Ours is the story of two seasons. Last week was summer, hot and dry. This week, fall has arrived, cool and wet. Once the fish adjust to the abrupt change in seasons, the fishing is going to be fantastic. With the cooler water and day time highs, look for the best fishing to move to the middle of the day and into the afternoon. Also, look for the bugs of fall: Mahoganies on the Creek, Hecubas on the Wood, and Baetis everywhere.
SILVER CREEK—The crowds are gone, as are most of the bugs of summer. Some days are still producing great midday to late afternoon Callibaetis action. Watch the weather forecast over the next few weeks; cloudy, calm days will trigger fantastic Baetis hatches. These Baetis are small and you will need patterns in size 20, 22, and 24 to 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. On windy days, the hopper fishing can be outstanding.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Now that cool weather is the norm, the Wood is going to really turn on. There is no need to go early; the fishing will be best mid-morning until the sun leaves the water. 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. Red Quills (Hecuba) have been spotted in the South Valley and should make their way up river. Terrestrials have been a good bet, especially hoppers and flying ants.
WARM SPRINGS AND TRAIL CREEK—These rivers are low and provide a great alternative for those seeking a small stream experience. Fish and Game has stocked these rivers around the bridges and anywhere along the rivers and near the road.
UPPER BIG LOST RIVER—The fishing has been good for small rainbows, cutbows and cutthroats with the occasional large trout. Don’t expect huge numbers, but one or two per bucket is the norm. If the fishing is slow, keep moving, as the river does not rebound from pressure.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY—As of this report the flows are below 400 CFS for the first time all season and may continue to drop over the next few weeks. Check the Idaho River Flows website to see current flows. The cooler temperatures have moved the bug activity to the late morning and through the middle of the day. The afternoons can be fair to slow. For bugs you can expect to find a smattering of Tricos with the Baetis becoming the main player over the next few weeks.
SALMON RIVER—The river is perfect for wade fishing as flows have really come down. Plan on hole hopping around and cherry-pick the best runs. Standard attractors and nymphs work well.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—The flows are up again and fishing from a drift boat remains the best option. The bug activity has been slow to get going with a smattering of Flavs and Pink Alberts hatching in the early afternoon. 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. Euro Nymping the shallower riffles has been very effective on whitefish and trout.
LOCAL PONDS—Gavers Lagoon, Penny and Lake Creek ponds have been stocked and would make a great location for a family fishing picnic.