It’s mid-September, when all our waters should be in prime, perfect conditions, but I can’t recall a time when just the opposite has occurred. Most of our waters have been out of shape from the heavy rain activity and subsequent silt/ash runoff. So it’s hard to determine where our hatch activity has been, where we are now and what the next few weeks will bring. Unfortunately, the weather forecast calls for much the same by week’s end. We’re in unchartered waters. So I’ll give it my best shot:
SILVER CREEK—Still your best choice for reliability but I must add the fishing has been a bit soft. Callibeatis duns have been emerging in the floating section midday and into the afternoon but the hatch itself has not been overly strong and finding the better fish has been tough. A Parachute Partridge Callibeatis or a trimmed Thorax Callibeatis #18 will take fish. This should change for the better as we approach the end of September. That’s when the fall Blue Winged Olive (Beatis tricaudatus) and the Slate Mahogany Duns (Paralepts) begin appearing. Deadly combinations for the BWO are a Para BWO #20 and, because many of the fish prefer the nymph stage, a Mason Beatis Nymph #19-20. A Slate Mahogany Parachute or Thorax style Dun #16 should work for the Paralepts.
BIG WOOD RIVER—Has been running off color for more than a week, so it’s tough to say exactly what our hatch activity has been and what the rest be of the month will bring. This is particularly true as it pertains to possible silt/ash runoff and buildup on the stream bed. The good news is water levels have come up dramatically (192 cfs). I guess we will know soon enough what effect it will have on our fishing for the rest of the month. As a result, predicting hatches is now a crap shoot. I would still be looking for the Red Quill (T. hecuba) that should linger for a few weeks and a Mason Red Quill or a Para Hares Ear #10-12 should move fish. In addition, a Hares Ear Nymph or Green Drake Nymph #12, Para Adams #14-16, Purple Haze #14-16 and Ant patterns might be effective. It’s now all about weather and rain and that is a tough thing to predict. Let’s hope a little luck is on our side.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both are low and have been off color because of the heavy downpours. Trail Creek is the best of the two but still not great.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—The upper river is very low and a few big fish have been found, but from very reliable sources, there has been a great deal of fish killing that depletes the resource for future years. It sounds like we need to go back to the slot limit regulation of the late 80’s. The lower river has perfect water levels and great morning hatches of Trico but because of low water condition in the reservoir (wind stirs it up) and heavy rains, the water is tea colored and the fish are not looking up very well. Nymphing has been producing the best results using Prince Nymphs #12-14, Copper John’s #12-14 and Red San Juan Worms.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Should have a plentiful supply of holdover planted fish and using various baits and flies should do the job.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Because of the fires, the river below Anderson Ranch Dam is closed to fishing. The road along the river is open but access to the river is prohibited. It’s my guess that this will be the case for the rest of the season.