The Essence of Sun Valley.

Fly Fishing Forecast 11/2 – 11/16


“For the supreme test of a fisherman is not how many fish he has caught, not even how he has caught them, but what he has caught when he has caught no fish.” – John H. Bradley

The best laid plans of rivers and men often go awry; fly fishing is, after all, a sport rife with uncontrollable variables. Sometimes the wind blows the hatch away, or the rain swells the river and turns it brown. Sometimes the tippet breaks when the hook set is too crisp, or the fish looks and rejects what appears to be a perfect presentation. These moments are the true test of an angler’s grit. You might ask, “What has one caught when one has caught no fish?” The answer is simple: an encounter with a moose, a respite from life, a lesson in humility, a burning desire to return again.

SILVER CREEK
There is only a month left to fish Silver Creek above Highway 20. While the October rains have been great for flows, they have made for very inconsistent fishing. However, the next two weeks appear to be fairly stable. Expect late afternoon Baetis and midge hatches to continue with a few Mahogany Duns. The hatch window is short, but the fish should be feeding with intensity when the bugs are on the water. If there is no apparent surface feeding, try a dry dropper rig with a small beaded olive, brown, or black nymph or midge in size 16-20 and drift it through likely runs.

BIG WOOD
The rain sent flows skyrocketing up to 800 CFS! As we enter into a drier pattern over the next two weeks, we should see the flows stabilize to a more normal late fall flow around 200 CFS, but this may take a week or two. As the river comes back into shape, expect the river to transition into a winter fishery. The trout will no longer be spread out in all different water types, but will be seeking slower water were they can conserve energy and feed on the main winter food source, midge. In the meanwhile, with the water still on the high side, use some of the bigger bugs in your nymph box: Pat’s Rubber Legged Stone, San Juan Worms, Mops, King Princes, etc. Or try swinging some black, green, or brown buggers.

THE UPPER LOST
This area also received a deluge of rain with the main stem of the Lost cresting at over 1000 CFS. Like the Wood, it should drop quickly, especially up the East Fork. The fishing window is very narrow and snow may make this area impossible to access any day until next spring. Please check with the shop and we can give you the latest about access to the Lost over Trail Creek Pass. If you do go, remember, finding the fish is the name of the game on the Upper Lost, so cover a lot of likely water. Nymphing is the most effective technique with small red or black Zebra Midge, beaded Pheasant Tails,Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites.

BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows remain at 53 CFS. At these flows it is imperative that anglers employ stealth as the fish are concentrated and spooky. Also, the fishing window is short; typically there are a few good hours in the afternoon. Once the fish start to feed, small nymphs and dries are most effective. Have a range of Baetis patterns from size 20 to 24 and fish at least 6 or 6.5X tippet on a 9 to 12 foot leader. If you can’t find surface feeders, try fishing a dry dropper rig or Euro Nymphing. For nymphs, try small Baetis style nymphs (18-22), Zebra Midge, or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior, Iron Lotus, orBishop’s Dynamite in size 16 and 18.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The South Fork flows are stable at around 300 CFS. It has been a fairly mild and wet fall to date making for good afternoon hatches. Depending on where you are, you might find a mix of Baetis and midge hatching. If you want to use dries, look for feeding fish in the seams and tailouts. Nymphing with a combination of stoneflies or caddis larva along with a small mayfly or midge pattern will keep you busy catching whitefish and the occasional trout.

Silver Creek

Big Wood

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Lost

Copper Basin

117 cfs

508 cfs

298 cfs

48 cfs

140 cfs

share this:

Fly Fishing Forecast 10/19 – 11/2


“There is only one thing wrong with a fishing day– its staggering brevity.” – Zane Grey

The experience of time while fly fishing is somewhere between “a watched pot never boils” and “time flies when you are having fun.” A fishing day resembles a drama full of anticipation and uncertainty punctuated by moments of glory and devastation. As a result, time can seemingly stand still for the angler, the moments Norman Maclean refers to as “spots in time” or “eternity compressed into a moment.” And yet, time precipitously slips away while the angler is tending to the business of angling. Even though a fishing day is merely ephemeral, in the end, it is the moment to moment mindfulness that stays with the angler…and the knowledge that another fishing day is on the horizon.

SILVER CREEK
The unsettled weather has been good for flows, but has made the hatches rather inconsistent. Fortunately for those who love fall fishing, the forecast is calling for more stable weather in the weeks to come. Here is what you can expect: the Callibaetis are done for the year leaving Baetis, midge, Mahogany Duns, and a smattering of October Caddis as the main fare. Of course, beetles are still taking the occasional fish. Keep in mind, the best fishing is in the late afternoons as the water temps rise and the bugs get active. When it is slow on top, small olive, brown, black, and red nymphs in size 16-20 have also been working fished dry dropper style or under an indicator. Remember, this is a great time to try a streamer pattern as well. One last note: if you find fish on redds, let them be.

BIG WOOD
Due to the rain, the flows on the Wood nearly doubled. The good news is it is already dropping and clearing. Fortunately, the days of the month long blow-outs have passed! As the flows return to normal, expect the Fall Baetis (size 18 and 20) to make a resurgence. To imitate this fly, an olive Gulper Special with an orange post or any of the Harrop Baetis patterns are a good choice. Also, with the higher flows, nymphing continues to be the most effective method. This is a good time to use some of the bigger bugs in your nymph box: Pat’s Rubber Legged Stone, San Juan Worms, Mops, King Princes, etc. The fish are certainly benefiting from the food that is being stirred up due to higher flows, and smart anglers can capitalize on this. Of course, you will still need a good assortment of nymphs size 16 and down.

THE UPPER LOST
The Pass is still clear at the moment even though there is a good amount of snow on the highest peaks. The cool overnight temps have reduced the fishing window to just a few hours in the late afternoon. The water has come up, like the Wood, but should drop quickly. As always, finding the fish is the name of the game on the Upper Lost, so cover a lot of likely water. For bugs, use attractor dries, hoppers, and ant patterns. Nymphing is also effective with small red or black Zebra Midge, beaded Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites.

BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows have dropped to 53 CFS. This flow is much lower than the normal winter flows and we are hopeful they will go up to around 100 CFS and stabilize. In the meanwhile, be stealthy as the fish are concentrated and spooky. Also, expect the fishing to be slow until the bugs get going in the afternoon. Once the fish start to feed, small nymphs and dries are effective. Have a range of Baetis patterns from size 20 to 24 and fish at least 6 or 6.5X tippet on a 9-foot to 12-foot leader. If you can’t find surface feeders, try fishing a dry dropper rig or Euro Nymphing. For nymphs, try small Baetis style nymphs (18-22), Zebra Midge, or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior, Iron Lotus, or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 and 18.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows on the South Fork remain true at 306 CFS. In the afternoon you might find a mix of Baetis and midge hatching. Look for feeding fish in the seams and tailouts. There are still Crane Flies and October Caddis skittering about; skating either one of these flies can get a ferocious take. As always, nymphing will keep your rod bent on whitefish and the occasional trout.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, and Gaver’s Lagoon still have some hold over stocked fish and are great places to help a youngster catch a fish with bait or have a fly fishing lesson. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters, so drop on by and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

Silver Creek

Big Wood

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Lost

Copper Basin

97 cfs

276 cfs

302 cfs

52 cfs

59 cfs

share this:

Fly Fishing Forecast 10/5 – 10/19

fishing-report-oct-5
“Fishing is fundamentally a game of chance, and at heart we are all gamblers.” – Dorothy Noyes Arms

Fly fishing is often rife with uncertainty, ambiguity, and misadventure. These are the elements that make fly fishing interesting and keep anglers yearning for more. Some days, however, the fishing stars align: the weather is perfect, the hatch is abundant, and the fish are willing. These are the days when preparation trumps luck; when picking up the right flies from the local shop makes all the difference; when the backyard casting practice allows you to make the first cast count. Anglers may all be gamblers at heart, but there are benefits to preparation. This fall, may you have way more than luck on your next outing!

