“Resolve to perform what you ought;
perform without fail what you resolve.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Make a resolution you can keep this new year. Resolve yourself to spend more time fly fishing with family, friends, or on your own. There is no better way to make memories for a lifetime. Start this resolution off by coming down to the shop on the first of the year and renewing you fishing license.
The Conservancy portion of the Creek is closed until opening day the end of May of 2018; however, from the Highway 20 bridge down through the Willows and the Point of Rocks the fishing will remain open until the end of February. Be careful, as ice has formed along the edges of the Creek making access tricky. Your best action will come on nymphs and streamers during the warmest part of the day. For nymphs, try a beaded or non-beaded pheasant tail, a Zebra Midge, or a WD40 in size 20 or 22.
THE BIG WOOD
The Wood is perfect right now. There has been a bit of new snow on the Valley floor, but access remains good. Remember, winter trout don’t hold in fast water, so concentrate on the slow, deep water at the tail end of runs or in the slow seams and you will find fish. Also, focus your attention on the river below the Warm Springs confluence and during the warmest part of the day for the best success. Keep in mind, it is mostly a nymphing game, but you may find some surface activity; we are still about a month away from the good winter midge activity. Nevertheless, you can really streamline your flies and keep it simple. Dry dropper rigs or double nymphs with an indicator will let you cover all depths of water. For flies, try beaded red, black, or green Zebra Midge in size 14-20, Rainbow Warriors, or Bishop’s Dynamites in size 16 and 18. Larger nymphs will also work; try Rubber Leg Stones in size 12, Beaded Pheasant Tails in size 14, or Prince Nymphs in size 12 or 14. One final note: winter trout need to be played and released as quickly as possible. The best thing you can do is learn how to use a Ketchum Release tool. This has the added benefit of allowing you to keep your hands dry and warm, which is essential to winter fishing success.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
Trail Creek Pass in closed for the season, so anglers heading to the Lost will need to go through Carey and over to Arco to get to Mackay. The flows on the Lost have finally come down and are holding at 250 CFS. This is a decent flow for wading and if you are looking for a full day of fishing on a fantastic tailwater this is a good place to go. Nymphing the slow buckets and tailouts will be the most productive with small Zebra Midge and Beatis patterns.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
Flows are holding steady at 306 CFS. Look for a short window of dry fly activity once the sun hits the water. Have a good selection of midge and Baetis patterns in size 20 to 24 and fish long, light leaders down to 6 or 7X. Nymphing remains most productive with Red San Juan Worms, Rubber Leg Stones, Caddis Larva as well as small Zebra Midge and Baetis Nymphs. As always, be prepared for winter travel travel; a vehicle with four wheel drive, studded snow tires, and chains is advisable.
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood