Synopsis

The snow is falling in the Sun Valley area these days as we prepare to usher in our winter fishing season. We have regulation changes happening at the end of the month, with all the rivers going to a strictly catch and release basis, and the season closure of Silver Creek above the Highway 20 bridge, which means all of Purdy’s and the Nature Conservancy waters. The Creek below Highway 20 will remain open until the end of February. Anglers looking to head over to the Lost River are going to have to make the drive through the desert and come up through Arco. We will find our fishing areas limited in coming weeks, but by no means does this put a negative impact on anything. From now through the New Year, the local rivers will see fewer angler days than at any other time of year. The fish still have to eat, and with few anglers fishing to them, there is world of great fly-fishing opportunity only minutes away.

Silver Creek

To find success on the Creek right now, anglers are going to need the cooperation of mother nature. If you see a forecast that calls for very calm conditions, and temperatures that will break 40 degrees, than you may have one last chance to find a few rising fish. Midges are really the bug of choice right now, but the serious Midge activity won’t start back up again until March, when the Creek is closed to fishing. There are still a few anglers pursuing the Browns on their spawning run, but even this action is slowing quite a bit. Fishing the sloughs might be an anglers best bet for the last few weeks of the season on the Creek’s upper waters.

Big Wood River

The Wood is seeing very little angler pressure right now. Like last weeks report, we strongly suggest swinging larger nymphs and prospecting the deeper riffles. Many fish are still looking to fatten up for winter, but their food choices are very limited. Prince Nymphs, Hares Ears, Zug Bugs and Brassies are excellent choices right now. Dropping a smaller fly like a Zebra Midge off the back of one of these bigger flies when things are slow may add to your catch rate. If you are able to find active fish, or fish sitting shallow enough to sneak up on, a Pheasant Tail nymph may also be a good choice. Check the river in the late afternoon for Midge activity. We will often find fish rising to Midges in November and December, but this won’t happen on a river wide basis, the rising fish will be found in particular areas, and rising for short durations during the day. If you see good Midge activity, but aren’t seeing rising fish, start walking and looking carefully for the runs that do have working fish.