“Fly fishing surely gives meaning to my life,
but not nearly so much as life gives meaning to fly fishing.”
It is February. The sun hangs in the sky a bit higher and longer; the alternating thaw and freeze is turning the snow to corn. There is a spring like awakening occurring within the river, the trout, and the angler. While winter seems to be retreating, it may be back any day. So, follow your instinct…go to the river and get meaning back into your life.
Less than a month left to take advantage of this wonderful fishery for the season. While the Conservancy portion of the Creek remains closed until opening day the end of May of 2018, the river from Highway 20 bridge down through the Willows and the Point of Rocks will remain open until the end of February. 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.
Silver Creek Flies: Wooley Buggers | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18 | Pheasant Tails 16,18 | WD40
THE BIG WOOD
You want to ski and fish in the same day? Then the Wood is for you. Catch the 9 AM chair and then trade your skis or board and boots for waders and rod. With the longer days, the afternoon fishing is best until the sun leaves the water. Technique wise, be prepared to fish with deep nymphs, dry droppers, or just straight dry. When fishing deep, try a double rig with something ugly like a rubber leg stone followed by a smaller nymph like a Zebra Midge. When fishing shallow riffles and slow seams to fish that are actively feeding, use a high-vis parachute pattern with a size 18 Bishop’s Dynamite, Rainbow Warrior, or Zebra Midge trailing at the appropriate depth. If you like go head hunting, be sure to have light tippet in 6 or 6.5x and some Trailing Shuck Midge or Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22. Remember, with the warmer temps of late, the river access is good up and down the valley so spread out and have fun.
THE LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are slowly dropping. Currently they are at 180 CFS. In the afternoon, decent numbers of midge are hatching along with smattering of BWO. For flies, bring a good assortment of Zebra Midge, Brassies, and other attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22 and fish dry dropper style through the shallows and slow buckets. Euro nymphing the deeper runs and drops can also be effective. Trail Creek Pass is closed for the season, so you will need to go through Carey and over to Arco to get to Mackay…now that the days are longer, it is worth the trip.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
No changes here…The South Fork continues to hold steady at 302 CFS. As always, be prepared for dicey road conditions with a 4×4 and a set of chain, but at the moment the roads are good. As for the fishing expect your typical winter fare of midge and a few BWO. As the days get longer, this fishing is starting to really get good. Remember, this river, along with the Wood, closes the end of March.
Big Wood/Big Lost/South Fork Flies: Midge Adults 20 and 22 | Rubber Legged Golden Stones | Prince Nymphs | King Prince | Beaded Flashback Pheasant Tails 18 and 16 | Bishop’s Dynamite 18 and 16 | Rainbow Warrior | Iron Lotus 18 and 16 | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18
South Fork of the Boise
The Big Wood