“With a fly rod, anglers are not casting to a fish; rather to a circle of dreams: ripples that spread into every aspect of their lives.”
― Fennel Hudson

So, when you give the gift of fly fishing to your loved ones this year, you are not merely providing a moment of escapism; you are delivering fodder for dreams and bestowing hope for the future.

The Big Wood
When searching for a spot to fish on the Wood, focus your attention around town and downstream of the Warm Springs confluence. North of town, above Lake Creek, the river can be chockablock with ice. As a general rule, seek water that is slow and deep, as trout in winter prefer to conserve energy. The river does see an increase in pressure during the holidays, so look for access points that have not been as pressured if possible. Keep in mind, while you may find some surface midge activity, nymphing with small midge patterns is most productive.

Silver Creek
The Nature Conservancy portion of Silver Creek to Kilpatrick Bridge is closed. If you wish to experience the serenity of the Creek in winter, head to the Pond or farther down to the BLM stretch. Fish the slow, deep water with streamers and nymphs either with a dead drift or on a slow swing. Some days you may even find a fish or two rising to midge adults and emergers. These fish are as selective and spooky as they are in summer, so you will need to employ the typical down and across approach with a long and fine leader and small midge patterns.

The Big Lost Below Mackay
If you want to make a day of it, take the drive from Ketchum through Arco and up to Mackay to fish the Lost. This drive takes a little over 2 hours and goes through the incredible landscape of the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, a beautiful sight in winter. The water is low and clear and there are decent midge hatches all winter long.

South Fork of the Boise
The road down to Anderson Dam can be very slick. Chains and 4X4 are required if you head to the South Fork. In the afternoon, there is still a window of hatch activity and persistent dry fly anglers will find a smattering of midge fluttering about. The rest of the time, nymphing dry dropper or Euro Style will produce fish in the seams and tailouts.

Big Wood: Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | High Vis Adams | WD 40 | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Bullet Quill | Hot Rib Hare’s Ear | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | KJ Jig | Bullet Olive | Duracell Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Quilldigon | TG Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince

Silver Creek: Harrop’s Baetis | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | WD 40 | Bullet French Nymph | Quilldigon | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | TG Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pine Squirrel Leech

Big Lost: Harrop’s Baetis | Gulper Special Olive | High Vis Adams | Griffiths Gnats | KJ Jig | Bullet Olive | WD 40 | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Bullet Quill | Hot Rib Hare’s Ear | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | Duracell Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Quilldigon | TG Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince | Mops

South Fork of the Boise: Harrop’s Baetis | Gulper Special Olive | High Vis Adams | Chubby Chernobyl | WD 40 | KJ Jig | Bullet Olive | Bullet French Nymph | TG Hide a Bead Baetis | Bullet Quill | Hot Rib Hare’s Ear | CDC France Fly | Lite Brite Perdigons | Duracell Jig | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Quilldigon | TG Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince | Mops

 

Silver Creek 105 cfs
Big Wood 127 cfs
The Big Lost 84 cfs
South Fork of the Boise 299 cfs
Salmon River 1150 cfs