The recent storms that have moved through the valley have produced some great fishing on area waters. The warmer temperatures and overcast skies create ideal winter fishing conditions. Area waters that were beginning to freeze have opened back up and the warmer weather has created some great midge hatches.
The majority of Silver Creek is closed for the season to angling, with one exception. From the Highway 20 bridge downstream, the creek is open to catch and release fishing through February. Keep in mind that access can be very difficult as the roads around that portion of the creek are not regularly maintained. If you go, be prepared to break trail and park off the creek. Usually, this lower portion of the creek will freeze completely, making the fishing impossible. Warmer weather will open this water up, so keep an eye on the forecast and keep your fingers crossed. Dark leeches like the Philo Beto, Beauface, and Marabou Leeches in olive, brown, and black are excellent choices for winter fishing on Silver Creek.
Big Wood River
Over the past few weeks the Big Wood River has produced some great fishing for anglers willing to scramble down to the river. On warm overcast days, expect the midge hatches to come off during the heat of the day between 11:00 and 3:00. Midge clusters like the Griffiths Gnat will work well while the hatches are thick. Individual midge patterns like the Trailing Shuck in a 22 will work well for the picky fish. Often times, these individual patterns can be difficult to see. To help increase visibility, try hanging one off a larger dry fly and use the larger fly as an indicator. When the fish aren’t feeding on midges, nymphs will usually produce fish. Nymphs like Zebra Midges, Rainbow Warriors, Brassies, Princes, and Stoneflies have been effective over the past few weeks.
Big Lost River
If you’re willing to make the drive, the Big Lost has been fishing really well as of late. Warmer days will produce great dry fly midge fishing in the pools and current seams. If the surface activity slows down, nymphing with Copper Johns and Zebra Midges can be extremely productive throughout the winter. Keep in mind, low water flows will require light tippets and stealthy fishing techniques.