Fly Fishing Forecast 9/20 – 9/27

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
– J.K. Rowling

Signs that autumn has overtaken the valley abound. Red Quills, the last big mayfly of the season, can be found up and down the Big Wood and Upper Big Lost. Baetis and Mahogany Duns alight the water during the afternoon on the Creek. And the trout are feeding with an innate knowledge that winter is soon to come. For anglers, fall is the season’s grand finale…nature saves the best for last!

SILVER CREEK
Fall is a good time to fish the Creek. Most of the anglers have disappeared, and the cooler temperatures have triggered some great hatch activity. There are good numbers of Fall Baetis mixed with occasional Mahogany Duns and Callibaetis throughout the river during the most pleasant time of the day, late afternoon. No Creek fly box is complete without an array of Beatis duns, spinners, cripples, and nymphs. This applies for the Mahoganies as well. Once this bug makes an appearance, the fish really do seem to prefer it over any other bug on the water. As usual you should also have ants, beetles, and hoppers along with some streamers. Keep in mind, the water is really cool this time of year, so if you plan on tubing, dress with lots of layers.

THE BIG WOOD
The flows on the Wood have come up a bit from the rain but has stayed mostly clear, especially above Warm Springs. The cool weather has stimulated the hatches and the Fall Baetis and Red Quills (Hecuba) can be found throughout the system. Your Green Drake flies, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or even Para-hoppers in a size 12 will work as imitations for the Red Quill and even if you do not see them, the fish will be looking for them. For the Baetis, I recommend olive Gulper Specials with an orange high-vis post in a size 20 or Harrop’s Parachute Baetis. Nymping with a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior behind a hopper is always a good idea.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
If you prefer small stream fishing, then these two creeks should be just right. 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
Now that cooler temperatures are the norm, there is a short window when fishing is good on the Upper Lost. Go hit your favorite stretch on the main stem and you are sure to find some quality fish. Remember, the key is to stay mobile and search for fish. This time of year, Red Quills, hoppers, and ants work really well. For searching, try trailing Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior beneath your dry.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The Baetis hatches have been very strong, especially on cloudy days. Be sure to have the right flies to match this hatch: Harrops Baetis Spinners, duns and emergers in size 22 and 24. Also, since the fish have seen some pressure, use light tippets like Trouthunter 6, 6.5, or even 7X. Long leaders and delicate presentations are best. Don’t expect to see too many bugs early in the day. It is best to start around 11 AM and the bugs start to show up around 1 PM. Nymphing before and after the hatch will remain productive with beaded Pheasant Tail nymphs, Zebra midge, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites fished either Euro style or dry dropper.

SALMON
There will be a dusting of snow on the Sawtooth Mountains as you are fishing in the Stanley area. In fact, it can be downright cold; a coating of frost on your windshield is very common in the mornings. Despite the cold morning temperatures, the fishing is very good in the afternoons. Find a good pull out along the river either above or below Stanley and focusing your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs and dry dropper rigs. 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.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are perfect for walk and wade trips… no need to drag the drift boat along. And the fish are revitalized now that the cooler weather has set in. Of course, they are still willing to take a well presented hopper during the warmest part of the day and this may even draw fish up when no bugs are seen. There is also a good chance you will see good numbers of Baetis and Flavs, although this can be rather run specific. As always, nymphing will produce a ton of whitefish and the occasional trout. A small tailwater nymph trailed behind a caddis larva, stonefly nymph, or San Juan Worm works really well.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked recently. 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

987 cfs

291 cfs

302 cfs

352 cfs

185 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 9/13 – 9/20

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments

“Ours is the grandest sport. It is an intriguing battle of wits between an angler and a trout; and in addition to appreciating the tradition and grace of the game, we play it in the magnificent out-of-doors.”
– Ernest G. Schwiebert Jr.

What makes our sport truly grand is the community of anglers from around the world who desire to learn and share to best way to outwit fish, and at the same time, to protect those magnificent places in which we pursue them. Celebrate the tradition and grace of the game by visiting local fly shops often and by joining and contributing to clubs and conservation groups. This is certainly a tradition worth preserving.

SILVER CREEK
As the days get shorter and with cooler weather on the horizon, there is no need to go early to the Creek anymore. On the warm days you may still see a few Tricos and Baetis along with Callibaetis spinners around 11 AM, but the best action has shifted to the afternoons with a decent Callibaetis emergence and spinner fall. Have a good assortment of Harrop’s Callibaetis patterns in all phases of this insect’s life from emergers, to duns, and spinners. The Callibaetis are small this time of year so look for patterns in size 18 and 20 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. It will not be long before we start seeing some Mahogany Duns as well. This bug indicates that fall has arrived and winter is just around the corner. Once they show up, the fish really key in on them so be sure to have several in your box.

THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is fishing very well throughout the middle of the day. The flows are still higher than average, so wade with caution. As the weather turns cooler this week it may trigger the Hecuba (aka Red Quill) hatch. This is the last big hatch of the year, and the fish love them. Your Green Drake flies, Parachute Hare’s Ear, or even Para-hoppers in a size 12 will work as imitations for this fly. The other mayfly of fall will also gain momentum… Baetis. Be sure to have flies you can see well in the shallow riffles and afternoon glare. I recommend olive Gulper Specials with an orange high-vis post. Hoppers and ants are also working very well. During slow times, try trailing a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior behind a hopper.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
These beautiful tributaries continue to fish well and are a great alternate to the heavy wading on the Wood. 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 day.

THE UPPER LOST
Like the Wood, there may be a few Red Quills fluttering about now that the days are getting cooler. The strategy for success remains the same; cover a lot of water and you will find fish. As always, make your first presentations count, as these fish will feed opportunistically at first and then are hard to fool again. For searching, try a Para Hopper (good for the Hecuba as well), a flying ant, or an Elk Hair Caddis in size 14, 12 or 10 with a small trailing Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are holding at 338 CFS which is a very good flow for fishing, even though the wading remains a bit tough. Keep in mind that the best fishing is in the late morning into the afternoon and then it can dramatically slow down. The Tricos have peaked on the Lost and are on there way out, but the Baetis remain very strong. The challenge remains finding consistently rising fish. When you do find them, be sure to have a good selection of Baetis emergers, duns, and spinners in size 22 and 24. Nymphing is always productive. Try beaded Pheasant Tail nymphs, Zebra midge, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites either Euro style or dry dropper.

SALMON
With a nip to the morning air, there is no reason to start too early. But as the air temps rise and the sun warms the water, the fishing can still be quite good. There can be a decent October Caddis hatch this time of year and size 12 or 14 Orange Stimulators match this hatch well. For the best results, focus your attention on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs and dry dropper rigs. 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.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With the lower flows (600 CFS) wade fishermen are free to move about the river. There are still a few Pinks and Flavs around in the afternoon, but the best fishing has been with hoppers and small crane flies. Don’t expect to catch a lot of fish when fishing dries, but the quality has been exceptional. If you desire to keep your rod bent, there are plenty of eager whitefish willing to take a bright colored beaded nymph. Of course, you will always pick up a few trout nymphing as well.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. 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

704 cfs

338 cfs

600 cfs

290 cfs

143 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 9/6 – 9/13

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments

“…for me, fly fishing is a great puzzle-solving challenge.”
– Jennifer Smith

The best anglers are always changing their tactics as conditions change from season to season, or even from moment to moment. This is perhaps the greatest draw of fly fishing and why so many become obsessed with the sport. Each day on the water provides a new challenge, a new puzzle to solve. This is what brings the angler back to familiar waters, or sends him or her lands away to seek new water. What will today’s challenge be?

