“The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning; no matter how long we have been at it, we are constantly making some fresh discovery, picking up some new wrinkle. If we become conceited through great success, some day the trout will take us down a peg.”~ Theodore Gordon
The fall is a great time to pick up a new fly fishing wrinkle whether you are a seasoned angler or a neophyte. Let the trout be your teacher and the river be your classroom. The low, clear water, the consistent hatches, and the selectively feeding trout all make you a better angler. Another great charm of fly fishing in the fall is that that the learning always tends to take place in beautiful soundings!
The transition is complete; the Creek is in full Fall mode. There are good numbers of Fall Baetis mixed with occasional Mahogany Duns throughout the most pleasant time of the day, late afternoon. No Creek fly box is complete without an array of Beatis duns, spinners, cripples, and nymphs. This applies for the Mahoganies as well. Once this bug makes an appearance, the fish really do seen to prefer it over any other bug on the water. As usual you should also have ants, beetles, and hoppers along with some streamers. The trout tend to be aggressive feeders this time of year, especially the pre-spawn browns. That said, they are still selective, Silver Creek fish and require the finest presentations so take your “A” game! On a side note, the water is cool, so if you plan on tubing, dress with lots of layers.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is low and clear again. The Fall Baetis are the main fare with a few Red Quills (Hecuba) in the upper reaches. Your Green Drake flies, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or even Para-hoppers in a size 12 will work as imitations for the Red Quill and even if you do not see them, the fish will be looking for them. For the Baetis, I recommend olive Gulper Specials with an orange high-vis post in a size 20 or Harrop’s Parachute Baetis. Nymping with 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
This is a great time to fish the South Fork. Levels are perfect for walk and wade trips, no need to drag the drift boat along. The fish are still willing to take a well presented hopper during the warmest part of the day and this may even draw fish up when no bugs are seen. There is also a good chance you will see good numbers of Baetis, although this can be rather run specific. As always, nymphing will produce a ton of whitefish and the occasional trout. Small tailwater nymphs trailed behind a caddis larva, stonefly nymph, or San Juan Worm works really well.
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.
It is not unusual to see a dusting of snow on the Sawtooth Mountains as you are fishing in the Stanley are this time of year. Frost covering the grass, trees and windshield is very common in the mornings as well. Despite the cold morning temperatures, the fishing is very good in the afternoons. Find a good pull out along the river either above or below Stanley and 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
The Baetis hatches have been spectacular, especially on cloudy days. Be sure to have the right flies to match this hatch: Harrops Baetis Spinners, duns and emergers in size 22 and 24. Also, fish light tippets like Trouthunter 6, 6.5, or even 7 X. Long leaders and delicate presentations are best. With the lower flows, the feeding fish are concentrated during the hatch and a good angler can methodically move from fish to fish. Don’t expect to see too many bugs early in the day. It is best to start around 11 AM and the bugs start to show u around 1 PM. Nymphing before and after the hatch 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
It is getting cold up here, but there is still a short window when fishing is good. Go hit your favorite stretch on the main stem and you are sure to find some quality fish. This time of year, hoppers and ants work really well. For searching, try trailing Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior beneath your dry. There are just a few warm days left and our wet wading days may be coming to an end soon. Take advantage of this while you can!
South Fork of the Boise