“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory…”
– John Geddes
December is holding it’s wintery breath just long enough to extend the wonderful afternoon fishing opportunities in the Valley. Get out before highs in the low 50’s are just a memory.
The upper Creek is now closed for the season. However, below Kilpatrick Bridge you can continue to fish until the end of March. Now that the water has cooled down, the hatch activity has all but disappeared. On cloudy, mild days you may still see some surface activity for emerging or adult midge. Slow nymphing or pulling a streamer can be effective on winter days.
The first half of December is a great time to fish the Wood. The holiday crowds are still a few weeks away and the early season forecast calls for mild weather. Now is a great time for the classic Sun Valley double header… carving turns on Bald Mountain in the morning and chasing trout on the Wood in the afternoon. If you go, don’t plan on finding a lot of surface feeders, although a persistent angler can find a few, as the prolific Winter Midge hatches are yet to get rolling. Also, don’t expect to find the fish spread out; focus your attention on the slower water next to or below the deep pools and the tail-outs. The cold weather has concentrated the fish in the winter holding water. As a general rule, when winter angling, keep your flies simple. Try a small Zebra Midge in red or black dangled off a high floating dry or a simple pinch-on indicator. The key is to find the right depth and where the fish are concentrated.
The Lost Below Mackay
Trail Creek Pass is closed. It can be worth the trip through Arco and up to Mackay if you have a day to spend fishing. The river is very low, which concentrates the fish in the prime water. It will fish a lot like the Wood with your best success coming to dry dropper rigs with both heavy and light small midge imitations. There will be a small window of decent surface activity and on cloudy days it can be very good.
South Fork of the Boise
The road is in good condition as of the writing of this report, but in general always travel to this river with a 4×4 and chains. On mild afternoons you may be able to find some heads up on midge with the cloudy days being best. If you just want to catch fish, try nymphing the slow dancing water right as it transitions into the slower deep water. You will likely pick up a good number of white fish.
Silver Creek flies: Midge | Zebra Midge | Quilldigon | Streamers
Big Wood flies: Midge | Bullet French Nymph | Roza Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Quilldigon | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost flies: Baetis | Midge | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Tasmanian Devil | Roza Perdigon | Lite Brite Perdigons | Roza WW Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
South Fork of the Boise flies: Baetis | Midge | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
|Silver Creek||98.3 cfs|
|Big Wood||135 cfs|
|The Big Lost||55.5 cfs|
|Salmon River||1030 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||304 cfs|