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“How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”

– John Burroughs

Fly Fishing is about the pursuit of the elusive. And the transient nature of fall with the fleeting and temporary display of colors adds to the experience. This fall, savor the ephemeral.

Silver Creek

If you are heading down to the Creek, be prepared for change. On pleasant days you may still find a few Tricos mixed with some Baetis. But on cooler, blustery 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, late season Callibaetis (size 18) are still going to be a factor in the afternoon down in the pond and sloughs. Also, watch for Mahogany Duns (size 16) to 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. Hopper fishing is still good as well, especially on windy days. Shorten your leader under nine feet and down to 4x, tie on a hopper, and cover the likely water: cut banks, drop offs, channels between the weeds. Lastly, if you decide to tube, be prepared for the cold and wear an extra layer under your waders.

Big Wood

The Wood has perfect fall fishing right now with the river lined with Cottonwoods turning yellow. The fall hatches are on; more Baetis are hatching 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. Keep in mind that the flows are about 100 CFS higher than last year at this same time, so wade with caution.

Warm Springs and Trail Creek

If you like skinny water and fishing small stream tactics, these are a good option. There are still plenty of stocked fish around the easy access points and wild fish off the beaten path. You will find the same bugs here that you will find on the Wood.

South Fork of the Boise

The flows have come down to around 300 CFS. The drift boats are gone and wade fishing is the way to go.Give the fish a few days to get accustomed to the new flows and this will be a great Fall option. 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, you might try a hopper as well. Nymphing is also productive with small midge or mayfly nymphs.

The Upper Lost

The water has dropped 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 for a lovely day of fall fishing. 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 is always a good option.

Big Lost below Mackay

The flows below the dam have come down under 300 CFS but water is off color. Now that the reservoir level has dropped, work on the dam has begun. More than likely the water will remain turbid during this process.

Salmon River

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 to start too early. But as the air temps come up and the sun warms the water, the fishing can 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.

Local Ponds

Penny Lake, Heagle Park Pond, Lake Creek, and Gaver’s Lagoon still have stocked fish. If you are looking for a fun spot to have a family picnic and catch a few fish, give these a go.

Silver Creek: Callibeatis | Tricos | Beatis | Mahogany Duns | October Caddis | Hoppers | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive  | Small Pheasant Tails 

Big Wood and Warm Springs: Red Quills | Caddis | Crane Flies | Hoppers | Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Chubby Chernobyl

Salmon: Flying Ants| Hoppers | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Prince Nymph

South Fork of the Boise: Pink Alberts | Caddis | Crane Fly | Hoppers | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone




Silver Creek 129 cfs
Big Wood 272 cfs
The Lost Below Mackay 291 cfs
Salmon 529 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 308 cfs