Fishing on area waters remains excellent. The cooler temps will put fish on the move and have them feeding in earnest in preparation for fall spawning and the harsher conditions of winter. Now is the time to hunt trophy trout — big browns on Silver Creek, 20-inch cutthroat on the upper Big Lost River, and robust rainbows on the Big Wood River are all prime targets right now!
On Silver Creek, late-morning activity will center on small Baetis (Blue-Winged Olives). Have long, light leaders and a variety of emergers, duns, and spinners on hand. The Callibaetis will start to wane with the cooler weather, but we’ll see the Mahogany Dun and October Caddis in stronger numbers. Both of these bugs prefer the cooler weather of fall, and appear during the most pleasant part of the day — late-morning to mid-afternoon. Hoppers, beetles and ants will still produce on the Creek; don’t put these bugs away until we get a couple good, hard freezes.
The Big Wood during autumn sees one of our favorite hatches — the Western Red Quill (Hecuba). Large Parachute Adams, Parachute Hare’s Ears, H&L Variants, Ausable Wulffs, and Purple Hazes (all in size 10–12) will fool plenty of fish once this bug appears. Your favorite green drake and brown drake patterns will work as well!
The upper Big Lost River system is a great option right now. No need to get there early; hit the river at mid-afternoon and fish your favorite hopper and Western Red Quill patterns. For the lower Lost, keep an eye out for Baetis and Tricos. The nymphing will be very good on this water throughout the fall as flows drop. The river is currently at 500 CFS; a bit lower and the wading will be consistent.
The Salmon River continues to fish well for both floating and wading anglers. Again, the way to go is with hopper/droppers, small attractor dries, and streamers.
Remember that now is when streamers really shine! The Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow is a great all-around streamer for our waters.
Happy fishing, everyone!