Through this week, we will have unsettled weather with localized flash flood potential. While any and all moisture is welcome, heavy rains on the recently burned areas have become problematic for the Wood and the South Fork of the Boise. Thunder storms this week have sent mud, silt and ash into Warm Springs and The Big Wood. At this time, it’s hard to say what effect this will have on the fishery and ecosystem as a whole, but early reports already indicate fish mortality caused by the severely muddy flows. Please contact the store for updates on the impact these storms have had on our fishing as the week progresses. 208-726-5282
The unsettled weather is a sign of the changes which can occur this time of year. There are already hints of yellow and orange in some of the deciduous trees and shrubs up and down the Valley, and while we are still several weeks from the peak of fall colors, these changes usually coincide with the transition from summer to fall hatches on our local fisheries.
The Big Wood
The recent rain has turned the river into a milky mess and it is going to be a few days before the river clears up. You can contact the shop and we will keep you up to date on any changes in clarity. If and when it does clear, we should start to see the river transition into its Fall mode over the next several weeks, which means the Fall Baetis will start to become more of a factor. Have a good selection of high vis Baetis in size 18 and 20 as well as some of the ones you might toss down at the Creek. Whether fishing with Tricos or Baetis, you will need to use long leaders and light tippet in 6 or 6.5X to fool these seasoned trout. If neither of these bugs are about, you will still find a good assortment of caddis, crane flies, and other mayflies fluttering around into the late afternoon and standard mayfly and caddis patterns in size 16 and 18 will just about cover all of them. Nymphing is really productive this time of year with a dry dropper rig or Euro Style. For nymphs, try small size18 or 20 Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Beaded Pheasant Tails. Don’t forget to try running a hopper through some fast riffles this time of year. Also, please be kind to these late season trout and release them with care.
Warm Springs Creek on the left, Big Wood River on the right. Sept 3, 2013.
Photo credit Steve Dondero
The first phase of the restoration project will get under way this week and fishing down stream in Kilpatrick Pond will be closed for the remainder of the season. For more information on the project you can go to www.nature.org/kilpatrickpond. In the mornings, expect to still see a few Tricos and Baetis along with Callibaetis spinners. The best action has shifted to the early afternoons with a good Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall. Have a good assortment of Harrop’s Callibaetis patterns in all phases of this insects life from emergers, to duns, and spinners. The Callibaetis are small this time of year so look for patterns in size 16 and 18 to work best. If the wind, blows, and it almost always does, have some Callibaetis Hackle Stackers with trailing shucks as well. Of course, hoppers, beetles, and ants should always be in your box this time of year.
Big Lost River Upper & Lower
While not my first choice this time of year, the Upper Lost is a good option for scenery and solitude. The fish can be spooky this time of year with the lower than average flows, but you can find them in the deeper runs. The trout will give you one chance, so make you presentation count. Otherwise, be prepared to walk a long ways to the next fishy spot. For searching, try a Para Hopper, a flying ant, or an Elk Hair Caddis in size 14, 12 or 10 with a small trailing Zebra Midge. If you find some feeders, use small size 18 parachute patterns, a long leader, and fine tippet. Below Mackay, the flows are at 250 CFS and dropping. The morning action has been best with a mix of Tricos and some Baetis. I prefer to use Trico Hackle Stackers, Olive Gulper Specials with an orange post, or other easy to see patterns to help fight the glare and often broken, foamy water where these fish tend to feed. Post hatch, nymphing is the way to go. Try Euro Nymphing with a heavy nymph followed by a smaller pattern…a beaded Stone fly or San Juan Worm followed by a smaller PT, Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior, or Bishop’s Dynamite is a killer combo. For those fish hanging in the margins, try a dry dropper rig with a extra small brown Zebra Midge or WD-40.
South Fork of the Boise
Unfortunately, I have nothing new to report. With the heavy rain this week and the flows potentially dropping even more, it is likely that ash and silt will settle to the river bottom and impact this fishery. In the meanwhile, the Forest Service and BLM are assessing the damage done by the Pony and Elk Complex fire and fishing on the South Fork remains closed until further notice.
The Stanley Area
Both the upper and lower Salmon is fishing really well right now. The dry fly action is turning on again with nice cutthroats and rainbows taking Spruce Moths along the wooded sections and an assortment of mid sized mayfly and caddis patterns everywhere else. While walk and wade fishing is a good way to approach the water this time of year, float trips are still possible down stream of the East Fork. If you want to watch some Salmon spawn in small water, try Valley Creek; but please avoid disturbing these majestic fish. There are also plenty of nice brook trout and stocked rainbows eager to take a Royal Wulff or a swinging Wooley Bugger.
If you are looking for a couple hours of family fun, try one of our local ponds. Both Lake Creek and Penny Lake were stocked last week and should still have plenty of willing trout. Drop by and we can outfit you with either worms or flies and all the appropriate tackle.
Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!
The Stanley Area
|Lower & Upper Big LostSmall Hoppers
Elk Hair Caddis
Trico Hackle Stacker
Olive Gulper Special
San Juan Worm
“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” – Zane Grey