Pick your favorite river in the area and then take your favorite Baetis patterns to that river and have a great time! Pretty much all our area waters are seeing great hatches that center around the Blue Winged Olive. With a mix of other bigger insects, cooling air and water temperatures, the fish are happily feeding away. This is not to say they are pushovers, in fact after a summer of being pursued they are attentive to sloppy presentations, heavy tippets and bad patterns. A little stealth, and patience to get well positioned to cast to your targets goes a long way right now!
A great combination of fewer anglers and a plethora of insects are waiting for you on the Creek right now. Let the air warm up a bit and then head down with a plan to stay well into the early evening. Baetis hatches and spinner falls are happening with the weather. Intermittent sun and clouds mean anglers need to be patient between the strong feeding activity periods and trust that the show isnâ€™t over. Callibaetis are still in the mix and the Mahogany Dun remains a must have in your fly box. Leader length should start at about 12 feet, but if you can accurately cast more, do it. 6X tippet is plenty light, just keep the drifts short.
Big Wood River
The Wood is still a strong fishery right now with anglers catching plenty of fish, including the rivers biggest fish. The tactics are similar to Silver Creek, with longer, finer leaders coming into play. The most important thing to keep in mind while fishing the Wood right now is your position. With fish using the edges of the Stillwater, your casts need to be accurate and your drift needs to fool some educated fish. Take the time to analyze your choices and then go slow and be stealthy when getting into a casting position. Anglers with strong dry fly presentations learned at Silver Creek will excel on the Wood this time of year. Baetis, Western Red Quill (Hecuba), Terrestrials, and small, well tied Pheasant Tails should all be in your assortment. This is also a great time of year to use small attractor patterns on the Wood, start thinking about large Gray Wullfs, Royal Wullfs, H & L Variants, Stimulators, and Trudes. If you donâ€™t want to get locked over some tricky rising fish, try searching long stretches of water with these big patterns.
The Lost below Mackay Reservoir is running at a steady 400 CFS and as everyone predicted it is fishing really well right now. Hatches of Blue Winged Olive (Baetis) are coming off in the afternoon and providing fun fishing as these normally hard fighting fish get to use a nice current to fight even harder. With the Kokanee continuing to spawn above and below the Reservoir, anglers going subsurface can bank on the color red right now. Any Egg patterns, San Juan Worms, Red Zebra Midges, fished in tandem with a little bead-head Pheasant Tail to take them under, can be a great set up. Really look hard at the tops of the buckets for the fish lying on the gravel bars. During big hatches look at the smooth water and the seams for risers. Like all the rivers right now, plan to stay late, throwing that extra sandwich in the cooler before you drive over isnâ€™t a bad idea!
Upper Lost and Copper Basin
Like every year on this body of water, that for many years was a true Autumn fishery, the area is seeing little use from anglers. This is due to hunting season and the fact that with all our area waters fishing so well, no one seems to want to make the drive over those tire shredders up there. To find success in this area during the low flows this time of year anglers need to concentrate on late afternoons and evenings and match the hatch, which is predominantly Blue Winged Olives. If you are there during the brighter part of the day, it is imperative to fish the structure with an eye out for the overhanging tree branches. Get upstream of these spots and cast down and across to get your fly a small drift in these pockets. These can be tough rivers for fish to find good cover under riffles and rapids in the fall, so they like to use the natural vegetation to stay hidden during the bright hours. Hoppers, Ants and small Attractor patterns are all one needs for flies, but take a few Gulper Specials for those big Baetis hatches you may encounter.
South Fork of the Boise
The SF of the B is down to a seasonal low of 300 CFS for the past few days and the Blue Winged Olive is coming off in good numbers. Wade anglers are in heaven at this flow and late afternoons on this river can turn into very memorable events when the insects and the trout meet at the surface of the numerous riffles that run the length of the river. Good Baetis patterns are still necessary as well as fairly long tapered leaders, but most fish can be cast to from directly behind. Donâ€™t forget to hard in the shallowest of waters for big, discretely rising rainbows.