SILVER CREEK
The rain has been good for the Creek, bringing the flows up a tad. Many browns are currently in pre-spawn mode and turning pumpkin orange while others are already on redds; please leave them alone. For hatches, there have been steady Baetis along with a few Mahogany Duns once the day warms up. Be sure to have plenty of size 22 and 24 Baetis from the House of Harrop and 16 and 18 Mahogany Dun Parachute patterns. Also, there have been a few October Caddis fluttering about so have a few size 14 and 12 tan Caddis patterns in your arsenal. There are still some Callibaetis in the Pond and Slough and it would be wise to have these in your box if you find fish keying on them. As always, fish with long 12-foot leaders and 6 or 6.5X Trouthunter tippet when fishing dries. When it is slow on top, small olive, brown, black, and red nymphs in size 16-20 have also been working well fished dry dropper style. Of course, hoppers and ants will take fish on windy days. Remember, this is a great time to try a streamer pattern as well.

BIG WOOD
The recent cold snap and moisture has kicked the Wood into full fall fishing glory. The Hecubas (Red Quills) are still making an appearance but their numbers are dwindling. This bug can be a great one to use if you are searching the water looking to bring a fish to the surface. Ants are a good option as well. The Fall Baetis (size 18 and 20) continue to be the main attraction and should continue to hatch throughout the warmest part of the day for the next few weeks. To imitate this fly, an olive Gulper Special with an orange post or any of the Harrop Baetis patterns are a good choice. Also, nymphing continues to be outstanding. The best method is to fish a high floating dry, like a Parachute Ant, a hopper, or a Hecuba, with a small Baetis nymph, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite (size 16 or18) trailing behind. Target the shallow, dancing water at the head or side of runs and drift your dry dropper rig through the small depressions and behind any kind of structure. The fish are incredibly aggressive in this type of water and you should expect a strike the moment your flies touch the water. Remember, with the cool mornings, the fishing has really been best from around noon till the sun leaves the water. Also keep in mind, during these ideal fall conditions, the fish are spread out in every type of water feeding aggressively before the onset of winter.

THE SALMON
Morning temps are in the 20s this week in the Stanley Basin, so give it time to warm up. The best fishing is from noon until about 4 PM. Look for pull outs with access to classic riffle-run holding water and search the water with nymphs or streamers. For nymphs, try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph.

THE UPPER LOST
The road construction is done and the pass is in really good shape right now. Snow is coming soon (we hope), so it won’t be long before this area becomes difficult to access; take advantage of this while the fall colors are at their peak. The cool overnight temps have really made this an afternoon fishery. The water has come up a bit with the recent rains, but the fish are still concentrated around the deeper runs with lots of structure. Finding the fish is the name of the game right now, so plan on staying mobile and cover a lot of likely water. For bugs, some Hecuba have still been spotted; otherwise, hoppers, and ant patterns are good fall flies to throw. Nymphing can also effective. Try a small red or black Zebra Midge, beaded Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites.

BIG LOST – MACKAY
The flows are holding at 190 CFS. This is a good flow for easy wading and great sight fishing with nymphs and dries. On the pleasant fall days, expect to have steady Baetis with a smattering of Tricos starting around 10 or 11 AM and lasting until 2 PM. Have a range of Baetis patterns from size 20 to 24 and fish at least 6 or 6.5X tippet on a 9-foot to 12-foot leader. If you can’t find surface feeders, try fishing a dry dropper rig or Euro Nymphing. For nymphs, try small Baetis-style nymphs (18-22), Zebra Midge, or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior, Iron Lotus, or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 and 18.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows remain steady at 300 CFS. At these flows, the drift boats have disappeared and the river is very wadeable. While the hatches have been sparse, you will find some small caddis and a few Flavs hatching throughout the day. Also, with the cooler temperatures, the Fall Baetis are beginning to pick up steam. Try micro caddis in peacock and olive as well as Harrop’s Baetis patterns if you find rising fish. Nymphing Euro Style or Dry Dropper is very productive especially for the Mountain Whitefish. Try small Baetis nymph patterns, Zebra Midge, Caddis Larva, Stone Fly patterns, or San Juan Worms.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked for the last time a few weeks ago. These are great places to help a youngster catch a fish with bait or have a fly fishing lesson. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters, so drop on by and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

Silver Creek

Big Wood

South Fork of the Boise

The Salmon

The Big Lost

Copper Basin

92 cfs

197 cfs

314 cfs

494 cfs

240 cfs

49 cfs

share this: