Fly Fishing Forecast September 30th – October 7th

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“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”~ Henry David Thoreau

When nature’s green turns to gold, it is high time to head to a river and go fly fishing. Heed the call. There will be time for hibernation later…now the sky seems bluer, the air more elemental, the light less extreme. Go to the river and find your riffle, your run, your pumpkin. The river beckons.

SILVER CREEK
If you head to the Nature Conservancy or Kilpatrick’s Pond in the afternoon, expect to find the usual suspects: Baetis, Mahoganies, and a smattering of Callibaetis. 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 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. There are plenty of non-spawning fish to satisfy your fishing needs.

THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is all tricked out in its fall glory. The cottonwoods and willows have mostly turned and golden leaves blanket the water every time the wind blows. Fall Baetis are also blanketing the water in the afternoon and are bringing some fantastic fish to the surface. With the low water conditions, anglers need to be extra stealthy when approaching and pursuing these Baetis feeders. 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. When the Baetis are not about, the fish are still willing to take a well drifted caddis or small hopper pattern in the riffles, runs, and seams. A small Zebra midge (black, red or olive) or Baetis nymph run as a dropper can be deadly as well.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
At 300 CFS, the South Fork continues to fish very well. Leave your boat at home; this is the time for wading. For bugs, you will find a few Pinks, caddis, and crane flies, but like the other rivers this time of year, Baetis are the main fare. 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
The summer stocking has come to an end but there are still many hold over fish in our local ponds to keep you busy. Lake Creek, Penny Lake, or Gaver’s Lagoon are still a great opportunity to have a good late afternoon outing with family or beginners. Drop on by before you go and we will make sure you have the right gear, flies, or bait to be successful.

SALMON RIVER
The area around Stanley has been fishing very well both above and below town. 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. With the low flows, the fish are 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.

BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
There are a few lingering Tricos and Crane Flies, but the Baetis have really become the main attraction with the most productive fishing in the late afternoon. The flows are perfect at 200 CFS for some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. Search the soft seams and tailouts for fish up on the surface. 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. In the slow water, were the Lost River hogs are notorious for lounging, try a simple dry dropper rig with a long leader on a traditional rod allowing for greater distance and delicate presentations. 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.

UPPER LOST- COPPER BASIN
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. 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.

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

Copper Basin

South Fork of the Boise

128 cfs

240 cfs

44 cfs

44 cfs

310 cfs

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