“Really, the only thing a psychiatrist can do that a good (fishing) guide can’t is write prescriptions.” ― John Gierach
This is the time of year most anglers salivate like Pavlov’s dog. The days are shorter and the morning temperatures are cooler. The mountains have seen their first dusting of snow and there is a hint of yellow in the aspen leaves. The kids are back in school and hunting season is trickling open leaving many of our streams devoid of anglers. There is no better therapy than fall fishing, and no better companion than one of our guides.
With the influx of water pouring from the skies, the Creek is looking very good heading into September. The water levels are up and the temps are down. In fact the water is quite cold; if you are considering float tubing all day, bring your long underwear. The cool weather has stalled the Trico hatch, but as the weather heats up again this week we should see a Trico resurgence. Still, this hatch is waning, so go prepared with a combination of Tricos, Baetis and Callibaetis in the mornings. By the middle of the day, the Callibaetis take center stage. Have all stages of this bug in your box in the smaller sizes (16,18) as they tend to shrink this time of year. Hoppers are good as well during the warmer periods and small nymphs will keep you in fish even if they go down.
A common refrain I keep hearing from locals who have lived hear for decades: “I have never seen an August like this.” The heavy rain just keeps coming and the Wood remains muddy below Warm Springs. Below Baker and through town it is beginning to clear again and some anglers are having success using murky water techniques such as streamers and brightly colored, large nymphs. If we can stay dry for a sustained period of time the Wood will clear.
UPPER WOOD, TRAIL CREEK, NORTH FORK
With the Wood below Baker and Warm Springs Creek running muddy, this is a good time to go explore the small streams in the area. Pick up a Tenkara USA Rhodo and go have fun. This rod was designed for rivers of this size lined with Rhododendron, thus the name. There are plenty of stocked fish as well as some surprising nice wild fish. These rivers are typically lined with evergreens and you can expect to still see a few Spruce Moths. Also look for fly ants, Caddis, and even some small mayflies like Tricos and Baetis.
THE BIG LOST ABOVE MACKAY
The flows are now at winter levels having just recently dropped from 130 CFS to 77 CFS. The hatches should still remain strong with Baetis on the cloudy days and Tricos on the more stable, warm days. When the hatch subsides, nymphing is the most productive technique. With the lower water, stealth is the name of the game. Everything must get smaller from tippet to flies…6X and size 22-24 are a must, with some anglers going even smaller. There are so many fish in this river that you should expect to spook more fish than you catch.
THE UPPER LOST
With the cooler mornings, the Upper Lost is transitioning in to a mid-day, late afternoon fishery. You can expect to see a smattering of Tricos and Baetis as soon as the air temps get into the 60s as well as some Caddis, but the best action is when the hoopers start to take flight. During the heat of the day, searching the water with a terrestrial can turn some fantastic cutthroat. Don’t go expecting big numbers of fish. Instead, search the water for quality trout.
The rain has finally subsided and the tributaries are starting to clear. While the water below Valley and Basin Creek are not completely clear, if we stay dry for another few days the fishing should get really good. Contact the shop for the very latest as conditions changed daily. In the meanwhile, the river above Stanley remains crystal clear and the fishing is decent in the middle of the day with hopper dropper rigs or small black or olive Woolly Buggers.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
Flows are still high at just under 2,400 CFS. Water mangers are bumping up the flows to help restore damaged fish habitat as a result of the fires, rain and multiple mudslides from last year. There will be a lot of debris in the water during this process so fishing should probably be on hold especially on the lower river. Around August 29th flows will return to 1,700 CFS.
These are a good option if you are looking for a place to introduce someone to fly fishing or a place to catch supper. All these local fishing holes (Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon) have been recently stocked. We can take care of you no matter what style of fishing you choose to do so come on by the shop and we can provide you with the appropriate bait or suggest some flies that will work.
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Water Flows – August 27th
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise