“Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish.” – Roderick L. Haig-Brown A river Never Sleeps
Now is a great time to sneak away. In Fall the waters are in perfect shape and most of the other anglers have returned to work or school. Your favorite stretch of river is sure to be rested and devoid of anglers. The fish begin to feed again with a refreshed vitality, a sense that these are the final months before a long, cold winter. Sneak away for all the reasons why you love to fly fish and keep the tradition alive.
Now that the monsoonal rains of August have subsided, the Creek has dropped back to its drought flows of 64 CFS. Hopefully, once the irrigation stops we will see a bump in the flows. Despite the low flows, the Creek continues to fish well. This is a great time to go down to Priest Rapids or Bear Tracks and toss hoppers to eager fish. The Callibaetis hatch is still good in the Pond midday but has begun to slow a bit. There are still plenty of Baetis throughout the day. Most of the rising fish you see are more than likely feeding on Baetis Spinners in the morning and Baetis emergers and duns the rest of the time. Be on the look out for Mahogany Duns as the first real cool snap should get this hatch going. Hoppers and other terrestrials are working well on windy days.
The fishing on the Wood keeps getting better as the water has continued to clear. Of course there is a significant amount of new silt in the deposition zones and the Wood will continue to be susceptible to blow outs until the snow flies. But at the moment we should enjoy the spectacular fall fishing. More Baetis are beginning to hatch and some Red Quills have been spotted. Another cold front should really kickstart both these hatches. Be sure to have both these bugs in your arsenal. If no rising fish can be found try a hot spot nymph (Egan’s Frenchy, Rainbow Warriors, Iron Lotus, and Bishop’s Dynamite) dangled below a hopper.
UPPER WOOD, WARM SPRINGS, TRAIL CREEK, NORTH FORK
Fish these streams with the simplicity approach endorsed by Yvon Chouinard; take a single box with a few flies and a Tenkara rod from Tenkara USA or Patagonia. Look for fish in the skinny water with structure around the deep slow pools and runs. A single simple fly is best. Try either an Elk Haired Caddis, a hopper, or an ant pattern. These fish are opportunistic but spooky, so make your first cast count.
THE BIG LOST ABOVE MACKAY RESERVOIR
The Tricos are mostly done, but the Baetis are still hatching well. 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 and heavy angler pressure since July 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 UPPER LOST
Leisurely start your way up Trail Creek about 10 am and you should hit the water about right. The hatches are sparse this time of year, but you will see some caddis and a smattering of mayflies. Maybe even some Red Quills, especially on overcast days. Go with the intent to cover the water and search for one or two of the large Cutthroats residing in the river and you may pick up a few smaller fish in the process. Look for the deeper, dark water filled with structure and you will find some fish. If no fish rise to look at your fly, try a dropper fished deep. A small Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, or Bishop’s Dynamite in a size 16 or 18 will do the trick. Keep on the move and find water that has not be overly pressured. Above the Mackay Reservoir, the Kokanee are on the move and with the reservoir so low there is plenty of river in the lake bottom to find a few big Bows amid the schools of redfish.
The mornings are crisp in Stanley this time of year and starting your fishing before 11 AM can be a waste of time. But as the air temps rise and the sun warms the water the fishing can still be quite good. There is a decent October Caddis hatch on the Salmon and it seems to have started early this year. Try size 12 or 14 Orange Stimulators to match this hatch. For the best results, I recommend focusing your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs and dry dropper rigs. For dries try include 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
As of the 12th of the month, the flows have dropped to 578 CFS and may go lower in the next few weeks. This is perfect wade fishing levels and a good time to leave the drift boat at home. Very few bug have been hatching of late, but as we head into fall we should see more Baetis, Flavs, and a few Pinks. In the meanwhile, focus your fishing attention on the upper stretches and work the water with caddis, hopper, and ant patterns. Nymphing with small caddis larva, RS2s, WD40s and Zebra Midge will be productive. This fishery should continue to improve with these new water levels and cooler temps on the way.
Penny Lake, Lake Creek Pond and Gaver Lagoon are an excellent option for a family outing. Come on by the shop and we can hook you up no matter the style of fishing you prefer.
Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!
Water Flows – SEPTEMBER 17th
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise