Although fishing has been a wee bit scattered on a day-to-day basis, the first half of September has been very productive and generally rewarding. Shortly after my last report, all our important rivers became clear enough to fish and the fish themselves responded quite favorably. The question that remains unanswered is how stream alterations and muddy conditions have impacted the great fall hatches we normally see. I think the future looks good but currently, your guess is as good as mine in predicting just exactly what we will find. I can only use past historical data and hope for the best.
SILVER CREEK—Scattered day-to-day. Callibeatis occurs in the newly restructured section of the stream, so its emergence was very inconsistent and should be finished for the year. Moving through September and into October, our concentration will shift to some of the best hatches, namely, the fall Blue Winged Olives (Beatis tricaudatus) and “Paralep’s” (Paraleptophlebia) or the Slate Mahogany Duns, all seen in the afternoon. Para BWO #20 works well but many of the fish prefer and key on the nymph stage just under the surface. Mason Beatis Nymph #18 and a Pheasant Tail Nymph #18-20 can be deadly. A Thorax or Parachute Slate Mahogany #16 should do the trick for the Paralep’s. Although it is much stronger in October, the Brown Trout will be getting romantic notions and the classic courtship rituals will begin so be on the alert on both the Creek and lower Wood.
BIG WOOD RIVER—The Wood finally cleared early in the month, fishing has been very active. Unfortunately, finding the big fish typical for this time of year has been more of a chore but fish in the 8-12 inch range has been very abundant. Because of the mud situation, hatches will be anybody's guess. I have seen a few Beatis on the water and an even more disappointingly few of the Red Quill (T. hecuba) flying about but regardless a Mason Red Quill #12, Red Quill Cripple #10-12, Para Adams #14 and a Para Hares Ear #12-12 moved all the fish I wanted. As the month moves forward, a Green Drake Nymph #12, Prince Nymph #12-14 and Flashback Pheasant Tails should also be very effective.
BIG LOST RIVER DRAINAGE—The upper river sections are very low. But because of the almost winter flow rates seen for most of the summer below the Mackay Reservoir, the fishing has been and still is, as good as it gets. Some Trico is still being seen, but I don't think it will last much longer. By the end of the month and into October (much stronger), the same fall BWO’s (see Silver Creek) will be the next great hatch on the river. Para Adams #14-18 will move fish but if you are looking for some real bruisers, Prince Nymph#10-12 and San Juan Worms will get the job done. Be careful, though, I’ve hooked fish I've never seen or could turn.
WARM SPRINGS/TRAIL CREEK—Both are now clear but very low. A few fish can be found using a Para Adams #16 and a Bead Head Prince Nymph #14-16 but the way the Wood is fishing, why bother?
PENNY LAKE/LAKE CREEK/GAVER’S LAGOON (HAYSPUR)—Expect will holdover planted fish. Various baits and flies should snag a few.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE—Now at fall flow rates (600 cfs). Reports on fishing have been marginal at best. As I thought, raising the flows to 2400 cfs had little effect on clearing the river. Of more concern to the “Regulars,” the hatch situation has not been good and it will probably be into next year until we really know where we stand. My fingers will remain crossed.