“One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.”
Even after doing the thing, certainty can be elusive. Therefore, one must continue to fish. Learning by doing is a lifetime endeavor.
The Big Wood
It finally feels like true fall fishing has arrived. The cottonwoods and willows have mostly turned and golden leaves blanket the water every time the wind blows. Fall Baetis are also blanketing the water in the afternoon and bringing fish to the surface. Remember, the best fishing tends to shift from the morning to the afternoon. And when the bugs are out, the feeding can be intense. With the low water conditions, anglers need to be extra stealthy when approaching and pursuing Baetis feeding trout. When the Baetis are not about, the fish are still willing to take a well drifted caddis, small hopper, or Hecuba 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. Multiple techniques can also be productive when the fish are not up on the surface. This is a great time of year to hone your streamer skills or to work on sight nymphing sans indicator. Either way, get out and enjoy!
Fall on the Creek is a special time. While Tricos have run their course, Baetis and Mahogany duns are the main fare this time of year and when they are out and about, the fish tend to feed on them with abandon. There are also a few Callibaetis in the afternoon on the pond and October Caddis are skittering about. We are still in the pre spawn stage for the browns, so ripping 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, when fishing the Preserve, the visitor center remains closed. Look for posted information at each access allowing you to sign in via your phone with a QR code or by texting “Visitor” to (833) 593-0682.
The Big Lost Upper
This is a great location for an afternoon fishing excursion during pleasant fall days. There really is no need to get up early and rush to the river. 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 well this time of year. This is the best place to go if you want to catch a variety of fish including grayling, cutthroat, cutbows, rainbows, brook trout, and whitefish.
The Big Lost Lower
Fall Baetis love inclement weather and last week’s rain really kicked this hatch into gear on the lower Lost. Expect the bugs 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 always avoid walking on private property and stay within the high-water line.
The area around Stanley has been fishing very well both above and below town. Your fishing strategy 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.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows have dropped to around 300 CFS and is perfect for wade fishing. As always, look for Pinks, Flavs, and Baetis during the comfortable times of the day. Also, expect to see small cream colored crane flies skittering about followed by a vicious take. The caddis in the evenings have remained quite strong and it is worth fishing right to dark during these unseasonable warm days.
Gaver’s Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked for the last time and make a great location for a family picnic.
Big Wood & Warm Springs: Red Quills | Crane Flies | Caddis | Baetis | Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Perdigon 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Big Lost: Tricos | Baetis | Crane Flies | Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Perdigon 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Salmon: Spruce Moth | Chubby Chernobyl | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Perdigons 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Hares Ear Nymph | Pheasant Tails | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince | Buggers
South Fork of the Boise: Caddis | Pinks | Baetis | Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Perdigon 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: Baetis | Mahogany Dunn’s | Callibaetis | Hoppers | Ants Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet, | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Streamers
Stillwater Flies: Seal Buggars | Balanced Leeches | Bouface Leech | Snowcone Chironomids | Egg Patterns | Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise