It's hard to believe Labor Day weekend is here and Wagon Days is about to start. The great news is we're now entering into the finest month of fishing. It's like fruit on the trees where everything has finally turned ripe. Water conditions are near perfect, hatches are significant and easy to fish, and trout size can be the best we see all year. What more could an angler want? Fishing has been very strong on most water systems but a little inconsistent on a few because of a transitional period in hatches. Let's have a look at what you should find over Labor Day.
SILVER CREEK—A tad inconsistent mainly because of the transitional period of old and new hatches. For the most part, Trico is gone for the year. Depending on where you are located on the stream (and the location seems very specific), the Beatis spinner can and will be significant for few weeks to come, in the late morning hours. Not only a Mason Quill Beatis Spinners #22 but a little PMD Parachute #22-24 is also taking fish. Until recently, Callibeatis has been somewhat elusive but has now come into its own. Heavy in the lower pond and lower half of the upper pond of the floating section, the hatch can be concentrated near and around floating weed beds. This is where you need to position yourself. A Thorax Speckled Dun #18 and a Para Speckled Dun should do the job. A Crippled Callibeatis #18 is also a good bet. This hatch should last well into September.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood has been fishing very well. Trico has been very heavy in the morning throughout the system and Upright Black/White Parachute #20-22 are readily taking fish. Even a size 18 will work in pinch. Midday, fishing has also been strong for medium sized fish using Para Adams #16 and Cahill Type Parachutes #16 as well as Copper Johns #16 and Flashback Pheasant Tails #16, fished wet. In the late afternoon, Beatis begins to hatch and things start to get interesting. The fish tend to drop down in tails of runs to feed so before you cast, a little observation is first needed. Look for oversized rocks and slight depressions but in general, the fish can be anywhere. The fish are tough and a Para Lt. Olive #20-22 will take fish and an Olive or Brown Un-weighted Nymph #20 to risers, is also effective at times. Been looking for the Red Quill (T. Hecuba) but it has remained very elusive. The hatch can be cyclical from year to year but with minor runoff this spring, it should be good this year. Look for it mid to late afternoon. A Mason Red Quill and Cripple #10-12 and Para Hares Ear #10-12 have worked well and in past years, a Gray Wulff #12 has done the job in a pinch.
BIG LOST—If there has been a "Talk of the Town," it has been the Upper Big Lost, in other words the North and East Fork. I've also been told that Wildhorse has been great. Fish & Game has made a concentrated effort to establish the Cutthroat and so far, it has been a success. All are fishing very well and standard patterns #12-16 are all you need. As luck would have it, the minute I mention that the lower river would probably remain higher than normal, the irrigation boys dropped levels to 350 cfs (I think they love messing with me). Fishing should be great with dry flies (Trico) coming into play. Prince Nymphs #10-12 and Copper Johns #12-14 are always the flies of choice.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Water is low but fishing is just fine for smaller fish and planters. Standard patterns and nymphs should work well.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER'S LAGOON (Hayspur Fish Hatchery)—All have been planted for the last time this year so there should be plenty of fish. Gavers at Hayspur Hatchery will receive the last of larger leftovers. Flies and bait are both effective.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE RIVER—Still high at 1000 cfs and tough wading. Should see a drop this week??? Look for Pink Albert's #16 midday. Always will have Caddis.