The Essence of Sun Valley.

Fly Fishing Forecast Feb 4th – 17th

“I will never tire of what fishing gives me. It puts me in touch with another of nature’s species, in beautiful surroundings that are old as time. This is where I want to be; that is how I am renewed.” ~ Joan Wulff

If it is time to renew yourself in a different, beautiful surrounding, then wading expansive saltwater flats while taking shots at schools of bonefish may be just the remedy. Of course, large, rogue bones may occasionally come within range and a chance at a permit is always a possibility. If this is where you want to be, then mark April 16 – 23 on your calendar. There are just two spots left on Silver Creek Guide Mike Bordenkircher’s hosted trip to Rickmon Bonefish Lodge on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Rickmon Lodge is an easy flight from Florida and Mike has secured the best local guides. Email Mike for more information or visit the Rickmon Lodge website.

SILVER CREEK
The Nature Conservancy is closed this time of year, but the fishing below the Highway 20 bridge will remain open until the end of February. With the colder temperatures of late, this would not be my first choice of places to fish. There is a lot of ice on the edges of the Creek and it is difficult to effectively fish the open areas. It would be wise to let the ice dissipate before attempting to fish here. The better activity down here right now might be snowshoeing or Nordic skiing.

THE BIG WOOD
For those not heading to the Bahamas, the Wood is your best bet if you want to ski and fish in the same day. Catch the 9 AM chair and carve up the fresh groomed corduroy or packed powder, and then trade your skis or board and boots for waders and rod. With the longer days, the afternoon fishing is best until the sun leaves the water. Technique wise, be prepared to fish with deep nymphs, dry droppers, or just straight drys. When fishing deep, I like to fish a double rig with something ugly like a rubber leg stone followed by a smaller nymph like a Zebra Midge. When fishing shallow riffles and slow seams to fish that are actively feeding, I like to use a high-vis parachute pattern with a tiny Bishop’s Dynamite, a Rainbow Warrior, or aZebra Midge trailing at the appropriate depth. If you go head hunting, be sure to have light tippet in 6 or 6.5x and some Trailing Shuck Midge or Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22. Remember, with the cooler temps of late, the best places to find open water is from the Warm Springs confluence down to the East Fork Bridge.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
This fishery continues to produce and should get even better as we head into the next two months before it closes the end of March. The whitefish will keep your rod bent; an occasional monster trout makes the day. As a general rule of thumb, plan on nymphing, with the chance of finding some surface feeders once the sun has warmed the water enough to get the midge and Baetis active. While nymphing use a combo rig of a large Rubber Legged Stone, Caddis, or San Juan Worm followed by a small Zebra Midge or Pheasant Tail in size 18 to 22. For dries, Trailing Shuck Midge and Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22 as well as a few BWO duns and emergers in size 20 to 24 should be sufficient.

BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have dropped a bit to 88 CFS. With the lower flows, the fish are concentrated in the deeper buckets, so be stealthy and use long, light leaders and tippets for the best results. In the afternoon, midge are hatching along with a smattering of BWO. For nymphs, bring a good assortment of Zebra Midge, Brassies, and other attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22 and fish dry dropper style through the shallows and slow buckets. Euro nymphing the deeper runs can also be effective. For dries, be sure to have Trailing Shuck Midge and Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22 as well as a few BWO duns and emergers in size 20 to 24.

 

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

South Fork of the Boise

ICE cfs

88 cfs

100 cfs

310 cfs

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Fly Fishing Forecast Jan 21-Feb 3

“If a little madness be a necessary requisite to obtain the ultimate in the pleasure of angling– then O Lord, give me insanity!” ~ John Alden Knight

Winter fly fishing is not as crazy as it sounds. It should be on your short list of winter activities while visiting the Wood River Valley along with skiing on Baldy, snow shoeing around Galena, ice skating at the Lodge, and sleigh riding to Trail Creek Cabin. In fact, you would be crazy not to fish the Wood while it is all tricked out in its winter splendor.

SILVER CREEK
The Nature Conservancy stretch of Silver Creek to the Highway bridge is closed but will reopen the last weekend in May; however, the Willows and the Point of Rocks stretch of the Creek will remain open until the end of February. The Creek is relatively ice free and fishing deep and slow with buggers and nymphs can be productive. You may also find some fish up feeding on midge in the afternoon. A brassie fished just in the surface film on a long leader to 6X is a good tactic to fool these technical trout.

THE BIG WOOD
Winter fishing on the Wood is spectacular! The snow is deep along the banks and access can be tricky, but once in the water it is easy to move about. The Winter Midge continue to gain momentum, and should get stronger as we head into February. This time of year, the trout begin to feed voraciously as they fatten up for the spring spawn. Focus your fishing efforts below the Warm Springs confluence to just below the Catch and Release Bridge south of town. Look for classic winter holding water during the afternoon hours and you are sure to find fish feeding on all stages of Winter Midge. Your fly selection can be very simple this time of year. For dries, have a selection of trailing shuck midge, Griffiths Gnats, and high vis parachute midge patterns in size 18- 24. For nymphs, try Rubber Leg Stones, King Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Egan’s Frenchy, the Red Dart, or the Iron Lotus. If no surface activity can be found, be prepared to fish dry dropper, Euro style, or with an indicator.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The road in and out can be tricky this time of year. The canyon rim has received a rain snow mix all week. Be prepared for slick conditions, and always go with a 4×4 and a set of chains. As for the fishing, the window is short down in the canyon, but you can expect
your typical winter fare of midge and a smattering of BWO. As the days get longer in February and March this fishery really gets good again.

BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are holding steady at 100 CFS and should remain at this level into March. During the warmest part of the day, good numbers of midge are hatching along with some BWO. For flies, bring a good assortment of Zebra Midge, Brassies, and other attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22 and fish dry dropper style through the shallows and slow buckets. Euro nymphing the deeper runs can also be effective. Keep in mind the water is low and clear, so approach the water with care and use long, light leaders and tippets for the best results.

 

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

South Fork of the Boise

ICE cfs

84 cfs

90 cfs

330 cfs

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Fly Fishing Forecast January 6th – 20th

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~ Albert Einstein

Any fool can tell you that one of the wonders of fly fishing is that there is always more to know and understand. January 9th and 10th, the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo in Boise is a great opportunity to build on your fishing understanding. There will be a diverse range of information to absorb from stillwater mastery with Phil Rowley to Tenkara simplicity with Craig Mathews. Also our own guide and captain of Fly Fishing Team USA, Bret Bishop, will be sharing lessons learned at the last World Championships and how they apply to local waters. If you go, please stop by the Silver Creek Outfitters booth as well and say hello to Greg Loomis and Bryan Huskey. We look forward to seeing you there!

SILVER CREEK
The Nature Conservancy is closed this time of year, but the fishing below the Highway
20 bridge will remain open until the end of February. With the relatively warmer temperatures of late, the ice on the edges of the Creek should clear. The long slow runs are ideal for swing a black or olive leech pattern or slow drift nymphs through the deeper buckets. You might even see some fish surface feeding on midge.

THE BIG WOOD
There is a good amount of snow along the banks of the Wood, but the water remains relatively ice free from just north of Ketchum down to the East Fork Bridge. The trouble remains finding a good parking place followed by walking down to the water through the deep snow. However, anglers willing to put in the effort can find water that has not been pressured, especially now that the holidays have passed. As always, the best fishing window is from noon till 3 PM. Some winter midge are already active, but it is mostly a nymphing scenario this time of year. I like small flies like beaded red, black, or green Zebra Midge in size 16-22, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites in size 16 and 18. Surprisingly, large 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. Focus your efforts on the slow deep water and generally were you find one fish there will be many others.

SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The flows remain at just over 300 CFS. This time of year, the canyon is quite cold, and frankly, January can be a bit slow on the South Fork. February and March, however, can be some of the best fishing of the winter season as the sun hangs a little longer in the sky. Nevertheless, there is still some great fishing potential while the sun is on the water. As always, when traveling into the canyon take a four wheel drive vehicle with studded snow tires and chains and check the weather. While fishing, look for the deep, slow runs to find the best activity and have a variety of beaded and non-beaded midge patterns as well as caddis larva, stoneflies, and San Juan Worms. A persistent angler may even find some fish feeding on the surface during the prime fishing window.

BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
It takes a little over two hours to make the trek from Ketchum to Mackay, by way of Craters of the Moon and Arco…but the scenery and the fishing can be spectacular. Fish this like the Wood, with small midge patterns and even some Baetis on snowy, cloudy days. Try small Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamites and Zebra Midge and a small indicator in the shallow water or a double nymph rig in the deeper runs. With flows holding steady at 77 CFS, the fish will be concentrated. Sometimes these tailwater fish can be selective and often dropping down tippet size can make all the difference. Try 6.5 or 7 X Trouthunter fluorocarbon tippet to fool these weary trout.

 

Big Wood

Big Lost

Silver Creek

South Fork of the Boise

147 cfs

77 cfs

102 cfs

310 cfs

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