“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Grown-ups who remember the delight of catching their first fish, angle into the sunset of life. A fall day on the river with rod in hand always invokes the youthful spirit within.
The Big Wood
The Wood is low. The cooler weather is a welcome relief as we see the river finally transition into a true fall fishery. The fishing continues to be decent from mid-morning to the late afternoon but tends to slow down once the sun drops. Some Tricos can still be found mid valley on down to Bellevue any time after the air temp hits 60. Over the next several weeks, Fall Baetis will start to become a factor. Also, Red Quills, the last big mayfly of the season, have been spotted on the lower river. You will still find a good assortment of caddis, crane flies, and other mayflies fluttering around into the late afternoon and standard mayfly and caddis patterns in size 16 and 18 will just about cover all of them. No matter your fly choice, you will need to use long leaders, light tippet, and stealth to fool these seasoned trout. Nymphing remains productive this time of year with a dry dropper rig or Euro Style. Don’t forget to try running a hopper through the fast riffles as well.
It is transition time on the Creek; the better fishing is shifting to midday and early afternoon. Depending on the day, there can be some fantastic Callibaetis activity starting around noon. However, on warmer days, the mornings can still be good with a trace of Tricos and decent numbers of Baetis. Be sure to have a good selection of Callibaetis patterns (size 16 and 18) in multiple stages of this insect’s life: nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners. The Callibaetis emergence usually coincides with the afternoon breezes which can benefit anglers as the fish tend to lose all inhibitions. Also keep in mind, Callibaetis are a slow water bug and will be found in good numbers in the Pond. Soon we will start seeing some Mahogany Duns, so it would be wise to have a few already in your box. 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
Don’t expect huge fish, but decent numbers of wild and stocked fish are being found on the main stem of the Upper Lost. Of course, a large cutthroat might just surprise you. Plan on covering a lot of water and focus on the areas where there is enough depth and structure to hold fish. You will need to be stealthy in your approach and make each cast count.
The Big Lost Lower
The flows are at 340 CFS and may continue to drop as water needs wrap up for the season. The late morning action has seen a mix of Tricos and Baetis and persistent anglers can find decent pods of fish. However, if you can’t find surface feeders, try Euro Nymphing the shallow riffles and deeper buckets. Dry dropper rigs are also productive. The afternoon fishing tends to slow dramatically. If you go, remember that access is limited and you need to respect private property and the other anglers.
The water is low and cold. There is no reason to start too early on the Salmon. After a hot cup of coffee, go in search of a good pull-off along the river. Try an assortment of attractor dry flies in size 12 through 16. Spruce Moths can still be found along the banks of wooded water. Nymphing and streamers are also effective techniques to try for a change of pace.
Southfork of the Boise
The flows are holding at a very wader friendly 600 CFS and there has been a smattering of Flavs, PMDs, and Pink Alberts hatching in the early afternoon. A few Beatis are beginning to make their midday appearance as well. Nymphing can be a good option when no bugs are present. Euro Nymphing the shallower riffles has been very effective for whitefish and trout. You might try pulling a streamer through some deeper runs in search of a bull trout or an aggressive rainbow.
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 | Caddis | Baetis | Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | 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 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Salmon: Spruce Moth | Chubby Chernobyl | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince
South Fork of the Boise: Chubby Chernobyl | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: Hoppers | Ants | Callibaetis | Baetis | Tricos | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Stillwater Flies: Seal Buggars | Balanced Leeches | Bouface Leech | Snowcone Chironomids | Egg Patterns | Prince Nymph | Squirmy Worms
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise