“Close your eyes. Hear the silent snow. Listen to your soul speak.”
– Adrienne Posey
Open your senses. Take in the Big Wood adorned in white. Witness the miracle of each delicate snowflake compound, miracle upon miracle. Watch and listen. Feel the moment a drifting flake merges with the river.
The upper Creek is now closed until the end of May. You can, however, enjoy the serenity of the Nature Conservancy in winter while hiking. If it is trout you seek, you can continue to fish the Creek from Kilpatrick Bridge down until the end of March. Now that the water has cooled substantially, the hatch activity has all but disappeared. On cloudy, mild days you may still see some surface activity, mainly midge. Slow nymphing or pulling a streamer is most effective this time of year.
The Wood fishes very well in December. However, the recent snowfall may make access tricky. Some parking areas get plowed and others do not. In general, the farther you are willing to walk from the easy access points, the better the fishing. Be sure to respect private property and get to the river! When you do, look for deep, slow winter holding water and you are sure to find good numbers of fish. This time of year, nymphing is most productive and the key to success is detecting the subtle winter takes. Start with a good high vis dry, if you are dry dropper fishing, or try Euro Nymphing. Either way, a simple pause of the fly or the line could be the indication of a take. Set the hook!
The Lost Below Mackay
While Trail Creek Pass is closed, it is worth the trip through Arco and up to Mackay if you have a day to spend fishing. The river is very low (60 CFS), which concentrates the fish in the deep holding water. It will fish a lot like the Wood with your best success coming to dry dropper rigs or Euro Nymphing. There may be a small window of decent surface activity on cloudy, mild days.
South Fork of the Boise
The winter weather has made travel into the canyon dicey. If you go, take a 4X4 with studded snow tires, chains, as well as food and blankets. As for the fishing, the hatch activity is sporadic, but a few nice trout can be found rising during the warmest times of day. Nymphing is the most productive technique for both trout and whitefish.
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 | Streamers
Big Lost flies: Baetis | Midge | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pat’s Rubber Legs
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||100 cfs|
|Big Wood||118 cfs|
|The Big Lost||59.2 cfs|
|Salmon River||982 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||299 cfs|