Under a mixed bag of weather, anglers are still finding rising fish on most of our area streams. It can be very hit and miss, but late afternoons seem to be the most consistent time of the day. The same hatches we’ve seen the last few weeks continue, although the duration is shorter and things aren’t quite as intense. That’s not to say, that given the right conditions on the right body of water, and angler couldn’t see some incredible late fall fly fishing.
There is only a month and a half left to fish the Silver Lady and generally hatches can be found on upstream waters all the way to the end of November, or whenever we get that first real cold snap that doesn’t give way to occasional nice days like we are seeing now. Baetis still rule the day with waning Mahogany Dun action filling a few trout bellies. Terrestrials are still taking fish, including grasshoppers. It may seem late in the season to be fishing them, but as the days warm they get plenty active in the afternoon, and as the grasses start to lose their green and the farm fields go untended, the Hoppers will move closer and closer to the green that remains on the edge of the Creek. Ants and beetles continue to be players and will be until the Conservancy waters close.
Big Wood River
The Wood is also seeing a drop off in hatch activity. Baetis are still out, and even an occasional Red Quill can be found. October Caddis are a bit more prevalent in the evenings and Midges are slowly but surely becoming a major food source for hungry trout. This activity is happening closer to the dinner hour than lunch these days. Nymph fishing can be productive with standard patterns in smaller sizes. Fish tandem bead heads to avoid having to use split shot when it’s time to go deep. This is also a good time of year to break out those black strike indicators to show up against the glare on the water. On a windy day, black will also help you find your indicator amongst a river full of brightly covered leaves. Pheasant Tail Nymphs are a must.
The Lost is seeing good Baetis activity on the surface still, and good numbers of fish can be found rising below the dam. The biggest fish though will still be on the bottom looking to feed on Baetis Nymphs and Crane Fly Larvae that get washed down. Low water has fish congregated and easy to find, but they can become spooky with poor casting and presentations. If you find a hot spot, take your time fishing over it. Rest the pool occasionally and use long enough leaders to keep your fly line out of the fishes surface window.
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
The Upper Lost is rarely being fished these days. Ants fished in tandem with any Royal Wulff or Stimulator will draw strikes. October Caddis are more prevalent on this river than some other areas, so fish can still be brought to the surface with big attractor patterns. Nymphing with Pheasant Tails can also be productive either fished under an strike indicator (black) or under a big Royal Wulff. Again, low flows have the fish congregated so use patience and stealth if you find a hot spot.
Little Wood River
Here is another river that just isn’t getting fished by any number of anglers. Hoppers can still be affective on this little stream both in the desert below the Silver Creek confluence and above the reservoir on the new Access Yes property, provided by John Peavey. (Flat Top Sheep Company) There is no limit to the amount of water one could cover here in a day. Baetis are active as well as October Caddis providing us with a few more days or weeks of dry fly action. A second rod rigged with a bead head nymph is a good way to fish up river. Fish a dry through a run first, then cover the deepest areas with the nymph.
South Fork of the Boise
Few reports on the South Fork have been coming in. Low flows and Baetis are normal this time of year and the river is fully capable of exploding with huge Baetis hatches anytime between now and Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for a place to go on a cloudy day, the South Fork could be an excellent choice.
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 221%
Big Wood – 132%
Little Wood – 112%
Big Lost – 229%
Henry’s Fork – 393%