The first half of December is a great time to visit our Valley. The crowds are still a few weeks away and the early season storms have blessed the top of Baldy with great natural snow. Even better, the forecast calls for more snow in the coming weeks. The mild weather we have experienced to date has made for great early winter fishing on our local rivers allowing easy access to all your favorite spots due to the lack of snow pack on the valley floor. Really we have the best of both worlds. It is hard to imagine a better way to spend a day than carving turns on Baldy and then chasing trout on the Wood. Follow this up with visit to one of our local Pubs and you really have experienced the best the valley has to offer.
The Nature Conservancy and the stretch of the creek through the Double R will close at the end of November. Below Highway 20 you can still fish until the end of February. This time of year you may still find some browns on redds, but the spawning activity should be tapering off. The post spawn browns will be hungry and should be willing to chase a streamer. On the cloudy, mild days you may even see some surface activity. You will need your typical Silver Creek long leader down to at st 6x and approach these feeders with extreme caution from above. Nymphing the buckets in the Willows can also be effective.
Big Wood River
The Wood is your best option if you just have a few hour to fish. Don’t plan on finding a lot of surface feeders, although a persistent angler can find a few. The really prolific Winter Midge hatches are yet to get rolling. Don’t expect to find the fish spread out; focus your attention on the slower water next to or below the deep pools and the tail-outs The cold weather has concentrated the fish in the winter holding water. As I mentioned last week, keep your flies simple and small or big and ugly. Try a size 18 Zebra Midge in red or black, a Bishop’s Dynamite, a larger size 8-12 Rubber Leg Stone, or a Czech style nymph. Dangle these bugs off a high floating dry or a simple pinch-on indicator or fish them Euro Nymph Style. The key is to find the right depth and where the fish are concentrated and you find success. If you do find feeding on or near the surface try a midge cluster like a Griffith’s Gnat or fish a dry dropper; however, instead of a heavy beaded pattern try a non- beaded brassie in size 18 or 20.
Lower Big Lost
Before you attempt to drive up Trail Creek Pass be sure to check with us. Otherwise, it is worth the trip through Arco and up to Mackay if you have a day to spend fishing. The river is low, which concentrates the fish in the prime water, but has been really good. It will fish a lot like the Wood with your best success coming to dry dropper rigs with both heavy and light small midge imitations. There will be a small window of decent surface activity and on cloudy days it can be very good.
The reports have been favorable for steelhead below the Pahsimeroi River. This would be a good time to come check out our selection of Switch and Spey rods. We also he a great selection of steelhead flies and steelhead specific lines.
South Fork of the Boise
The road is in good condition as of the writing of this report, but in general always come to this river with a 4×4 and chains. The fishing has been fair and the crowds relatively light. On mild afternoons you may be able to find some heads up on midge with the cloudy days being best. If you just want to catch fish, try nymphing the slow dancing water right as it transitions into the slower deep water. You will likely pick up a few whiteys and some decent trout.
Everyone should believe in something. I believe I’ll go fishing.~ Thoreau
photo by Bryan Huskey