Fly Fishing Forecast 11/15 – 11/29

Kendall FriedmanFishing Forecast0 Comments


“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Among those things that have contributed to your advancement include fly fishing, a tradition that brings you closer to family, friends, and fish. The angler who counts blessings, rather than quarry, will lose count long before the day is done.

SILVER CREEK
Our days are numbered on the upper Creek. The Conservancy stretch, including Purdy’s down to highway 20, will close the end of November. From the Highway 20 bridge down through the Willows and Point of Rocks will remain open until the end of February. Even with the cold winter-like conditions, the Creek will still produce decent Baetis and Midge action; however, it is short, isolated, and late in the day. Of course, cloudy days are your best bet for fish on the surface. The rest of the time, your best action will come on nymphs and streamers. For nymphs, try a beaded or non-beaded pheasant tail, a Zebra Midge, or a WD40 in size 20 or 22. Find the right depth with your dropper and you will take plenty of trout.

THE BIG WOOD
The cold, wet weather in the valley has concentrated the fish in the winter holding water and the hatches have been reduced to a few midge late in the day. Still, the fish are hungry and if you find the right spot at the right time you will find fish. For flies, try a size 18 or 16 Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warrior or Bishop’s Dynamite or a larger size 8-12 Rubber Leg Stone, San Juan Worm, or a Czech style nymph. Dangle these bugs off a high floating dry, an indicator, or fish them Euro Style. The key to success when the water gets cold is to find the right depth. Remember that when the water temps drop, the takes can be subtle, so strike detection becomes paramount.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
Trail Creek Pass is closed for the season, so anglers heading to the Lost will need to go around through Carey and over to Arco to get to Mackay. The Lost is typically low this time of year; however, flows have gone up as room is being made in the reservoir for next year’s snowmelt. The flow is currently at 400 CFS and at this level wading is difficult. Better fishing can be found on the Wood, Silver Creek, or the South Fork right now.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
It is that time of year when travel into the South Fork’s canyon requires a 4X4 with studded snow tires and chains. The road can be treacherous! The flows are holding steady at 300 CFS, which is ideal for walk and wade fishing. There has been a decent number of Baetis as well as Midge hatching in the late afternoon. Dry fly purists will find fish up in the slow, deep stretches selectively sipping up until the sun goes down. Nymphing remains productive with Red San Juan Worms, Rubber Leg Stones, Caddis Larva as well as small Zebra Midge and Baetis Nymphs. Focus your attention on the seams and slower riffles for both trout and white fish.

The Salmon

Big Lost

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Wood

Silver Creek

783 cfs

389 cfs

298 cfs

283 cfs

148 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 11/1 – 11/15

Kendall FriedmanFishing Forecast0 Comments


“The river this November afternoon
Rests in an equipoise of sun and cloud
A glooming light, a gleaming darkness shroud
Its passage. All seems tranquil, all in tune.”

– Cecil Day-Lewis

 

Autumnal light can play tricks with an angler’s vision. When the sun is out, it is bright and low on the horizon, making it difficult to see a fly on the water. When the sun is obscured by clouds, colors fade to grey making a fly difficult to see on the water. Whether dealing with glooming light or gleaming darkness there are a few tricks anglers need to employ to keep their vision in tune: a good pair of polarized glasses, a high vis post on the fly, and a plan for how position themselves in the river relative to the intense glare.

SILVER CREEK
The Creek will continue to fish well in the late afternoon, especially on milder days. Expect decent numbers of Baetis in a short, concentrated burst which should get most of the fish looking up. To match this hatch, have a good selection of duns, cripples, and spinners tied by the House of Harrop in size 20-24 to guarantee success. Prior to and right after the hatch, nymphing dry dropper style with size 24-16 Pheasant Tails, Baetis nymphs, and olive and red Zebra Midge is effective. Keep in mind, the upper reach of Silver Creek through the Nature Conservancy section to the Highway 21 bridge closes the end of this month.

