“For some things there are no wrong seasons. Which is what I dream of for me.”
– Mary Oliver
Don’t put away the rod, reel, and waders and dream of warmer days to come. After all, there is no wrong season to fish.
Parking access along the Wood is still good, as the valley floor has yet to be inundated with snow. However, a series of storms are in the forecast. In general, the fishing has been good for angler’s willing to cover a lot of water. Look for deep, slow winter buckets and you are sure to find some decent trout. This time of year, nymphing is most productive and the key to success is detecting subtle winter takes. Start with a good high-vis dry if you are dry dropper fishing or small pinch-on indicator for the really slow water. For water with more movement, try Euro Nymphing. By staying in direct contact with the flies while drifting, you will detect more strikes. For either technique, a simple pause of the fly or the line could be the indication of a take. And, as always, please keep the trout wet and quickly release them.
The Nature Conservancy portion of Silver Creek to Kilpatrick Bridge is closed for the season; however, downstream of Kilpatrick Bridge and through Point of Rocks, the Creek remains open until the end of March. With the limited snowpack, access is easy at the moment. Fishing is best done with streamers and nymphs either dead drift or on a swing. On mild days, especially during a storm, you may find fish rising to midge adults and emergers.
The Lost Below Mackay
With Trail Creek Pass now closed you will need to drive through Arco and up to Mackay. This journey takes about 2 hours. It seems that the work on the gates may be complete as the flows have dropped from 175 CFS to just above 30 CFS. With the low water conditions the fish will be very concentrated in the deep buckets. Stealth, along with small flies and light tippet, is best.
South Fork of the Boise
With the recent snow and rain, the canyon road is icy. As always, be sure to take a standard winter survival kit in your car including chains, a sleeping bag, and plenty of water and food. On mild winter days, you will see a light Baetis hatch along with midge in the afternoon. If you are persistent you may find fish rising or willing to take a well-presented dry fly. Still, nymphing with small Baetis or midge patterns is most productive.
Silver Creek: Beatis Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails | Streamers
Big Wood and Warm Springs: Adult Midge | Small Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
South Fork of the Boise: Baetis | Midge | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone
|The Lost Below Mackay
|South Fork of the Boise