October fly fishing in the Sun Valley area is fantastic. Over the next few weeks, anglers can expect to see sun, rain and maybe even some snow. To find good fishing, watch the weather and then match your tactics and timing to the conditions. Most mornings you should be able to relax and have a leisurely breakfast before hitting the water, allowing the air and water temps to rise. On the calm sunny days, be ready to use small flies, long leaders, fine tippet, and exercise stealth. While on the blustery, cloudy days, be ready to toss big bugs or get down with streamers and nymphs.
SILVER CREEK—Despite the low flows, the Creek continues to fish well. You will find mostly baetis hatching with a few mahogany duns, October caddis and midge. The surface feeding window is short, from mid to late afternoon until the sun and temperatures drop. And it can be sporadic to prolific depending on the day and where you are on the Creek. If the wind blows, the rules change; get out your terrestrials and shorten your leader to nine feet and 4x. Nymphs and streamers can also be very effective this time of year. If you find browns in spawn mode (on redds), please leave them alone and always watch your step around the beds.
BIG WOOD RIVER—If you seek spectacular fall fishing, the Wood is a great choice. It is postcard perfect right now with the cottonwoods in full fall colors. The bugs have been active from about noon until 3 p.m. Look for fish in the tail-outs, the seams along the edges of the fast water and in the slower dancing water. Spend the prime hours searching for risers with a long leader and a small Baetis pattern or cover the water with a Hecuba dropper or hopper dropper rig.
LOWER BIG LOST RIVER—The river is low and cold. Bugs are far and few between, but there are enough to keep the fish active. If you go, go in the afternoon, and cover a lot of water. This is a great option for spectacular scenery and guaranteed solitude.
UPPER BIG LOST RIVER—The flows have dropped to 50 cubic feet per second. It would be best to find another place to fish at these levels.
SALMON RIVER—Despite the bone-chilling low temperatures in the morning and the low water levels, the Salmon River continues to offer consistent whitefish and trout fishing. This time of year, large nymphs will result in the highest catch rates as fish store up calories before the oncoming cold winter. Find a pullout and have fun.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Wading is your best option now that the flows are steady at around 300 cubic feet per second. This time of year, baetis and midge are the main players during the comfortable times of the day. You will still see caddis, crane flies, and some flavs. Nymphing is also going to be productive.
LOCAL PONDS—The local ponds have been stocked for the last time and are ready for a family picnic and some fishing.