 
THE BIG WOOD
The fishing has been good between 11am and 3pm. There has been a decent Fall Baetis hatch starting around noon and plenty of midge activity as well. The fish are feeding aggressively during this short window. With the colder temperatures, the fish have transitioned into their winter holding water, so don’t expect to find fish spread out in the fast, shallow riffles; instead, focus your attention on the deeper water, seams, and tailouts. A patient angler will find surface-feeding fish during the prime time; however, the most productive method is still nymphing. Try a dry dropper or a Euro style rig. The biggest challenge now is keeping the falling leaves off your fly.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
If you are looking for a quick side trip on streams with less flow than the Wood, these small streams offer great access and easy wading. There are plenty of stocked fish around the bridges and if you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, Hecubas, and caddis throughout the warmest part of day.

THE UPPER LOST
Trail Creek Pass is still open and should remain so for the next several weeks; however, once the snow falls, the pass will close. The fishing on the upper Lost is slow, except for a very short window in the late afternoon. Fish can still be taken on terrestrials as well as smaller dries like Caddis or Baetis, but nymphing is the most productive.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows continue to hover around 290 CFS which is about 100 CFS higher than average. In the mid to late afternoon expect to see a few midges with good numbers of Fall Baetis. Try a single or double nymph rig with heavy tungsten beads fished on a long leader Euro Style or on a long Tenkara rod. Also, a simple dry dropper rig with a long leader on a traditional rod is effective for greater distance and delicate presentations for spooky fish.

SALMON
The temps can easily start in the teens and hover right around freezing this time of year in the Stanley Basin. However, there is still the potential for day time temps to reach 50. Either way, fishing the slower buckets during the pleasant time of day will produce good numbers of whitefish and trout.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With snow in the forecast, keep in mind the road can become very slick. When heading to the South Fork during the late fall and winter months be sure to have chains and a four-wheel drive. The fish are active in the and around the shallow riffles and runs where you can find structure during the pleasant time of day. For dries, go small. Try size 18 caddis in peacock, brown, black, and olive as well as Harrop’s Baetis patterns in size 18-24. In the slower runs, the fish are typically feeding on midge, so have a good supply of midge dry and emerger patterns. Of course, nymphing Euro Style or Dry Dropper is very productive when you see no feeding fish.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are great spots for a fall family fishing picnic. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

The Salmon

Big Lost

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Wood

Silver Creek

741 cfs

287 cfs

302 cfs

303 cfs

166 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 10/18 – 11/1

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments


“Overwhelmingly, the reason why so many experienced and well-equipped fisherman catch so few trout is that most of the time they aren’t fishing over fish.” – Sparse Grey Hackle

The most effective anglers change tactics as the seasons change. They change fly patterns in order to match the fall fare; they change their approach to the water to adjust for the low angle of light unique to fall; and they change the water type in which they present their flies to search for trout. Don’t waste your time fishing flies the fish won’t eat or fishing water where there are simply no fish. Are you ready for the change of seasons?

SILVER CREEK
There is nothing finer than a fall day spent fishing on the Creek. You might see a herd of elk grazing in an adjacent field or moose wading through the river. You definitely will see Fall Baetis and a maybe a few Mahogany Duns hatching in the middle of the day into the afternoon with some midge hatching until sundown. For the Baetis, have a good selection of duns, cripples, and spinners tied by the House of Harrop in size 20-24. For the Mahoganies, you should have dun, emerger, and spinner patterns as well. If the water is devoid of bugs, terrestrials will still take fish, especially of windy days. Also, nymphing dry dropper style with size 20-16 pheasant tails and Baetis nymphs is effective. As always, be aware of browns on redds and leave them alone.

THE BIG WOOD
The Wood, due to the cool temperatures we have been experiencing this month, is already transitioning into a winter fishery. The water is as low as it has been all year, crystal clear, and down right cold. As a result, you may not find the fish spread out in a riffle, but instead holding in the slow deep seams and buckets. The Fall Baetis should continue over the next two weeks and be especially prolific on cloudy days. Over the next two weeks there will be an influx of freshly fallen leaves in the river. When the wind blows, the leaves will come down. Not to worry; the fish can see your fly through the leaves. The most productive method remains nymphing with either a dry dropper rig or Euro Style. Try rubber leg stones, Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Egan’s Frenchy, or the Iron Lotus.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
If you are looking for a quick side trip on streams with less flow than the Wood, these small streams offer great access and easy wading. There are plenty of stocked fish around the bridges and if you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, Hecubas, and caddis throughout the warmest part of day.

