“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”
– Elizabeth Lawrence
Drop the rake and pick up a rod. Fall is for fishing. The chores can wait.
Along with some moose, sandhill cranes, and bugling elk, expect to find the usual array of fall bugs on the Creek. While the tricos are done for the season (although you may see a few), the late morning hatch consists mostly of baetis and some midge. In the afternoons you’ll find a mix of baetis and callibaetis along with the occasional mahogany dun and October caddis. Terrestrials are always a good bet when the wind blows, but the fish are getting leery of hoppers. Ants and beetles are more likely to turn a refusal into a take. Also, small, dark nymphs presented on long, slow drifts are producing fish. This is also a good time to look for big browns moving about in preparation for the fall spawn. These aggressive browns can be gulled into taking a well-presented streamer.
Hecuba (red quill), the last big bug of the season, have been seen mid-valley up to Lake Creek. Even if you are not seeing any around, the fish tend to key on them. Baetis are hatching and should keep the fish feeding most of the afternoon, especially on cloudy days. Also, look for small ginger crane flies to be skittering across the surface and a few caddis. The water is extremely low and clear making stealth and fine tackle a premium.
Flows have recently dropped to 80 CFS. This is very low and the fish will be concentrated in and around the buckets. This is not the Lower Lost at its prime and you will find better fishing elsewhere.
Upper Lost River
The water on the Upper Lost is low and cold, so focus your attention on the Main Stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence and down. With the frigid mornings, plan on fishing from about noon until the sun leaves the water. You can expect to see the same bugs here as you would find on the Wood.
The Salmon has been fishing very well around Stanley on down to Challis. Your fishing strategy for this fishery is simple: 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. Most flies and techniques will work.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are steady at around 300 CFS, perfect for wade fishing. As always, look for pinks, flavs, along with baetis during the comfortable times of the day. Also expect to see large crane flies skittering about followed by a vicious take. The caddis in the evenings have remained quite strong and it is still worth fishing right to dark during warm fall days.
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 | Mahogany Duns | Callibaetis cripples, duns, and spinners | October Caddis | Hoppers | Beetles | Ants | Zebra Midge | Quilldigon
Big Wood flies: Red Quills (Hecuba) | Baetis | 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 | Pinks | Crane Flies | 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||25.3 cfs|
|Big Wood||92.1 cfs|
|The Big Lost||84 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||308 cfs|
|Salmon River||585 cfs|