“I will never tire of what fishing gives me. It puts me in touch with another of nature’s species, in beautiful surroundings that are old as time. This is where I want to be; that is how I am renewed.” ~ Joan Wulff
If it is time to renew yourself in a different, beautiful surrounding, then wading expansive saltwater flats while taking shots at schools of bonefish may be just the remedy. Of course, large, rogue bones may occasionally come within range and a chance at a permit is always a possibility. If this is where you want to be, then mark April 16 – 23 on your calendar. There are just two spots left on Silver Creek Guide Mike Bordenkircher’s hosted trip to Rickmon Bonefish Lodge on Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Rickmon Lodge is an easy flight from Florida and Mike has secured the best local guides. Email Mike for more information or visit the Rickmon Lodge website.
The Nature Conservancy is closed this time of year, but the fishing below the Highway 20 bridge will remain open until the end of February. With the colder temperatures of late, this would not be my first choice of places to fish. There is a lot of ice on the edges of the Creek and it is difficult to effectively fish the open areas. It would be wise to let the ice dissipate before attempting to fish here. The better activity down here right now might be snowshoeing or Nordic skiing.
THE BIG WOOD
For those not heading to the Bahamas, the Wood is your best bet if you want to ski and fish in the same day. Catch the 9 AM chair and carve up the fresh groomed corduroy or packed powder, and then trade your skis or board and boots for waders and rod. With the longer days, the afternoon fishing is best until the sun leaves the water. Technique wise, be prepared to fish with deep nymphs, dry droppers, or just straight drys. When fishing deep, I like to fish a double rig with something ugly like a rubber leg stone followed by a smaller nymph like a Zebra Midge. When fishing shallow riffles and slow seams to fish that are actively feeding, I like to use a high-vis parachute pattern with a tiny Bishop’s Dynamite, a Rainbow Warrior, or aZebra Midge trailing at the appropriate depth. If you go head hunting, be sure to have light tippet in 6 or 6.5x and some Trailing Shuck Midge or Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22. Remember, with the cooler temps of late, the best places to find open water is from the Warm Springs confluence down to the East Fork Bridge.
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
This fishery continues to produce and should get even better as we head into the next two months before it closes the end of March. The whitefish will keep your rod bent; an occasional monster trout makes the day. As a general rule of thumb, plan on nymphing, with the chance of finding some surface feeders once the sun has warmed the water enough to get the midge and Baetis active. While nymphing use a combo rig of a large Rubber Legged Stone, Caddis, or San Juan Worm followed by a small Zebra Midge or Pheasant Tail in size 18 to 22. For dries, Trailing Shuck Midge and Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22 as well as a few BWO duns and emergers in size 20 to 24 should be sufficient.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows have dropped a bit to 88 CFS. With the lower flows, the fish are concentrated in the deeper buckets, so be stealthy and use long, light leaders and tippets for the best results. In the afternoon, midge are hatching along with a smattering of BWO. For nymphs, bring a good assortment of Zebra Midge, Brassies, and other attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22 and fish dry dropper style through the shallows and slow buckets. Euro nymphing the deeper runs can also be effective. For dries, be sure to have Trailing Shuck Midge and Griffith’s Gnats in size 18, 20, and 22 as well as a few BWO duns and emergers in size 20 to 24.
South Fork of the Boise