THE UPPER LOST
This is a good place to hit on your way back from fishing below the dam as the most productive fishing is late in the afternoon. Focus your attention on the deep buckets; this is where you will find fish concentrated. If you find feeding fish, they are probably eating Fall Baetis. These fish love small and medium size nymphs such as red or black Zebra Midge, beaded Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites as well.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have come down to 290 CFS which is about 100 CFS higher than average. Also, there seems to be a greenish algae in the river at the moment. The best theory to date is that the algae is coming from the lake after fall turn over. Whatever the cause, the algae seems to have shut down the dry fly fishing, but the nymphing is still very good. In the mid to late afternoon expect to see a few midge with good numbers of Fall Baetis. There may even be a few Tricos around. Try a single or double nymph rig with heavy tungsten beads fished on a long leader Euro Style or on a long Tenkara rod. Also, a simple dry dropper rig with a long leader on a traditional rod is effective for greater distance and delicate presentations for spooky fish. For nymphs have a variety of heavy beaded standards like PTs or Princes in size 14 to 16. Also have a good supply of micro nymphs like Zebra Midge and WD40s with silver, gold, and black beads in size 18 to 22.

SALMON
It is getting very cold in the Stanley Basin, but the fishing remains decent in the late afternoon.
Look for pull outs around the runs with holding water and you are sure to find fish. For dries try Orange Stimulators, hoppers, ants, caddis, or other high floating easy to see attractors. For nymphs try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph. Olive, black and brown Buggers will take fish as well.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The Baetis continue to hatch during the most pleasant time of day and they are bringing the big fish up. Search the seams and slower water with structure and you are sure to find some fantastic trout sipping duns and cripples. The flows are holding at about 318 CFS, perfect for wading. The weekends have been very crowded, but you can usually find a place to call your own. For flies, have the same collection of Baetis you would take to the Lost, the Creek, or the Wood. When all else fails, the nymphing will produce a ton of whitefish and some trout. The best nymphs include small Zebra Midge, WD40s, or Rainbow Warriors or larger nymphs like rubber legged stones or caddis larva.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are great spots for a fall family fishing picnic. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

The Salmon

Big Lost

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Wood

Silver Creek

735 cfs

295 cfs

318 cfs

300 cfs

153 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 10/4 – 10/18

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments

Photo Credit: Arian Stevens

“In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October.” —Alexander Smith

We have come full circle and paused on the tipping point of another winter. But October is more than a season we pass through on our way to another. October is the azure sky reflected on water, a blue so intense it defies imitation by words, paint, or lens. It must be seen, felt, experienced. There are no days so delightful as those spent fly fishing under an October sky.

SILVER CREEK
The Creek is beautiful in the Fall! The water is frigid, so if you plan on tubing, wear lots of layers and bring a thermos full of coffee or tea. This is a good time to explore the walk and wade section and sight fish for sippers. Be prepared for lots of Baetis (size 20 and 22) as well as Mahogany Duns (size 16) and October Caddis. Terrestrials are still going to be a factor as well, especially when the wind blows. Watch for the cool, cloudy days because the fishing can be incredible. On these blustery days, fishing hoppers or ripping streamers can be fantastic and the Baetis will be prolific. FYI, if you find some early brown trout on redds, let them be and watch your step.

THE BIG WOOD
The Red Quills are starting to slow down, but the Fall Baetis (size 20) will continue to hatch throughout the month of October. To imitate this fly, try an olive Gulper Special with an orange post or any of the Harrop Baetis patterns in size 18 or 20. Also, nymphing continues to be outstanding. The best method is to fish a high floating dry, like an Parachute Ant, a hopper, or Red Quill, with a small Baetis nymph or Zebra midge (size 18) trailing behind. Target the shallow, dancing water at the head of runs and drift your dry dropper rig through the small depressions and behind any kind of structure. The fish are incredibly aggressive in this type of water and you should expect a strike the moment your flies touch. Remember, with the cool mornings and shorter days, the fishing has really been best from around noon until the sun leaves the water.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
If you are looking for a quick side trip on streams with less flow than the Wood, these small streams offer great access and easy wading. There are plenty of stocked fish around the bridges and if you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, Hecubas, and caddis throughout the warmest part of day.

