Autumn stirs the angler’s soul. There is something about standing in water surrounded by golden leaves with mountains dusted by the seasons first snows against a crisp, blue canvas. And the trout too, sense the season’s end and the coming of winter. Their feeding lacks the laziness of summer and becomes more focused and purposeful. If you have postponed your angling adventures to avoid the summer heat, now is the time to return to the river and rediscover why you love to fish.
The Big Wood
The Wood above Warm Springs is beginning to clear and becoming more fishable everyday. Under the rocks in the faster water there are still plenty of bugs; however, in the deposition zones along the edges of the river, there is a deposit of very fine silt which should wash out with next seasons snow melt. The river below Warm Springs still needs some time to clear. Of course the Wood and its tributaries are going to be very sensitive to additional rain and you should check with the shop to get the latest report.
It is time to start looking for Mahogany Duns as well as good numbers of Fall Baetis. The fishing has been good from mid morning right on through the early afternoon. The Fall Baetis are a tad bigger than their summer cousins, so go equipped with size 18 and 20 Harrop’s Baetis parachutes and emergers. When you see Mahogany Duns (size 16), typically the fish will target them; this is the last big bug before winter and Silver Creek fish know it. When the wind blows, hoppers, ants and beetles have been bringing fish to the surface. The browns are beginning to get feisty and we will begin to see fish on redds over the next several weeks. This is the time to take advantage of their aggressive behavior, and swing Mortgage Makers or Double Bunny streamers in front of their noses. Please avoid the fish that are obviously on their redds taking care of business.
Upper Big Lost River
If you are fishing the Upper Lost, there is no need to get up early. With the cooler temps, the fishing is best in the afternoon. While you will find some fish in the upper reaches like the East and West Fork, you are better off searching the main stem below the North Fork. You can hole hop or hike, but either way you are going to find some fish if you stay mobile. In the afternoon, you can expect to find Red Quills and a smattering of other may flies. Ants and hoppers are also good afternoon offerings. Dry dropper rigs are a good option as well. For nymphs try small Zebra Midge, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites.
Lower Big Lost River
The Lost has been consistently good and should remain so as the fall Baetis hatch picks up steam. With people avoiding the Wood while it continues to clear and the closure of the South Fork of the Boise, the crowds have increased on the Lost. With that in mind, please respect each others space and private property as you move about. The flows are around 167 CFS, and the river is slightly off color. The color has slowed the surface activity, but as the water drops, the dry fly action should get better. In the meanwhile, the nymphing has been fantastic from mid morning into the late afternoon. If you do see fish on the surface, use size 18 or 20 Harrop’s Baetis parachutes or olive Gulper Specials with the high via post. For the rest of the time, dry dropper rigs and Euro Nymphing have been the most effective techniques. For nymphs try small pheasant tails or other Baetis imitations. Attractor nymphs like Bishop’s Dynamite and Rainbow Warriors are also producing fish.
The Stanley Area
The mornings have been cold lately, but the afternoon fishing has still been good. There is going to be some rain potentially mid week, so please check with the shop about water clarity below the town of Stanley. Even if this does occur, the fishing above Stanley typically remains clear and fishable. Marsh and Bear Valley creeks are also a good option. If you go, try a variety of attractor drys in size 12 through 16 from Royal Wulff’s, to Parachute Adams and orange Stimulators. Also size 12 tan or olive Elk Hair Caddis work well to imitate the Spruce Moths along the banks lined with evergreens. Swinging beaded Woolly Buggers in olive or black also works well. Fishing standard beaded nymphs, like Princes and Pheasant Tails, is always a good idea.
South Fork of the Boise
For a great overview of the mud slides that inundated the South Fork, go to www.southforkboise.org. It is still to early to predict how long the clean up process is going to take.
Our family friendly ponds are a great option for those looking to catch a fish for the first time. We have all the tackle you will need,so stop on by and we will hook you up!
Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!
Double Bunny Streamers
Upper Big Lost
Lower Big Lost
Harrop’s Baetis Parachutes
Olive Gulper Special
Elk Hair Caddis
“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” – Zane Grey