There are few things finer than spending the week leading up to the Autumnal Equinox fly fishing the rivers and spring creeks of the Sun Valley Region. There are patches of brilliant gold and crimson leaves dotting the landscape as water temperatures range from the high-40s to the mid-50s. These cooler water temps have triggered the leaves to turn and bugs of fall to hatch; trout and anglers love it. The next several weeks can be some of the best of the season.
SILVER CREEK—If you are heading down to the Creek be prepared for a variety of situations. On the unseasonably warm days, you may still find a few tricos mixed with some baetis. This hatch may be strong enough to get fish feeding intermittently on the surface and provide targets for the angler. On the cloudy days forecasted towards the end of the week, expect the Baetis in size 22 and 24 to be the dominant hatch. These hatches are generally strong enough in short bursts to get most fish involved on the surface. Of course, callibaetis (size 16 and 18) are still going to be a factor throughout the day in the pond and sloughs over the next few weeks. And finally, Mahogany Duns (size 16) and October caddis (size 12) should gain momentum as we head into the second half of September.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood is low and the water is cool. As a result there is no need to start fishing too early in the day. On any given day you will find a nice mix of bugs, including small caddis, baetis, flying ants, crane flies and red quills. The fish are nicely spread out in and around the deeper holding water, feeding voraciously. Approach with caution and observe the water before making your first cast, and you are sure to find fish holding in a variety of water types.
LOWER BIG LOST RIVER—The flows are still holding at 116 cubic feet per second. The cool weather has moved the bug activity to the late morning and through the middle of the day. Expect to see a few tricos, midge and a slew of baetis, especially on the cool, cloudy days. When the bugs are gone, be prepared to nymph. This is a good time to sight fish for the larger fish; however, they have become very selective and get spooked easily. Use light tippet, small flies and stealth, and you may be able to fool a few.
UPPER BIG LOST RIVER—With the lower than average flows, the best place to focus your fishing attention is on the main stem of the Upper Lost from the North Fork confluence on down. You can expect there to be maybe one or two good fish per bucket as well as a good number of whitefish. Like all our mountain rivers, fishing is best from the middle of the day into the late afternoon.
SALMON RIVER—The Salmon is gorgeous this time of year and the fishing remains solid, especially in the afternoon. Find a pull out somewhere between Stanley and Challis and you will find a mixed bag of trout and whitefish using a variety of techniques. The water is very low, so focus on the water deep enough to take on a green hue.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—The flows remain at 700 Cubic feet per second but should drop even more very soon. Expect to see pinks, PMDs, baetis and flavs in the afternoons. Also, craneflies will be seen skittering about along with a few caddis. If you find no bugs about, you might try a hopper as well. Nymphing is also going to be productive with the usual suspects.
LOCAL PONDS—The local ponds have been stocked for the last time and are ready for a family picnic and some fishing.