The Valleyâ€™s fall fishing is in full swing with Baetis bringing fish to the surface on all of our major fisheries. In general, these bugs prefer overcast days and will usually pop around 1:00-2:00 in the afternoon, tapering off as the colder evening temperatures approach. Crowds are thinning on all of our rivers and will continue to do so as the season winds down.
Baetis will be the predominant bug with the occasional Mahogany hatch thrown into the mix. Remember, these fish have been targets all summer so they will be at the top of their game. Anglers should be prepared to use long leaders and match all the stages of the Baetis and the Mahogany. If surface feeding targets become scarce, anglers should have success throwing small nymphs and streamers.
The Big Wood has been fishing well on overcast afternoons and should continue until we see a major change in the weather. The past few weeks have produced some of the largest fish of the year on the Big Wood. If you have been looking for a specimen fish, now is the time to go. An H&L Variant with a trialing nymph is a great call this time of year on the Wood. For that matter, any large attractor dry fly with a small trailing nymph will produce fish. Baetis will be out in the afternoons and anglers should be ready with some well-tied imitations. The wind continues to blow leaves into the river, if possible concentrate your efforts on the calm days.
The Lost has dropped a little since our last report but still continues to run abnormally high for this time of year. Look for slurping fish in the foam lines and seams. Surface feeding fish will be looking for Baetis or the occasional midge. Nymphing with small droppers will be effective when the hatches slow down.
South Fork of the Boise
We have received mixed reports from the South Fork in the past week. If you run in to surface feeding fish the angling can be fantastic. Baetis will be the primary hatch on the South Fork so bring your gulper specials. If rising fish are hard to come by, try nymphing with small Pheasant Tails or Copper Johns.