“More than half the time, a trout will refuse your fly not because the fly was wrong but because it was not behaving properly.” – Tom Rosenbauer
Then there is that other half of the time when no matter how precise the presentation, how light the tippet, or how well-behaved the fly, the trout still refuse to be fooled. These are the moments that lead anglers back to the vice to tie, or back to the shop to find, the perfect fly. Sometimes having the right fly matters.
The Big Wood
Mild weather has opened up most of the river north of Ketchum all the way south to Bellevue. Of course, the best fishing access is between Ketchum and Hailey. The Winter Midge hatch is on and now is the time to take advantage of it. The midge range in size from a 22 to a size 16. When the hatch really gets going in the early afternoon, the fish tend to key on the emergers just below the surface or hatching midge stuck in the surface film. To match this hatch, have a good assortment of midge patterns spanning every stage of this insect’s life: trailing shuck midge, Griffiths Gnats, and high vis parachute midge patterns in size 18- 24. Early in the day when no surface activity can be found, be prepared to fish dry dropper or Euro style with an array of nymphs.
If you plan on fishing the Creek, remember the Nature Conservancy is closed. However, the river downstream of Kilpatrick Bridge remains open. The fishing has been fair around the Point of Rocks and Willows access. Focus on the long slow runs with a black or olive leech pattern or slow drift nymphs through likely holding water. On warmer days, you might consider putting a tube in Kilpatrick Pond, but only do this if you have the proper layers to stay warm. Also, pleasant days may bring some fish to the surface feeding on midge.
South Fork of the Boise
The late winter fishing has been fantastic on this tailwater. Cool nights and warm days make for great conditions down in the canyon. Expect a mixed bag of midge and Baetis. With a keen eye, you can find fish on top and target them. Of course, if action is what you seek, fishing a dry dropper rig or Euro style in the seams and the dancing water will produced plenty of white fish and some fine trout.
The Lost Below Mackay
With the longer days, an excursion to the Lost for some outstanding spring fishing is well worth it. The flows have dropped a tad to 155 CFS, perfect for fish and fisherman. The prolific midday midge hatch is interspersed with a decent amount of BWO action as well. The fish are feeding aggressively in preparation for spawning. In fact, with the mild weather, a few redds have already been spotted. For flies, bring a good assortment of midge and Baetis dries and nymphs. Dry dropper rigs or Euro style techniques will catch fish all day.
South Fork of the Boise: Midge | Baetis | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | Leech Patterns | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost, Big Wood and Tributaries: Beatis | Midge | Golden Stone | Buggers | Bishop’s Dynamite | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon | Rainbow Warrior | King Prince Nymph | DB Zebra Midge | Quildigons | Frenchie
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise