The Big Wood River
The most consistent winter fishery we have. Expect to see midges on snowy overcast days and fish working on the surface. Sunny days are usually not as good this time of year. I like the Trailing Shuck Midge, Griffith’s Gnat and small parachutes to imitate the surface offerings. You’ll need to fish these flies on 6x tippets. You will also need some patterns that sink very gently to fool those fish working just under the surface. A heavily weighted fly like the Zebra Midge will be too much weight on those days where the fish want the fly on or under the surface. I like Midge Biots, Brassies, and WD40’s for this selection. Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tail beadheads and heavier stonefly nymphs are excellent choices when the fish are down. Streamer fishing can be great this time of year. On days that are cold, you want to use heavier tippets and bigger flies; Wooly Buggers, Sculpins and other streamer patterns will produce very well. Remember the Big Wood is open through the end of March, but all tributaries including Warm Springs are closed as of the end of November.
Lower Silver Creek From Hwy 20 Down
You will see fish working midges around Point of Rocks and the Willows. Standard patterns that work on the Big Wood will do the trick on the Creek. I also like swinging small leeches and buggers this time of year and when the water color is off this is a very good technique. Open through the end of February. Remember, the Nature Conservancy water is closed until Memorial Day weekend.
Big Lost Below Dam
Water level is low from now until the end of March and the fishing can be good. Nymphing is good all the time and a variety of patterns may be needed. Both big and small nymphs may be used depending on where you are fishing. At the head of the pools in the shallower water I like Brassies, PT’s, and smaller Zebra Midges fished under your choice of indicators. In the deeper pools I like to use bigger flies and indicators and will use standards like beadhead Prince Nymphs, beadhead Hares Ears and larger Zebra Midges. You will see fish working on midges.