“The craft of angling is the catching of fish, but the art of angling is receptiveness to those connections, the art of letting one thing lead to another until, if only locally and momentarily, you realize some small completeness.
– Ted Leeson
The one thing that must proceed all else is deciding to spend some time on the water this fall. Once across that threshold, let one thing lead to another until…the river beckons, heed the call.
Fall on the Creek is special. You can expect to find Baetis and Mahogany duns this time of year and when they are out and about, the fish tend to feed on them with abandon. Also, October Caddis can be found fluttering about and are a good meal for a hungry trout. We are still in the pre-spawn stage for the browns, so pulling a large streamer past these feisty fish is a good idea. And on windy days, don’t hesitate to tie on a large grasshopper or two. 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, by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682, or by simply dropping into the visitor center.
When the wind blows expect the river to be full of golden leaves. Also look for fall baetis to be blanketing the surface in the afternoon. With the low water conditions, anglers need to be stealthy when approaching Baetis feeders. Use a long, light leader and minimize your casts to keep the fish from spooking. Also look for a few remaining tricos and Hecubas. The fish are also willing to take a well drifted caddis or small hopper pattern in the riffles, runs, and seams. A small Zebra midge (black, red or olive) or Baetis nymph run as a dropper can be deadly as well.
The Upper Lost
This is a great location for an afternoon outing, especially on the pleasant fall days. No need to get up early and rush to the river as the water, and air, is quite cool. Instead, sleep in and then leisurely make your way up Trail Creek Pass. Focus on the main stem and hole hop around the river to your favorite spots. Terrestrials, like hoppers and ants, work really well this time of year.
The Lost Below Mackay
Expect a mix of tricos and baetis to be on the water in the early afternoon as the air temps warm up. With the flows around 200 CFS, the river is easy to get around; however, with the limited access points avoid walking on private land and stay within the high-water line at all times.
The Salmon has been fishing very well both above and below Stanley. Once the air temps warm up, find a good pull out along the river and seek water with a variety of depth and structure. With the low flows, the fish are concentrated around the runs with decent holding water. Simple fly choices are best.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows have dropped to around 300 CFS; leave the boats behind as this flow is perfect for wade fishing. Look for Pinks, Flavs, and Baetis during the most comfortable time of the day. You will also see small cream colored crane flies skittering about, often followed by a vicious take. Caddis in the evenings have remained quite strong and it is worth fishing right to dark during unseasonably warm days
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
These rivers are very small this time of year and can be a good challenge for those who prefer spooky fish in small water.
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||83 cfs|
|Big Wood||142 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||193 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||308 cfs|