THE UPPER LOST
The cool mornings have shortened the fishing window to the afternoon, making this the perfect place to go after a leisurely brunch. Focus your attention on the “greenish” water; this is where you will find fish. Also, you may still find some Hecubas, known as the Western Red Quill, fluttering about. Even if you don’t, this is a good bug to search the water with as it is the last big bug of the season and the fish key on it, especially on cloudy days. You might also try ant patterns or hoppers. These fish love small and medium size nymphs such as red or black Zebra Midge, beaded Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, or Bishop’s Dynamites as well.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have come down to 300 CFS; still a bit challenging to wade in some spots, but a good overall flow. In the mid to late afternoon, expect a few midge with good numbers of Fall Baetis. Keep your eyes on the seams and slow tailouts for fish sipping duns. With the low angle of light this time of year, the Baetis are very hard to see, so keep a keen eye on the water. For flies try Harrop’s Duns, Spinners, and Cripples in a size 22-24. Be stealthy and fish long leaders and fine tippet down to 6.5X or 7X. The nymphing has also been quite good. Try a single nymph with a heavy tungsten bead fished on a long leader Euro Style or a long Tenkara rod. Also, a simple dry dropper rig with a long leader on a traditional rod is effective for greater distance and delicate presentations for spooky fish. For nymphs have a variety of heavy beaded standards like PTs or Princes in size 14 to 16. Also have a good supply of micro nymphs like Zebra Midge and WD40s with silver, gold, and black beads in size 18 to 22.

SALMON
This is a spectacular choice for late fall fishing both above and below the town of Stanley. Look for pull outs around the runs with decent holding water and you are sure to find fish. Floating the lower sections is still an option as well. Of course, it is frigid up here in the mornings so there is no need to start to early. You can really fish any technique that suits your fancy. For dries try Orange Stimulators, hoppers, ants, caddis, or other high floating easy to see attractors. For nymphs try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph. Olive, black and brown Buggers will take fish as well.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With the river holding steady a 300 CFS, the fish tend to concentrate around the riffles and runs with decent depth. For bugs, you will find a few Crane flies around and a smattering of caddis, but in the late afternoon the Baetis are on the water. The warmer weather seemed to have stalled the good fall Baetis, but now that a cooler pattern has settled over the state, they should return. For flies, have the same collection of Baetis you would take to the Lost, the Creek, or the Wood. When all else fails, the nymphing will produce a ton of whitefish and some sensational trout. The best nymphs include small Zebra Midge, WD40s, or Rainbow Warriors or larger nymphs like rubber legged stones or caddis larva.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are great spots for a fall family fishing picnic. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

The Salmon

Big Lost

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Wood

Silver Creek

821 cfs

303 cfs

302 cfs

324 cfs

178 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 9/27 – 10/4

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments

“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.”
– Henry David Thoreau

With winter came unimaginable amounts of snow to the mountains; with spring, record breaking flows to the rivers. And summer…it seemed way too short. Now fall has come and we can finally taste the fruit the other seasons have yielded. Now is the time to resign yourself to the influence of rivers; wade the waters, cast your fly, and rediscover why you love to fly fish.

SILVER CREEK
If you head to the Nature Conservancy or Kilpatrick’s Pond in the afternoon, expect to find a few Baetis, Mahoganies, and a smattering of Callibaetis. In addition, you will see some October Caddis skittering across the surface. Depending on where you are, you will find fish keying on one or all of these insects. Of course, terrestrials are always a good bet when the wind blows, but the fish are getting leery of hoppers. Ants and beetles have been more productive. Also, small Baetis nymphs and Zebra nymphs in size 18 to 24 as well as Mahogany dun nymphs in size 16 are producing fish when all else fails. When nymphing, try patterns without beads or with black beads; flashy beads tend to put fish off on the bright days. Please keep in mind, the browns are in pre-spawn mode and we will begin to see fish on redds over the next several weeks. Please avoid the fish that are obviously spawning.

THE BIG WOOD
The next few weeks can be some of the season’s best on the Wood. The cottonwoods and willows have begun to turn and golden leaves will soon blanket the water every time the wind blows. In the meanwhile, the Fall Baetis are blanketing the water in the afternoon and are bringing some fantastic fish to the surface. With careful observation, anglers should spot multiple feeding trout in the very skinny water between runs. It is best to limit your casts and take a down stream drift with long, fine leaders. For flies, use your finest spring creek Baetis patterns, the same you would use on the Creek. In addition to the Baetis, Red Quills (Hecuba) are still hatching and when these are around, the fish seem to prefer them. As always, a small Zebra midge (black, red or olive) or Baetis nymph run as a dropper can be deadly.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
With the Wood a tad on the high side, these small streams offer great access and easy wading. There are plenty of stocked fish around the bridges and if you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, Hecubas, and caddis throughout the warmest part of day.

THE UPPER LOST
With the weather turning warmer this week, this is a great location for an afternoon fishing excursion during these last pleasant days of fall. There really is no need to get up early and rush to the river, however. Instead, sleep in and then leisurely make your way up Trail Creek Pass. Focus on the main stem and hole hop around the river to your favorite spots. If you are unfamiliar with the river, find a stretch with a decent amount of holding water and structure. There are not a ton of fish per mile, but there are some quality fish. Terrestrials, like hoppers and ants, work really well this time of year. You can also effectively search the water by trailing a Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior beneath your dry.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
There are a few lingering Tricos and Crane Flies, but the Baetis have really come on strong now that the weather has turned cooler. The most productive fishing is in the late afternoon once the hatch gets going. The flows are holding steady at 338 CFS making it hard to find surface activity, but if you search the soft seams and tailouts you will find fish up and feeding. These trout will not be easily fooled. You will need a long leader with light 6 to 7X tippet and spot-on, drag-free drifts. Your fly selection is also critical; Harrop’s Duns, Spinners, and Cripples in a size 22-24 are a must. Before and after the hatch, nymphing has been very good. A single nymph with a heavy tungsten bead fished on a long leader Euro Style on a long Tenkara rod is perfect for picking apart the shallow riffles and deep holes. For nymphs, have a variety of heavy beaded standards like PTs or Princes in size 14 to 16. Also have a good supply of micro nymphs like Zebra Midge and WD40s with silver, gold, and black beads in size 18 to 22.

SALMON
The area around Stanley has been fishing very well both above and below town especially with the influx of new water from last week’s rain and snow. Some guides are still floating the river, but the walk and wade access is also very good. Your fishing strategy is simple: once the air temps warm up, find a good pull out along the river and seek water with a variety of depth and structure. You will find the fish concentrated around the runs with decent holding water. For dries try Orange Stimulators, hoppers, ants, caddis, or other high floating easy to see attractors. For nymphs try small rubber legged stones, Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warriors, or any other beaded size 14 or 16 nymph. Olive, black and brown Buggers will take fish as well. The cool thing about the Salmon is you will have the opportunity to catch a rainbow, a cutthroat, a cutbow, a bull trout, and a whitefish.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
At 300, it is time to leave your boat at home; this is the time for wading. For bugs, you may find a few caddis and crane flies, but like the other rivers this time of year, Baetis are the main attraction. Have the same bugs you would take to the Lost, the Creek, or the Wood as these fish can be selective. As always, nymphing will produce a ton of whitefish and some sensational trout. The best nymphs include small Zebra Midge, WD40s, or Rainbow Warriors. Try trailing one behind a caddis larva, stonefly nymph, or San Juan Worm works really well fishing deep or dry dropper style.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are great spots for a family fishing picnic. Whatever style of fishing you want to do, we are your headquarters. So drop on by before you take your family fishing and we will make sure you have the right gear to be successful.

The Salmon

Big Lost

South Fork of the Boise

The Big Wood

Silver Creek

864 cfs

334 cfs

310 cfs

334 cfs

175 cfs