Fishing has been good lately due to the relatively warm temperatures and the recent cloud cover. Midges and Baetis are primary hatches on all of our local streams. Most of the surface activity will occur around mid-day. If you aren’t seeing anything on top, don’t hesitate to try nymphs or streamer patters on stout leaders. Also, for any of your last minute holiday tackle needs, Silver Creek Outfitters will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sparse dry fly activity is present in the early afternoon on the Preserve and lower waters of the Creek. Look for Midges on sunny days, Baetis on cloudy, cooler days. If you aren’t seeing anything working on the surface, a good way to approach the river this time of year is to tie on a streamer in sizes 4 to 8, walk downstream into the center of the river, and make casts towards the banks. Vary your stripping length and speed, and look for under cut banks to hold the larger fish.
Remember, the last day to fish the Nature Conservancy is November 30th, so get out and fish! Fishing below the Highway 20 bridge will remain open through February.
Big Wood River
Decent Baetis hatches have been occurring on an irregular basis along the Wood on cloudy days. Target single sipping fish, or cast blind into soft seams and riffles. Patterns like Griffiths Gnats, Trailing Shucks and CDC Parachute Midges are all good choices this time of year. Often, it can be troublesome to see these flies in the low light, so try drifting two dries together, about ten inches apart. Once your eyes become accustomed to the space between, you may find you can see quite well. In addition, a small Parachute Adams or Gulper Special, size 18-26, can produce good results alone or in tandem with another fly. If the fish aren’t breaking the surface, hang a small nymph dropper of the dry, such as a Zebra Midge, a Brassie, or a Pheasant Tail. Large Nymphs and Sculpins can also be extremely effective this time of year.
Big Lost River
The damn is now running at 63 cfs. This means low water levels, spooky fish, and silent approaches. Use at least a 12ft long leader, 6x tippet and expect to fish small dry flies and nymphs. Blue Winged Olives like Hackle Stackers, Sparkle Duns, and ¾ Spents, in sizes 20-24 can work throughout the day, even if you do not see a hatch coming off. Midges such as the Griffith’s Gnat and the Trailing Shuck in small sizes can be effective when the trout are keyed in on the really small bugs. Little nymphs such as RS2s, Black Midge Biots, and Brassies in all colors are good choices. The water is clear and shallow, so if you are nymphing, use a very small indicator or none at all. Without an indicator, target individual fish, cast ahead of them, and watch closely for movement. If you see the white of their mouth or a turn to either side, gently pull the line. If you feel tension, the fish is on, set the hook.
Trail Creek Pass is now closed. Thus, in order to fish the Lost in any location, you must drive through Arco. The extended drive may keep most anglers away and one could expect to find less pressured fish than a few weeks ago.
South Fork of the Boise
Water levels are still at 300 cfs, so wading is the best approach. Use nymphs and streamers on the sunny days and small dries on the cloudy, cooler days. San Juan Worms, Girdle Bugs, Crane Pupas, and other large dull colored nymphs are a good choice. Other bugs like beadhead King Princes, Flashbacks, and Stoneflies work well, but the shine can attract Whitefish too.
For Dry flies, small Baetis and Midges are pretty much the only options. Find soft water and target individual fish for best results. This time of the year, look for fish either closer to the dam or in the shallower, fast moving water.