“September days have the warmth of summer in their briefer hours, but in their lengthening evenings a prophetic breath of autumn.”
– Rowland E. Robinson
On a typical September day, anglers begin bundled in fleece and waders, but by the early afternoon wish they were wet wading. Then, as the sun drops, the prophetic breath of autumn returns. Such are the simple conundrums of fishing in September.
All restrictions have been lifted on the Preserve. In fact, it is time to put on long underwear again if you plan to sit in a tube for an extended period down in the pond. You can expect to find short windows of really good dry fly fishing with baetis and callibaetis sometime between 10 am and 2 pm. Remember, the callibaetis shrink this time of year so be sure to have a good selection of spinners, duns, and cripples in size 18. And on cloudy, cooler days, baetis in size 22 and 24 can be prolific. Also, expect to see more and more mahogany duns over the next few weeks. Sometimes the trout really seem to prefer this size 16 bug over the plethora of baetis and callibaetis on the water. When the wind blows, use a hopper, an ant, or a beetle.
The water is low and the fish are concentrated around the deepest holding water. Try small parachute patterns or caddis in size 16 and 18 along the seams and shallow water. You may run into some flying ants this time of year as well so have a few in your box of go-to flies. Red quills are coming on strong and hoppers are turning fish. Since the water is low, use 6x and a 9 foot or longer leader when fishing smaller flies. When fishing the big bugs, you can get away with using 5x. Nymphing or streamer fishing can be extremely productive.
The flows are holding around 116 CFS. A smattering of tricos along with good numbers of baetis are hatching in the middle of the day. When the bugs are gone, be prepared to nymph. Of late, the big fish are very selective. The key to success on these fish is persistence and stealth.
Upper Lost River
The best action is happening on the main stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence and down. The river is low and the fish are concentrated around the deep runs. You can expect there to be maybe one or two good fish per run with only one legitimate chance at getting a strike…so make it count. The fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon.
This is a good time of year to head up to Stanley after a leisurely breakfast and hit the water around 11 AM. The fishing has been very good using just about any technique you desire. There are plenty of pullouts from above Stanley down to Challis.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows are holding at a very wadable 705 CFS. Look for pinks, flavs, PMDs, along with a few baetis to be the main course. Also, crane flies are skittering about and caddis are lingering in the evenings. If you find no bugs, try a hopper. Nymphing is also productive.
The local ponds have been stocked 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 | EZ Caddis | 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||42.3 cfs|
|Big Wood||88.1 cfs|
|The Big Lost||116 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||767 cfs|
|Salmon River||500 cfs|