“You can observe a lot just by watching.” Yogi Berra
The next time you go the stream take pause and just watch. Don’t cast. Don’t fish blind; only fools rush in. September is a visual feast for the angler. The clarity of the air, the angle of the light, the colors of the flora all contribute to the mood. Narrow your focus. Watch for the glint of tiny wings against the blue sky and on the water. Follow one insect as it floats at the mercy of the current until it reveals a trout. Keep your eyes fixed until the shape of the fish is revealed. Now it is time to fish.
The Creek has transitioned into a midday fishery with some fantastic Callibaetis activity starting around noon. However, the mornings are still good with a smattering of Tricos and a good number of Baetis spinners, and very light angler pressure. Be sure to have a good selection of Callibaetis patterns (size 16 and 18) in multiple stages of this insects life: nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners. Our House of Harrop Calibaetis patterns are simply the best match for these picky feeders. The Callibaetis emergence usually coincides with the afternoon breezes which can actually be to the anglers benefit as the larger fish lose all inhibitions in this situation. Also keep in mind, Callibaetis are a slow water bug and will be found in good numbers in the Pond. It will not be long and ww will also start seeing some Mahogany Duns so it would be wise to have a few already in your box.
The Wood still has a tinge of color below Baker Creek and Warm Springs, but is fishing very well with nymphs and streamers. The surface activity is yet to really pick up. It will once the Fall Baetis begin to gain momentum and the Hecubas, or Western Red Quills, begin hatching with more regularity. In the meanwhile, enjoy the spectacular weather we are having and perhaps the last chances to wet wading for the season. For flies, have a good selection of larger beaded nymphs with bright hot spots: Egan’s Frenchy, Rainbow Warriors, Iron Lotus, and Bishop’s Dynamite. The fish are mostly in the seams, the buckets and the tail outs and not really in the shallow riffles.
UPPER WOOD, TRAIL CREEK, NORTH FORK
Small stream fishing in the fall can be a delight. I prefer fishing either a single dry or nymph in these skinny waters to keep things simple. Basic patterns can be very effective. I will usually take only a small puck of flies with some caddis, parachute adams, and a few small beaded nymphs. The fish in these small streams are typically feeding in the shallow water in and around the deeper buckets. Being stealthy is the key to your success as these fish tend to be opportunistic feeders and will strike the first well presented fly they see or bolt the first sign of danger.
THE BIG LOST ABOVE MACKAY
The flows have stabilized at about 150 CFS and the fishing remains consistent below Mackay Reservoir. The Baetis hatch starts as soon as the sun hits the water and can last until the early afternoon. There are still a few Tricos in the mix as well, but this hatch is mostly done for the year. After 2 PM on sunny days most of the feeding stops until the sun goes down and on cloudy days the action never really lets up. With the low water and angler pressure these fish have seen over the last two months, you need to really be on your game to fool these trout. Long leaders to 6X and diminutive flies are a must. Be sure to have plenty of Harrop’s Baetis spinners and duns in size 18-22. Nymphing is always a good option as well. Try small Baetis style nymphs (18-22) or attractor nymphs like the Rainbow Warrior or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 and 18.
THE UPPER LOST
With the days getting shorter and morning temps in the 30s, there is no reason to start early on the Upper Lost. Wait for the sun to start warming the air and water. As a general rule of thumb, once you hear hoppers clicking, it is time to fish. Search the water with a terrestrial (hopper or ant) dropper rig and you should find some great fish. Don’t expect huge numbers of fish, but a diligent and persistent angler will be rewarded.
It wont be long before we start seeing some Red Quills. These bugs prefer cloudy days, so keep your eye on the forecast.
September is a spectacular time to fish around Stanley. One of my favorite trips this time of year starts with a stop at the Bakery in Stanley for breakfast and then hole hopping up and down the Salmon. Focus on the riffles leading into the long runs with double nymph rigs for the deep water and dry dropper rigs in the shallows. For dries try 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 stable flows (1,700 CFS) have improved the angling, especially in the upper reaches of the river. Floaters are finding success with Pink Alberts, Caddis and Baetis. The anglers finding the most success are using the boat as transportation and parking the boat to work a riffle or side channel. When you find feeding fish, they are very picky and require multiple presentations to fool. This is not something a passing boat drift can accomplish. Of course, nymphing with large Stoneflies, San Juan Worms, and Caddis Larva followed by a small midge or Baetis nymph is productive if you can not find feeding fish. Pulling streamers will produce some monster Bull Trout. We can expect flows to drop later this month.
Our local ponds are always a good fail safe option if you are looking for a quick family outing. Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon have all been recently stocked. We can take care of you no matter what style of fishing you choose to do so come on by the shop and we can provide you with the appropriate bait or suggest some flies that will work.
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Water Flows – SEPTEMBER 3RD
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise