The fishing report will be switching to Wednesday, starting October 6th. This will give weekend anglers in the late fall and winter months a more timely outlook. Locally fall fishing has gone into full swing. The Baetis (also know as the Blue Winged Olive) hatches are strong and anglers are doing excellent over these diminutive insects. We expect a few more weeks of this activity before that hatches begin to wane with the approach of winter. Great hatches of Mahoganies and Red Quills are still going strong as well. Always remember “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.”
Luckily anglers don’t have to adhere to Copyright laws, or we wouldn’t be able to cast beautifully tied imitations of the fall Baetis to eager and aggressive fish down on the Creek. Cloudy days are the best days to witness a huge Baetis emergence and many anglers have had the best days of the season in the last week under these conditions. Sunny days may provide less action with this insect, but the Mahogany Dun makes up for this. Try to fish a lot of hours when concentrating on this insect as it will appear and disappear in a matter of minutes. This fish will rise strong for five minutes, then quit for twenty, then come up strong again. Don’t ever give up on this hatch until the evening chill sets in.
Terrestrials are still taking fish, including Grasshoppers, Ants and Beetles in the mid to late afternoon hours. Slough fishing can also be very productive this time of year with good Callibaetis activity and fish that are feeling the coming effects of winter. Keep in mind, there are a few Brown Trout in the slough that don’t leave to spawn, therefore they drop eggs in a “broadcast” style, much like an ocean fish would do. The Rainbows will gather around them to take advantage of this food source, so if you see fish acting odd in the slough, try an egg pattern.
Big Wood River
The Wood is on fire! Red Quills and especially the fall Baetis are turning these fish on. With a combination of prolific hatches and cool nights the Wood River fish are getting gluttonous. Big fish seem to obsess over the little Fall Baetis and will move to the flattest water to find them and eat them one after the next. Well presented flies are a must with delicate tippets and a stealthy approach. Fish small flies like 22 and 24 sizes, but creep in behind the fish with a very low profile so you can keep casts short and see these little flies. A lot of patience and stealth pays off big time these days.
October Caddis are out and about and imitations of these, like Orange Stimulators, are good morning and evening choices when the fish are less active. The Western Red Quill (Hecuba) is also still prevalent and fish will continue taking big imitations of this insect well past the time we stop seeing them for the season.
The Lost is very low and wade fishing is as easy as it’s been all season. A bigger variety of Baetis (sz 16) is the main player for dry fly enthusiasts as well as a late morning / lunch hour Trico spinner fall. These late season Trico rises are common on our two favorite tail waters, the Lost, and the Wood below Magic Reservoir. The fish love them because of the insects inability to dry its wings and fly away. Most of these late season Tricos get caught on the water until a fish gets them or they drown. Nymphing is productive with slightly smaller nymphs than the normal big beaded flies we cast on this river. Size 16 Pheasant Tails are a great choice fished in tandem or with an unweighted San Juan Worm.
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
Imagine if you could find a fishery that is loaded with nice size and very catchable trout. Lot’s of variety of these trout, great fall colors, low flows for easy wading, no other anglers for as far as you are willing to fish and great dry fly action. This is the Upper Lost and Copper Basin. As usual this area has been all but deserted for the remainder of the season. Attractor patterns, and terrestrials are all one needs. There is mile upon mile of fishable water “up top” and no one fishing it. The light gets flat early in the Basin so get up there early and fish the middle of the day. The road in is pretty bad right now so give yourself plenty of time to get up there and please drive slow, or plan on a visit to the tire store when you get home.
Little Wood River
With Idaho Fish and Games â€“ “Access Yes” â€“ program, the Flat Top Sheep Company has become open to the public and much more of the upper Little Wood is now easily accessed by daily anglers. (With “Access Yes” it is implies we will be good stewards of the land, please tread lightly.) The fish aren’t huge, but the fishery is fun as it compares to fishing a smaller volume Big Wood River. Attractor patterns with droppers are the best way to fish this little stream above Little Wood Reservoir. It is a remarkably beautiful area that sees little fly fishing pressure. Drive to Carey, turn left at the sign for the reservoir and keep driving until you see the stream and camp grounds a few miles above the reservoir.
The desert stretch below Carey and Picabo is fishing well for smaller fish as well, but always with a chance for a brute. Cool nights are putting the rattlesnakes to bed and the coming weeks should make this a nice productive fishery for those willing to explore.
South Fork of the Boise
Very low flows are making the river easily accessible to wade anglers and many of the rock gardens normally out of site during high water are exposed and make for some really cool pocket water fishing. Fall baetis rule the day down in the canyon, but not everyday. If the fish aren’t rising try Pheasant Tail Nymphs and Cased Caddis imitations in and among the rocky runs and riffles. If the fish are rising, use the same stealthy approach you would user on the Big Wood and get close to your target. Have some well tied imitations, it is probably a good idea to take your Silver Creek fly box with you if you go. Very few anglers get down there on a weekday, so take advantage of this if you can. The fish are big and taking them off the top with tiny dry flies is a great challenge and great fun!
Warm Springs, Trail Creek, North Fork of the Big Wood, Penny and Dollar Lake and Lake Creek Lake
These little waters are still fishing and are virtually deserted as well. The ponds still have plenty of stocked fish and a warm day and a bunch of kids are all that is needed to complete the circle of – trout and future trout angler- on all out little waters.
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 77% +1
Big Wood – 88%
Little Wood – 107%+1
Big Lost – 101%+1
Henry’s Fork – 89%+1