SILVER CREEK
The warm weather has prolonged some late morning action with the few Tricos remaining along with some Baetis spinners. However, the best hatch activity has shifted to the Callibaetis in the afternoon. This bug is smaller than the early season Callibaetis, so you will need to have plenty of size 18s and 20s in all phases of this insects life cycle: nymphs, emergers, duns and spinners. To find Callibaetis, search the sloughs and slow water stretches of the upper and lower Kilpatrick’s Pond. The fly is easily identified by its rhythmic bouncing just above the water as it prepares to lay its eggs. On windy days, try a size 16 or 18 Hackle Stackers along with a Quigley Cripple or the Callibaetis Floating Nymph. When the water is still, try Harrop’s Partridge Spinner or Harrop’s Cutwing Dun in a size 18. Also watch the weather forecast over the next few weeks as cloudy, cool days will trigger fantastic Baetis hatches. These Baetis are small and you will need patterns in size 20, 22, and 24to match the hatch. For this bug, size is more important than color and fish should take any well presented fly. Also, be prepared for some Mahogany Duns as they will make an appearance in the coming weeks.

THE BIG WOOD
If you are looking for consistent action, then the Wood is the right choice. This river has been fishing incredibly well now that the flows have come down. Still, the Wood is on average 150 CFS higher than normal, so be prepared for strong currents. There is no need to go early, but once the fishing gets started mid-morning it stays good all the way until the sun leaves the water in the evening. This time of year the fish tend to spread out and can be found in every part of a run. Aggressive feeders will be right in the aerated heads of the riffles. Sippers can be found on the slow edges and in the seams as well as at the tail-outs and slicks. Approach the water carefully and scan the water for feeders in the shallows. These fish can be spooky and you will need to use caution. If the light is bad, try using small Gulper Specials (18) with orange posts which show up nicely in the glare and light chop of riffles. Also, Red Quills should appear in the South Valley and begin to make their way up river. Terrestrials have also been a good bet, especially hoppers and flying ants. Trailing a small size 16 or 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a pheasant tail, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior can also be effective during slow periods.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
For those seeking a good small stream experience, try Warm Springs or Trail Creek. 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, PMDs, and caddis throughout the day.

THE UPPER LOST
This is a good option if you like to fish in an area for its scenery and solitude. To be successful, you need to cover lots of water. Do this, and you will find some fine cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish in the deeper runs. Keep in mind, the trout will give you one chance, so make your first 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, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior. If you find some feeders, use small size 18 parachute patterns, a long leader, and fine tippet.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
With flows just under 350 CFS, the wading is challenging in spots; however, the fishing has been good. Expect to find Trico and Baetis hatches mid-morning, but with the high flows, finding rising fish is a challenge. Nymphing remains the most effective method. Try standard dry dropper rigs or fish Euro Style techniques. The best patterns include Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice. If you find rising fish, have a good selection of high vis Tricos and Baetis.

SALMON
The Salmon and its tributaries continues to fish well. Our guides are still drift boat fishing the upper and lower reaches of the river and the walk and wade fishing has been very good above Torrey’s Landing and through town. Try using bright colored attractor dries with orange and red, like Stimulators or Royal Wullfs, while searching the seams and riffles. Nymphing with a King Prince, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rubber Legged Stone is also very productive.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows are holding steady at 600 CFS. While waiting for the bug activity to get started, try a hopper along the bank or skittering a crane fly across dancing water. A smattering of Flavs and Pink Alberts should appear in the early afternoon. Even a few beatis are beginning to make their midday appearance as well, especially on cloudy days. Your best option is to search the water with hoppers and a trailing nymph unless you find a fish feeding selectively on one of the above mentioned mayflies. Also, deep nymphing with caddis larva, PTs, and zebra midge can be a good option when no bugs present. Euro Nymping the shallower riffles has been very effective on whitefish and trout. You might try ripping a streamer through some deeper runs in search of a Bull Trout or an aggressive Bow.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. 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

709 cfs

338 cfs

595 cfs

329 cfs

166 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 8/30 – 9/6

adminFishing Forecast0 Comments

“Most anglers spend their lives making rules for trout, and trout spend their lives breaking them!”
– George Ashton

Fly fishers are slaves to rules… Rods needs to be 9 feet, lines a 5 weight. Fish only feed early or late. I can only fish dries during a hatch. You can only catch fish on nymphs when there is no hatch…and these rules become dogma. The next time you go to the river, be aware of your habitual thought patterns, those rules you impose on yourself. Instead, try think like a trout.

SILVER CREEK
The Creek is in transition. The summer Tricos have run their course and most of the morning bug activity consists of Baetis duns and spinners in size 22 and 24. The Callibaetis have taken center stage and can be found between 2 and 3 in the afternoon on the slower stretches of the Creek. If you encounter this hatch, be sure to have a good selection of cripples, trailing shuck emergers, spinners, and duns in size 16 and 18 as the fish tend to feed selectively on specific phases of the Callibaetis depending on the day and conditions. Beetles, ants, and hoppers are also very effective in the late afternoon, especially on windy days. Nymphing with small Baetis and Midge patterns can save a slow day on the Creek.

THE BIG WOOD
Sometimes in late August the Wood goes into a lull; not this year. The Wood is fishing better than it has all summer now that the water has dropped to accessible levels. Don’t be fooled, the flows are still very high and wading is difficult, especially in the middle section of the river below East Fork. Still, the fish are starting to look for all kinds of late summer bugs from terrestrials, like flying ants and hoppers, to smaller Baetis and Tricos. With the low water, anglers need to be cautious when approaching the runs. The bigger fish are often waiting to ambush insects in the skinny water along the seams. Fish with light tippet and small parachute patterns before searching the deeper chutes with large dries and dry dropper rigs. This is a perfect water level to try out Tenkara if you have not yet given it a go. The length of a Tenkara rod gives you unparalleled control of your presentation and is a fun way to fish a single dry, a dry dropper, or a single nymph, Euro style. For flies, try small (12-16) yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
If the water on the Wood still seems too high to comfortably wade, try one of these two gems. 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, PMDs, and caddis throughout the day.

THE UPPER LOST
With the cool morning temperatures, the water on the Upper Lost feels frigid. If you choose to wet wade, you may feel hypothermic in the mornings, but very comfortable in the afternoon. The best fishing has shifted from early mornings and late evenings right back to the middle of the day; classic fall fishing has already begun on the Upper Lost. The fish are concentrated in the deeper buckets, and anglers who are willing to walk from good holding water to the next are finding the most success. By the end of the day, if you have walked a few miles of river and have a handful of fish, you have been successful. For flies, try small hoppers, caddis, stimulators and other small high vis attractors with a trailing nymph such as a DB Zebra Midge, a Bishop’s Dynamite, or a Beaded Pheasant Tail.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows remain steady at just under 350 CFS. We may see the flows drop even more as we head into September and the need to irrigate diminishes, so keep an eye on the Idaho Streamflow website. While the wading is challenging in spots, the fishing has been very good. The Trico and Baetis hatches have been strong, but with the high flows, finding rising fish is a challenge. Nymphing is the most effective method. Try standard dry dropper rigs or fish Euro Style techniques. The best patterns include Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice. If you find rising fish, have a good selection of high vis Tricos and Baetis.

SALMON
The flows are still excellent for float fishing on the lower river. For those who prefer to hole hop with a vehicle, the walk and wade fishing throughout the system continues to be excellent as well. Try small hoppers and yellow stimulators on the bank and seams. Fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs is very effective for trout and whitefish.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows have dropped over the last week and have stabilized at 600 CFS…perfect for wading! There will still be a few boats on the water, but at these flows it is more effective to leave the boat at home. As for bugs, hoppers and crane flies are good for the middle of the day and caddis are out in the mornings and evenings. There are also a good number of Flavs and Pinks. Nymphing can be productive all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns in and around structure.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. 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

778 cfs

370 cfs

611 cfs

362 cfs

158 cfs

Fly Fishing Forecast 8/23 – 8/30

Kendall FriedmanFishing Forecast0 Comments

“…the fisherman fishes. It is at once an act of humility and a small rebellion. And it is something more. To him, his fishing is an island of reality in a world of dream and shadow.”
– Robert Traver

Now that the shadow of the eclipse seems but a dream, the rivers take a breath and relax. It just so happens that the waters in our area are finally hitting perfect levels for fly fishing…and the schools around the state have just begun. For many, summer is rapidly coming to a close. It is time for fisherman to fish.

SILVER CREEK
Most anglers have started fishing the Creek midday to capitalize on the afternoon Callibaetis and hopper action. However, there is still some morning activity with a few Tricos and Beatis fluttering about. While the early fishing is slow, you will find solitude. The afternoon Callibaetis should continue to improve and you will need a good selection of emergers, duns, and spinners in smaller sizes (16 and 18). This mayfly can handle a stiff breeze, unlike Tricos and Baetis, and having some hackle stacker patterns can save the day. It is not a bad idea to rig a Callibaetis rod with lighter tippet and a hopper rig with heavy tippet to be prepared to switch patterns between the inconsistent afternoon winds.

THE BIG WOOD
If you have been waiting for the flows to come down on the Wood, now is your time. The river is still on average twice the size it has been for this time of year, so wading with caution is a must. But the larger trout that have been hiding in the big, inaccessible water of summer are starting to come out. Look for Tricos on the lower river in the morning, and as the day warms up, the hopper fishing has really gotten good. Fishing dry dropper rigs or Euro Style is also very productive. For flies, try Foam Hoppers, Yellow Stimulators, Parachute Hare’s Ear, Adams, or Purple Haze and for nymphs try a Rubber Legged Stone, Rainbow Warrior, DB Zebra Midge, or Bishop’s Dynamite.

WARM SPRINGS & TRAIL CREEK
These two small tributaries to the Wood can provide some excellent fishing for anglers looking for a small stream experience. They are perfect for a small Tenkara Rod or ultra light fly rod. Fish and Game has stocked around the bridges and anywhere the rivers near the road. If you want to find some quality wild fish, just keep moving away from the easy road access. Expect to see hoppers, PMDs, and caddis throughout the day.

THE UPPER LOST
The cool mornings have made it feel like fall on the Upper Lost. The best fishing has moved into the middle of the day into the late afternoon. Hoppers and big attractors are turning some very good fish. Still, anglers need to cover a lot of water to find the few good fish in this area. Just be patient and persistent and you will not be disappointed.

THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have dropped to 334 CFS. These flows are still on the high side, but more water has opened up to strong waders. You will find decent Trico hatches in the morning followed by Baetis the rest of the day. Look for the slow foam lines and you will find rising fish. Pack a variety of Tricos and Baetis. A good High His versions of these bugs is recommended to help you see your fly in poor light and broken water. Keep in mind, the fish are voraciously eating small nymphs throughout the day. Therefore, dry dropper and Euro Style techniques are deadly. Try Rubber Leg Stones, San Juan Worms, and King Princes in the heavy runs. For the shallow water, try small nymphs like Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Beaded Pheasant Tails, and Rainbow Warriors in size 16, 18, and 20 below an attractor dry of your choice.

SALMON
The float fishing on the lower river and walk and wade fishing throughout the system continues to be excellent thanks to the above average flows. Small hoppers and stimulators fished on the banks are the most productive. Try fishing dry dropper style with size 14-16 bead head nymphs for nonstop action for trout and whitefish.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With flows at 1,750 CFS, wade fishing is limited. Drift boats remain the best option. We are still a few weeks away from the flows coming down to wadable levels. Work the banks with hoppers or big foam attractor patterns with or without a dropper. The best hatch activity will be found in the early evenings with small Caddis. Nymphing can be productive all day with large rubber leg stone fly patterns, caddis larva, and midge patterns.

LOCAL PONDS
Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon have been stocked and will receive regular stockings throughout the summer season. 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

870 cfs

334 cfs

1760 cfs

435 cfs

170 cfs