Now that we've reached the down slope of the fishing season, two things are clear. We've had abnormal water levels and conditions, as everyone knows. And the reliability of our insect hatches has been abnormal as well. Hatches that should be gone by now are suddenly showing up at strange times. Hatches that should be presently strong are either not showing or are very weak. Yet fishing has been quite good. In general and as we get deeper into September, the best of our fishing will shift into the afternoon hours or the warmer times of the day.
SILVER CREEK—Because hatches have been so-so, fishing has been sometimes good but difficult. Callibeatis duns seen in the floating section hasn't reached its full stride in the afternoon. My hope is that it will this week. Partridge Parachutes and a Thorax Partridge Dun #18-20 (it gets smaller as the month progresses) should do the job. Partridge Spinners #16-18 should also be carried if the Callibeatis spinners get on the water. Trico (normally gone by now) was briefly seen last week but I wouldn't count on it for the weeks to come. For my money, the best activity the creek has to offer is yet to come. As we close in on the end of the month and into October, our fall Beatis or Blue Winged Olives (B. tricaudatus) will appear and both a Para BWO #20 and a Mason Beatis Nymph #18 (many fish prefer the nymph stage) will be effective. Mahogany Duns or "Paralept's " (Paraleptophelbia) will also begin to show and a Thorax or a Para Mahogany Dun #16 will easily take fish.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Fishing has been quite good despite the lack of insect activity. As of yet, the Red Quill (T. hecuba) has not appeared, but given the oddball year we are having, I still have hope. Good fish have been taken on Green Drake Nymphs #10-12 which is similar in appearance to hecuba. But it's tough to make the correlation between this and a possible emergence yet to come. My fingers are crossed. Regardless, many fish are taken on the surface with Para Adams #16-18 and underneath with Zebra Nymphs #16, Zebra and regular Copper John's #12-14, Flashback Hares Ear #12 and Prince Nymphs #12-14. Until it gets cold, throwing Hopper patterns #12-14 will get good results.
BIG LOST—For most of this year, the upper river (Copper Basin) has been inconsistent at best. Success seems to be centered on whether it's been planted or not. Hoping the East Fork will reinvent itself to the days in the 1970s and mid-'80s just may be are a fading memory but I'm still hopeful. Regardless, fish are being taken with standard drys and nymphs. It's just that each day will find different results. The river below the reservoir (the reservoir itself is still nearly full) is at wonderful levels and fishing quite well. Trico is still present in the mornings but should be waning. As a result, nymphing will see the greatest results using a variety of patterns including Prince Nymphs #10-12, Copper Johns #12-16 and Zebra Midge #16. Although it is squarely and a far better October hatch, I would also be looking for the fall Blue Winged Olives at the very end of the month as well.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK/PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER'S LAGOON—All have been heavily planted through the month and are fishing nicely. The streams are low and standard patterns such as Para Adams #16 and B.H. Prince Nymph #14 is about all you will need. Bait is effective in the small lakes for the non-fly fishermen.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Expecting it to drop to its winter levels of 300 cfs, it's still at 600 cfs with fishing success very strong throughout its reach. I do love this time of year where Hoppers are very successful but more importantly, where the mid-afternoon hatch of Pink Albert's (E. albertae) can be over the top.