“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
We are going to have plenty of water this summer! The average snowpack for the Wood River Basin right now is 106% of average and the forecast for March looks like more snow is on the way. Typically when we have this type of snow pack, the Wood runs high most of June and shapes up the first week of July…just in time for the Green Drakes! In the meanwhile, we are heading for a fantastic spring of skiing and fishing! It is time to get ready for Midge Madness on the Wood, Steelhead on the Salmon, and powder in the hills…the only problem is choosing “where to be happiest!”
The Creek is closed for the season. Opening day is May 28th.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood has stabilized at around 180 CFS. Some melting snow in February brought the flows up a bit, but the water stayed clear. March can be one of the better dry fly months on the Wood, with incredible midge activity. Of course, so much depends on the weather this time of year, but if you hit the right conditions, it can be spectacular. And as always, if the dry fly fishing is off, the nymphing is always good. If you do find rising fish in the afternoon be sure to have a good selection of trailing shuck midge or a Griffith’s Gnat from size18 to 22 and use light tippet in 6 or 6.5X.These fish can get selective, especially in those areas where they get some pressure. When fishing deep, I like to use a double rig with something ugly like a Rubber Leg Stone or a large Prince nymph followed by a smaller nymph like a Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior. A simple rig with a high-vis dry and a trailing small nymph is very effective as well when fishing seams and shallow riffles.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The snow levels are going to be low for the next series of storms which could make the canyon road rather treacherous. If you go, bring your 4X4, chains, and all the other necessitates in case you get stuck. The bottom line, March can be some of the best fishing of the year on this tailwater fishery. Plan on nymphing the seams and tail outs, with the chance of finding some surface feeders once the sun has warmed the water enough to get the midge and Baetis active. If you are having trouble with the trout, the white fish should keep you entertained.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
Flows are steady: 96 CFS. This river can be incredible in March as the increased daylight triggers amazing afternoon hatches of both the Midge and Baetis. When nymphing, I recommend small Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamite and Zebra Midge in size 16-20 and a small indicator or high visibility dry. For deeper runs, try a double nymph rig with a larger fly like a San Juan Worm, Large Stone fly, or Prince nymph trailed by a small nymph. For dries have a good supply of small midge and Baetis in size 2 to 18. Keep in mind these fish tend to spawn really early, so please be aware of where you walk and leave the big spawners to their business.
South Fork of the Boise