Labor Day weekend has arrived and I wonder where summer has gone. To say this fishing season has been interesting would be an understatement. Fishing has been very good in selected waters. But because things are a-changing, predicting what will happen in the next couple weeks is problematic to say least. Hatches will be changing. Unless we get some clear water to fish on some of our important waters, all will be irrelevant. Let’s jump in and take you through the middle of September. Have a great Labor Day weekend and wonderful fishing in the next couple of weeks.
SILVER CREEK—Although it’s being fished hard because of unsavory conditions on the Wood, fishing has been strong. As some of the best hatches of the year begin to appear, it could be even better. Trico is pretty much gone and the summer Beatis is dwindling but from this point forward, the emergence of Callibeatis duns (not spinners) midday will be our main target. This comes with a few concerns since they are found primarily in the floating/pond sections of the Creek. Because of the massive restoration these areas have received, the kinds of hatches we’ll get may be somewhat tenuous. Much stronger as we move into September, the emerging Callibeatis duns are also smaller in size than normally seen. Partridge Thorax Callibeatis #18-20, Parachute Callibeatis #18-20 and a Crippled Callibeatis #18 should get the job done. Callibeatis Nymphs #16 can be effective as well, if needed. Hopper fishing is a strong option. This should carry you through until the fall Beatis and Paralepts show in late September.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood is anybody’s guess. I’ve stopped predicting when and if it will clear up to fish. North of Ketchum, water clarity is much better but fishing success has been sketchy. My greatest concern is that Red Quill (T. hecuba), which in my opinion is the best hatch the Wood offers, does appear but goes through untouched due to muddy waters. In a perfect world, Mason Red Quill #10-12, Mason Red Quill Cripple #10-12, Parachute Hare’s Ear #10-12 and Green Drake Nymph #10 can all be very effective. The hatch does appear north of Ketchum by mid-September, and that could be our salvation. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—The upper rivers (North/East Forks) have been marginal. Yet it could be a real sneaker if there are plans to do some fish planting in these sections over Labor Day weekend. The lower river around Mackay is beginning to slow because the Tricos are dwindling. But because the river is remarkably flowing at winter flow rates (103 cfs), decent surface fishing can be found. Use Para Adams #16 and Cranefly imitations. Things won’t change until the fall Beatis arrive in late September into October. Prince Nymphs #10-14 and Copper Johns #12-14 are solid bets.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Warm Springs is still a “no-go”. Trail Creek is very low and has been fished hard because of adverse conditions elsewhere. Fish are getting scarce and spooky but can still be found using Para Adams #16 and Small Prince Nymphs #14-16.
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Will probably be heavily supplemented with fish for the holiday weekend. Therefore, fishing should be excellent using both flies and various baits.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Still flowing at 2400 cfs making fishing conditions marginal at best. Even if and when the water levels drop to fishable winter conditions, I can’t help but wonder what we’ll find. It’s my guess it will take the rest of the year for the South Fork to begin recovering to the South Fork we know and love.