The vernal equinox is looming. It won’t be long before the length of daylight hours over take the night. More daylight means simply more time to fish and March in the Wood River Valley is a fisherman’s delight. Silver Creek may be closed for the season but the best fishing of the winter into spring season on the Wood, the Lost and the South Fork is upon us. Weather-wise you never know what you are going to get, so plan accordingly. Many days will begin below freezing, reach up to upper 40s, even low 50s, only to end below freezing again as the sun sets. Layering is the name of the game. Depending on the day, you may be able to find a plethora of midge hatching and trout on the rise or you may not. One thing is for certain when fly fishing in March…the season closes on the South Fork of the Boise and the Wood at the end of the month, so the time is now if you want to get out and enjoy these fantastic fisheries.
Big Wood River
Ask the locals and many will tell you March is their favorite month on the Wood and for good reason. March is known as one of the better dry fly months on the Wood, which is surprising to those who only spend the summer or fall on the river. The truth is March dry fly can be hit or miss. So much depends on the weather this time of year. But if you hit it right it can be spectacular. And as always, if the dry fly fishing is off, the nymphing is quite good in March as well. If you do find rising fish 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.These fish can get selective, especially in those areas where they get some pressure. When fishing deep, I like to fish a double rig with something ugly like a rubber leg stone or a large Prince Nymph followed by a smaller nymph like a Zebra midge. When fishing shallow riffles and slow seams to fish that are actively feeding sub surface I like to use a high-vis parachute pattern with a tiny Bishop’s Dynamite, a Rainbow Warrior, or a Zebra Midge trailing at the appropriate depth.
The Big Lost
fishery can be spectacular this time of year. It will fish a lot like the Wood, but since it is a tailwater you may also start to see some Baetis mixed in with the midge. The Spring Baetis will really pick up towards the end of the month into April. In the meanwhile, take an assortment of your best tailwater midge patterns, both dry and wet, and some ugly bugs and you should be well prepared for a day or fishing on the Lost.
We are just a few weeks away from when the fishing between Stanley and Challis should begin to pick up…stay tuned!
South Fork of the Boise
Between hit or miss, the South Fork has been more in the miss category. This month is traditionally a fantastic time to be on this fishery, but most reports of late have been less than favorable. If you go be sure to have a box full of the usual suspects: midge, caddis larva, and stone fly imitations. Plan on working hard to find fish from deep nymphing, to streamer, to dry fly to the occasional feeder.
And now for something completely different…Clear Lake Country Club down in Hagerman has a 15 acre pay to play pond that is ideal for a float tube or pontoon boat. Before you go, I recommend calling ahead to check on their stocking schedule. Also, with the warmer weather, you might consider hitting the Malad. The Malad is made up of water from the Wood River Drainage, including Silver Creek, and it flows through a spectacular canyon before it joins the Snake. Definitely worth a look.
Many men go fishing their entire lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.~ Henry David Thoreau
photo by Bryan Huskey