“There is no score, only the moment and the next fish”
~ Peter Kaminsky
Come the end of the month, the fishing season closes on the Wood. While fishing opportunities can be found with a bit of an excursion in April and May, the chance to drop into your favorite spot for an hour or two of fishing ends March 31st until the season opener May 26th. Make March you moment to go fly fishing… just you, the river, and the next fish.
THE BIG WOOD
March has been a wet month depositing ample new snow in the mountains and sometimes rain to the valley floor. Keep your eyes on the USGS Water Flows page; the Wood will rise and fall as we move into spring. Despite the spring like weather, the fish are still concentrated in the slower, winter holding water. The Winter Midge has been sporadic, but you may find some rising fish in the late afternoon, so be sure to have a good selection of trailing shuck midge or a Griffith’s Gnat from size18 to 22 and use light tippet in 6 or 6.5X. The most productive method remains nymphing. When fishing deep, use a double rig with a Rubber Leg Stone or a large Prince Nymph followed by a smaller nymph like a Zebra midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, or Rainbow Warrior. A simple rig with a high-vis dry or small indicator with a trailing small nymph is very effective as well when fishing seams and tail outs.
THE BIG LOST
Flows are up a bit to 184 CFS. Remember, the Lost, unlike the Wood and the South Fork, is open year-round. While it is hard to predict, the flows typically remain wadable well into April and sometimes May depending on run-off. Since Trail Creek Summit is closed, you will still need to drive to Mackay via Craters of the Moon, but it is worth the trip. March on the Lower Lost can be spectacular. There will be a mix of Baetis and Midge, and like the Wood, it is best to start the day fishing subsurface, and as the day warms up start looking for heads. For flies, bring the same assortment of midge and Baetis dries and nymphs you might use on the Creek or the Wood. Dry dropper rigs with a trailing Zebra Midge, Brassies, or attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22 are very productive.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
Like the Wood, the South Fork closes the end of the month. The flows remain steady at 305 CFS. March can be the best fishing of the year on this tailwater fishery. Nymphing the seams and tailouts is your best chance of success, with the chance of finding surface feeders once the sun has warmed the water enough to get the midge and Baetis active. If you are having trouble with the trout, the whitefish will keep your rod bent all day.
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
While it is still a bit early, a few steelhead have been spotted around the Stanley area, but the best opportunities will come between Clayton and Challis. Still, before you make the trip over the hill, drop on by the shop and we can give you the latest information on the water and the fish locations. Also, we have a complete selection of steelhead flies, single handed, switch and Spey casting rods, as well as both Scandi and Skagit style lines.
The Creek is closed for the season. Opening day is May 26th.
South Fork of the Boise