“To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish.”- Herbert Hoover
Thirty-one is spot on. In the Wood River Valley the air is pure and the water is clear again. Our September trout don’t care what rod you use, how much money you have, or what degrees you have earned; they will humble all. But, if you can present your fly correctly, you will be rewarded. For this reason, fly fishing is the most democratic activity. Along with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and happiness, add the pursuit of trout with a fly to your personal declaration and make this the best season ever.
The Tricos are mostly done, but there is still good late morning action on Baetis. The real show on the Creek has moved to the middle and early afternoon when there have been some spectacular Callibaetis emergences and spinners falls. Have a good selection of Callibaetis patterns in multiple stages of this insects life: nymphs, emergers, cripples, duns, and spinners. This time of year, the Callibaetis are smaller than their early summer relatives and patterns in size 16 and 18 are best. Remember, this hatch can withstand a good stiff breeze and is best in the pond and slough areas of the Creek. Hoppers have also been very good when there is some wind chop on the water and trailing a Baetis or Callibaetis nymph off the hopper can produce as well.
Just in time for fall fishing, the Wood is back! It is still a bit of color and by the end of the week it should be completely clear. There is a lot of new silt in the deposition zones. We will have to wait until next year’s run off for this to be cleared out. Be careful while wading as the silt is slippery and, in places, deep. I recommend investing in a wading staff to use while getting in and out and a round the Wood. With the cool mornings, expect to see a few Tricos early and then a good number of Fall Baetis throughout the rest of the day. These fish have been really responding well to Hoppers as well and bright droppers, like size 16 Zebra Midge in Red, Rainbow Warriors, and Bishop’s Dynamite in larger sizes also seem to be working. It won’t be long until we start seeing the last large mayfly of the season…the Hecuba.
UPPER WOOD, TRAIL CREEK, NORTH FORK
I rediscovered these little local gems while the Middle and Lower Wood was blown out. They really can be great fun. I highly recommend picking up a Tenkara USA Rhodo and go discover what this rod was designed for. You will find plenty of stocked fish as well as quality wild fish. For flies. try hoppers, black ants, Caddis, and small droppers like Zebra Midge or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 18. The fishing is best late morning into the afternoon.
THE BIG LOST ABOVE MACKAY
For some unknown reason the flows have been all over the map the last two weeks. Currently they are back up to 150 CFS. They had gone as low as 77 CFS just a week ago. No matter the flows, this river continues to be a fantastic option for anglers looking for good morning hatch activity, especially on cloudy days. Tricos are still present but waning and the Baetis have been good. The fish have been pressured of late and are getting wise. Take your “A” game: long leaders, fine tippet, and diminutive flies. Be very precise with your presentation and drift and you will be rewarded. Dry dropper rigs will produce fish as well. For nymphs try very small (22-24) Zebra Midge in red and olive as well as Baetis nymphs, like the Iron Lotus or Eagan’s Frenchie. The fishing seems to really slow down once the hatch activity stops in the early to late afternoon.
THE UPPER LOST
Fishing is slow in he mornings, but the midday terrestrial fishing has been very good. Try a hopper or a good sized ant pattern trailed by a size 18 Zebra Midge, Eagan’s Frenchie, or Bishop’s Dynamite. There have been a few Tricos in the morning overlapping with some Baetis, but unless you find fish keying on these insects it is still best to toss the searching patterns and cover a lot of water. As always, find water that has not been pressured and stay mobile until you find fish. This is a beautiful time of year to be on the upper Lost.
The Salmon and its tributaries are clear and fishing well. With this influx of water, our guides are still drift boat fishing the 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 have dropped back to around 1,700 CFS and floating is now a reasonable option, especially in the upper reaches. Early reports have been poor, but the river and fish should stabilize over the next week and fishing should improve. Expect to see some Pink Alberts and Baetis between 11 am and 1 pm. Nymphing will be most productive with Stoneflies, San Juan Worms, and caddis larva along with small midge and Baetis patterns. If all else fails, try swinging streamers for large bull trout.
These are a good option if you are looking for a place to introduce someone to fly fishing or a place to catch supper. All these local fishing holes (Penny, Lake Creek and Gaver Lagoon) have 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