The Salmon River
Steelhead fishing has been improving, and fish are being caught all the way up river above Salmon. No doubt some fish have arrived up to Challis, and fall temperatures have been excellent for fishing. Last week, twenty-five anglers were interviewed between Lemhi and Pahsimeroi with ten fish being caught, making it six hours per fish caught. That is a very good catch rate.
Nothing can beat a classic Green Butt Skunk, either dead drifted or since steelhead are more aggressive in the fall, stripped through likely looking holes.
This is the best time to throw Blue Fox spinners, or Steelee’s as the fall fish like to chase lures.
If you are going for trout on the Salmon your best bet is with beadhead nymphs and streamers. Try drifting Prince nymphs, Copper Johns, and Stonefly patterns towards the bottom of the riffles and along the seams, or swinging Matukas, Muddlers, G’s Catchem-alls, S-3 Sculpins and Hat Tricks in olive, brown or white.
There have been some October Caddis still being seen, but smaller bug imitations are the go-to fly right now. Griffith’s Gnats, small Adams and Baetis patterns for the surface, with Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns or Prince nymphs for getting down to those big ones lurking near the bottom.
Bay Horse, Jimmy Smith and Mosquito Flat Lakes
These lakes are all still accessible and reports have been good. Brown or Black Woolly Buggers and Leech Patterns are excellent fly choices while trolling spinners and bait has been very good at Mosquito Flats.
Big Lost Tailwater
Flows are around 57 cfs so fishing is going to be tough with spooky fish. Small patterns are the call. Baetis patterns in sizes 20-22. Bead Head Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs 14-18, Copper Johns 18-20, Zebra Midges and Brassies in sizes 18-22. Very light tippet and a very small nymph drifted through the slow water might just entice one of those big Big Lost trout.
Upper Big Lost-Copper Basin
Moving from hole to hole until you find the fish will be required. Small patterns in Beadhead Pheasant Tails, Zebra Midges and Copper Johns. Griffiths Gnats and other midge patterns for topwater.