“The sporting qualities of a fish are dependent neither on its size nor its weight, but on the effort of concentration, the skill and mastery the fish demands from the fisherman.” ~Charles Ritz
Perhaps it is a fish sipping size 20 Fall Baetis in a back eddy or a fish tucked up tight beneath a tree limb. Any fish clearly feeding with abandon that refuses to give your fly a look, these are the fish that make us want to be better anglers. It is the problem fish that keep angler’s coming back for more; size makes no difference.
If you are heading down to the Creek be prepared for a variety of situations. On the unseasonably warm days you may still find a few Tricos mixed with some Baetis, but on the cooler days it will mostly just be Baetis. These hatches are generally strong enough to get most all the fish involved on surface feeding. Of course, Callibaetis (size 18) are still going to be a factor latter in the day in the pond and sloughs. The Mahogany Duns (size 16) will also keep getting stronger. When you see this bug on the water, switch to it as the fish tend to prefer it over all the other options available. The hopper fishing is still fantastic. On windy days, shorten your leader down to a stout 4x and tie on a hopper and cover the likely water: cut banks, drop offs, channels between the weeds. The takes can be spectacular. Also, if you decide to tube, be prepared for the cold and wear an extra layer under your waders.
The Wood has spectacular fall fishing right now with the river lined with Cottonwoods turning yellow. The fall hatches are in full swing. More Baetis are beginning to hatch each day and Red Quills have been spotted up and down the river. With cool weather in the forecast, these hatches should continue to strengthen. If no rising fish can be found, nymphing can be extremely productive. Fishing dry dropper style with a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a bead head pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, Iron Lotus, Perdigons, or Rainbow Warrior is a good approach.
Upper Big Lost
The water is low, clear, and the fish are concentrated in the areas where there is structure and depth. If you like to walk and fish and then walk some more, this is a great option. Red Quills are hatching and there are hoppers and fly ants around. The fish, while spooky, have been hitting the bigger bugs lately and a dry dropper trailing a Zebra Midge or a Bishop’s Dynamite is always effective, if not for the trout, then for the large whitefish in this stretch of river.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are down a bit and are currently around 275 CFS. This is a decent flow for dry flies. While Tricos are present, Baetis are the mainstay. Remember, the early morning fishing is slow until the sun hits the water. You can expect to see bugs clear into the early afternoon before slowing down dramatically once the bugs clear out. Low water means you need to exercise stealth to be successful. When targeting surface feeders, long leaders to 6X and diminutive flies are a must. Be sure to have plenty of Harrop’s Baetis spinners and duns in size 18-22. Nymphing is a good option as well. Try small Baetis style nymphs (18-22) or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 and 18.
The Stanley Basin is a great place to fish in the fall. The morning air is crisp, and the water temps are low so there is no reason start too early. But as the air temps come up and the sun warms the water, the fishing can still be very good. Look for October Caddis along the banks and in the air. It does not take very many of these bugs to get the fish on them. Try size 12 or 14 Orange Stimulators to match this hatch. For the best results, focus your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs and dry dropper rigs. For dries, try hoppers, ants, caddis, or other high floating easy to see attractors. For nymphs, try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph.
South Fork of the Boise
The flows have come down to a very wadable 425 CFS. The drift boats are gone and wade fishing is very good. Look for Pinks and Flavs along with fall Baetis to be the main course. Also, crane flies will be seen skittering about with a few caddis still lingering in the evenings. If you find no bugs about, you might try a hopper as well. Nymphing is also going to be productive with the usual suspects such as PTs (size 16-20), Zebra Midge (size 18,20), as well as stoneflies and caddis larva imitations.
Gavers Lagoon, Penny, and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and would make a great location for a family picnic. Come on by the shop for all your family fishing needs!
Silver Creek Flies: Beatis 18 | Callibeatis 16 | Hoppers | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18 | Pheasant Tails 16,18 | Baetis Nymphs
Big Wood, Big Lost, Salmon River Flies: Grasshoppers | Rusty Spinners | Spruce Moth | Elk Hair Caddis | Stimulators | Chubby Chernobyl | Parachute Adams | Rubber Legged Stones |Iron Lotus | Pheasant Tails | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince | Streamers
South Fork of the Boise Flies: Pink Alberts | Flavs | Caddis | Hoppers | Rubber Legged Stones | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flash Back Pheasant tails | King Prince | Streamers
Upper Big Lost
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise