The end of October continues to provide excellent weather for fishing. There are still decent hatches during the day, although the dry fly window gets shorter and shorter. Plan on lunch to dinner fishing hours for the prime action. Low flows mean stealth is a must in most places, and long, fine tippets are also a necessity unless you are searching the water with attractor patterns or nymphing.
Baetis and Mahogany Duns are the last hatches of the season on the Creek. Both are present once the temperatures get warm enough. A little cloud cover doesnâ€™t hurt either. Generally both bugs are hatching or – spinning and hatching simultaneously. The Baetis will often mask the Mahogany, so pay close attention to what the trout are eating minute by minute. If things are slow, or the hatches quit, do not hesitate to take one last shot with your favorite Hopper pattern. Despite the frost that has killed most of the population, the fish still remember Hoppers and few anglers ever show it this time of yearâ€¦ For the best action though, get some well tied Mahogany Dun patterns and be ready, for when the fish get on this fly, the big boys will eat recklessly.
Big Wood River
For a good time, get a large H and L Variant and cover a lot of water. You will be amazed at how the big fish will come out of the dark fall waters to consume this fly. Large Royal Wulffs and Royal Stimulators will also get plenty of attention from the trout. Baetis hatches are still present in the late afternoon and the evening Midge can be found in a few ideal spots. October Caddis are still out in enough numbers to get the fish looking up, and in the worst case, tie on a small Pheasant Tail or Red Squirrel Nymph to move fish that otherwise wonâ€™t come to the top. Streamers are also not a bad idea as fish look to fatten up for the winter. If we get some really foul weather and you still want to fish, the Filo Beto streamer can be worth its weight in gold, fishing it on a tight line swing downstream.
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
The days left to fish in this area are very few. The first winter storm or two will essentially close off these streams to any easy access. If you go, nymphing will be your best bet, as well as streamer fishing with flashy Bugger patterns. It is probably best to stay in the lower reaches of the system where there is still good flows and shorter distances between pools. Keep an eye on the weather if you go. A daytime snow storm can make Trail Creek Summit dangerous to descend, forcing anglers to take the long way home through Arco.
Big Lost River
The Lost is very low right now, running about 52 CFS. The water is also running Gin Clear and the fishing is technical to say the least. This is a trip for an angler that wants a really serious challenge. We have no solid reports of hatches, but if they occur they will be Baetis this time of the season. Our best suggestion is to fish elsewhere until conditions improve.
South Fork of the Boise
It is Fall Baetis time on the South Fork, but the flows are fluctuating a bit. The worse the weather right now, the better fishing one may expect over there. The desert location and lower altitude also mean a slightly longer season than what we get here in the Wood River Valley. It is a hit or miss proposition to go there right now. The right day could be a persons best of the season, but the wrong day could mean a scenic trip through a desert canyon. Not bad either way, but the fishing is a slight roll of the dice.