“Don’t count the hours by the number of trout caught….Catch that day and hold on to it.” -Jack Denton Scott
The next few weeks are some of the best of the season. When I imagine fishing nirvana the leaves are golden, the water is clear, and the sky is azure. I imagine the fall. In that day dream it matters not if I am catching fish, as long as I am there…with a chance. These are the days to catch.
On sunny, pleasant days from about 10 till 12 there are a good number of Baetis mixed with the seasons last Tricos. Also in the mix are Callibaetis Spinners (size 16-18) and the start of the Mahogany Duns. If there is cloud cover, the Baetis and the Mahogany Duns could be around most of the day. The slough is also seeing a fairly prolific Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall even though this hatch has slowed on the main stem. The big browns are starting to move around in preparation for the spawn. With the lower water, we may see spawning activity starting earlier than normal so remember not to tread on reeds.
The Big Wood
During the fall on the Wood you can go big or small. On the big side,
Hecubas (Red Quills) are starting to be seen up and down the river and
with the nasty weather forecast for this weekend, these bugs will be
fantastic. On the small side, it is time for the Fall Baetis. You will
need your Silver Creek Baetis as well as some with high vis posts (olive
gulper specials) in sizes 18-24 to match this hatch. The Fall Baetis can
be prolific this time of year, especially on cool cloudy days. While
waiting for these bugs to hit the water, try a hot spot nymph (Egan’s
Frenchy, Rainbow Warriors, Iron Lotus, and Bishop’s Dynamite) dangled
below a size 12 Para 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 BELOW MACKAYFor some reason the flows are back up to 175 CFS and I would expect them
to drop again any day. Either way the Baetis have been fantastic between
9 and noon. Post hatch fishing is slow, but persistent nymph fishers will
keep producing fish. The Baetis are best matched with patterns ranging in
size from 20 to 24 and the House of Harrop has the best selection to fool
these seasoned fish. I also recommend long leaders and Trout Hunter
tippet in 6 or 6.5X. For nymphs, try small Baetis style nymphs (18-22)
or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior or Bishop’s Dynamite in size
16 and 18 when the bugs disappear.
THE UPPER LOSTThe Hecubas are hatching on the Upper Lost. This is the last big bug of
>the year and the fish know it. Match this hatch with a size 14 Parachute
>Adams or Hare’s Ear parachute. It doesn’t take many of these bugs to get
>the fish looking for them. As usual, cover a lot of classic Upper Lost
>holding water and you will find some great Fall fishing. For those
>looking for a slice of Alaska right here in Idaho, 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.
It is just plain cold up here in the morning. With temps in the 20s,
there is no reason to start fishing until after 11 AM. When you do hit
the water, search 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. You may find some October Caddis in the afternoons
and Orange Stimulators in size 12 and 14 work well to imitate this hatch.
SOUTH FORK BOISE
The South Fork has dropped and is holding steady at to 300 CFS and the
fall wade fishing is perfect right now. Remember this area is still only
open for day use and with the cooler days in the forecast the fishing is
going to be best when the sun hits the water until is disappears over the
rim. You can really tell the days are getting shorter in the canyon. For
bugs you can still find a good number of small caddis, a few Pink Alberts
and the Fall Baetis are beginning to build momentum. A patient dry fly
angler will find good action with long leaders, fine tippet, and small
flies (16-24). I recommend micro caddis in peacock and olive as well as
Harrop’s Baetis patterns. Nymphing Euro Style or Dry Dropper will be very
productive. Use small Baetis nymph patterns, Zebra Midge, Caddis Larva,
Stone Fly patterns, or San Juan Worms.
If it is family fishing fun you are looking for try Penny Lake, Lake
Creek Pond or Gaver Lagoon. We have a complete assortment of spinning
gear, lures, bait, and flies so drop 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