||593 cfs|