“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson
We have much to be grateful for in the Wood River Valley including the rivers abundant with trout and the mountains coated with snow. As we head into the holiday season, we at Silver Creek Outfitters would like to express our gratitude to you. Thanks for sharing our passion for the rivers, the trout and for fly fishing. And thanks for being our friend. We look forward to seeing you soon!
The Conservancy days are numbered. This portion of the Creek will be closing the last day of November; however, from the Fly Highway (Highway 20) bridge down through the Willows and the Point of Rocks the fishing will remain open until the end of February. The fishing has been slow with the water temps dropping into the low 40s and even the high 30s some days. If you focus on the warmest time of day, the late afternoon, the Creek will still produced a modest amount of Baetis and Midge action on the surface. However, your best action will come on nymphs and streamers. For nymphs, try a beaded or non-beaded pheasant tail, a Zebra Midge, or a WD40 in size 20 or 22. The brown spawning activity has come to an end, but the spawning beds are still vulnerable. Please watch your step and avoid walking through the redds.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is the perfect place to go after skiing or a leisurely morning brunch. The fish are in their classic winter holding water and the best fishing window is from noon ’til four in the afternoon. Once the sun leaves the water, the fishing shuts down, and it is time to head to the Pioneer for some post fishing libations. You may find the occasional surface feeder, but nymphing is the most productive. Try beaded red, black, or green Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites in size 16 and 18. Larger nymphs will also work. Try Rubber Leg Stones in size 12, Beaded Pheasant Tails in size 14, or Prince Nymphs in size 12 or 14. Remember, winter fish hold in really slow water and takes are very subtle, so don’t waste time fishing water where there are no fish!
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
With the winter flows holding steady at 300 CFS, the afternoon dry fly fishing remains strong on the South Fork. Have a good selection of midge and Baetis patterns in size 20 to 24 and fish long, light leaders down to 6 or 7X. Be sure to scan the water carefully once the tiny wings appear. There have been enough bugs that even the whitefish population is coming to the surface, and with a keen eye you will be able tell a whitefish rise from a trout. The nymphing remains productive s well with Red San Juan Worms, Rubber Leg Stones, Caddis Larva as well as small Zebra Midge and Baetis Nymphs both before and after the hatch. Also remember, it is that time of year when travel in to the South Fork’s canyon requires a 4X4 with studded snow tires and chains.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
If you are willing to dedicate a day to fishing, a trip through Craters of the Moon and up to Mackay may be just right. Now that Trail Creek Pass is closed for the winter season, the drive time to the Lower Lost is around 2 hours. It is certainly worth the effort. The flow is around 55 CFS and at this level the fish are concentrated in the deeper runs and in the riffles at the head of these runs. The key to success is stealth. While you may find some Baetis and midge hatching in the afternoons, nymphing will produce the most consistent action. Try a small beaded Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior below a dry or small foam indicator and watch for the subtle winter takes.
South Fork of the Boise