Labor Day weekend is here! Maybe because I’m getting older and time flies at a faster rate, but wasn’t the Fourth of July a couple of weeks ago? Fortunately our fishing has been and should continue to be very good through our last holiday weekend, although hatches have been a little inconsistent on one of our waters. We are in a transition period with hatches but because of what will or should be coming, it’s the best time of year to be casting a fly on our waters. Let’s just hope Mother Nature cooperates.
SILVER CREEK—Hatches have been inconsistent, typical for this time of year. Trico is still around but barely. Quantity and duration are always in doubt. Regardless, a Dave’s Trico Spinner#22 and a Cut-Wing Trico Spinner should be carried if you’re going down in the morning. I wouldn’t worry about it after this week. Like a bad penny that keeps showing up, Beatis spinners will be seen and a Mason Quill Beatis Spinner #22 does the job nicely. From this time forward, I would now be seriously looking for Callibeatis duns in the midafternoons in both the upper and lower pond areas. A Speckled Partridge Parachute #18, Slate/Gray No Hackle #18 and a Crippled Callibeatis #18 work very well. Even a Callibeatis Nymph #16-18 (slightly moved or stripped) can be effective. Hopper fishing in the lower reaches of the creek has also been very exciting and a good foam bodied/rubber-leg imitation #8-12 is very deadly. Weather permitting, I expect hoppers to be around most of September so have at them. Callibeatis spinners are seen in the early evening but are also inconsistent as to whether it gets on water.
BIG WOOD RIVER—With a smorgasbord of hatch activity going on, the Wood has been terrific. Trico is seen in the morning but isn’t as consistent as I would like to see (wind). But if things are right, Para Adams #20 or Para Trico Dun #20 should do the trick. Beatis is still our main player in the afternoon. A Para Adams #18, Para Hares Ear #18 and a Para Purple Haze seem to all work well. Size 16s are definitely getting refused, much to my displeasure. If that weren’t enough, I saw some Pink duns (H. elegantula) and a reasonable amount of Little Red Quills (R. hageni) on the water, which is very late. Para Pink Albert #16 and a Para Red Quill #16 worked well.
The real story and what I’m now intently looking for the most is the appearance of the big Red Quill (T. Hecuba). Each year, with fingers and toes crossed, I hope for the best, for if this bug appears, some of the largest trout on the Wood can be hooked. With them not seen as yet nor much in the way of nymphs, I will now always have in my box, a Mason Red Quill #10-12, a Mason Red Quill Cripple #10-12 and Para Hares Ear #10-12, if the bug is seen in the afternoon. I will also be armed with some Red Quill Nymphs #10 (Green Drake Nymphs will work) and a Flashback Hares Ear Nymph #10, just in case it is needed. Hoppers have continued to be inconsistent with the fish rather indifferent to imitations.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Not much change on either. Both are low and producing nicely. They will be planted for Labor Day. Standard fly patterns do the job nicely.
BIG LOST—Like last week, not much in the way of hatches in the upper main and Basin area but then again, not much is needed for success. Para Adams #14-16, Pink Albert’s #14, Henry’ Fork Hoppers #10-12 and even a trusty old Royal Wulff #14-16 are taking fish. The lower Lost is low, wadable and fishing very well. Depending on your location and areas within the stream, Trico has been sensational. Para Adams #18-20, Trico Para Dun #18-20 and a Dave’s Trico Spinner #20 will take fish in the morning. If you’re looking for Brutus, Prince Nymphs #10, Copper Johns #12, and a Flashback Hares Ear Nymph #10 will be needed. Hey, I don’t make up the rules.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK—Both will be heavily planted for the weekend and flies and bait should be effective. They are great places for kids.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Wouldn’t you know it? As I wrote and before last week’s column appeared, they dropped the damn water on me. Such is the life of a fishing column writer. Now at its winter flow levels, everything is wadable (if it ever really is) and the fishing should be great. My tactics remain the same. Look for Pink Alberts (E. albertea) in the afternoon and Hopper patterns all day long. I would be on the lookout for Beatis and the early fall Caddis, too.