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Fly Fishing Forecast February 4th – 18th

By February 4, 2015 April 14th, 2018 No Comments

“To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the
rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings
meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward
tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a
quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned
thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men – for
all men are equal before fish.”
~ Herbert Hoover” />

We are starting February with a wet weather pattern, adding to our
precious snow pack after a relatively dry January. So if you decide to do
some soul cleansing on the rivers around Sun Valley in the spirit of our
31st President, be prepared for snow or a snow/rain mix. Remember, winter
midge love mild yet inclement weather. So grab your Gore-tex SIMMS
Bulkley jacket and get to river. While all men are equal before fish,
some are more prepared.


February is spectacular on the Wood as the Winter Midge activity
continues to gain momentum. With the longer days and the milder day time
temperatures, much of the Wood is ice free and fishable from Lake Creek
north of Ketchum all the way down south to Hailey. To be prepared, have
a good assortment of midge patterns spanning every stage of this prolific
insects life: trailing shuck midge, Griffiths Gnats, and high vis
parachute midge patterns in size 18- 24. If no surface activity can be
found, be prepared to fish dry dropper or Euro style. For nymphs, try
Rubber Leg Stones, King Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite,
Egan’s Frenchy, the Red Dart, or the Iron Lotus. This is also a good time
to swing a brown Woolly Bugger to imitate the Big Wood Sculpin.

The flows are up a smidgen to 90 CFS and the fishing is very good. These
fish spawn earlier than the fish on the Wood and while we are not seeing
any redds yet (and wont until March) these fish are feeding with abandon
to gain the needed calories. The midge, along with a smattering of BWO,
are thick during the afternoon. For flies, bring a good assortment of
Zebra Midge, Brassies, and other attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors
or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22.

The recent storms have mostly brought rain to the South Fork Canyon
leaving the roads clear of ice, but muddy. Still, the snow line could
drop with any passing storm so be ready with chains if you go. The river
is holding steady at 302 CFS and will remain at this level until May or
June. Remember, the South Fork closes the end of March for two months and
February and March can be fantastic! Dries can be hit or miss but those
willing to dead drift a nymph or swing a streamer will be rewarded. For
dries, standard Baetis and adult midge patterns work well. For nymphs,
try small Baetis nymph patterns (18-20), Zebra Midge (18-22), Caddis
Larva (12-14), Stone Fly patterns (10-12), or San Juan Worms.

This is a good time to head to the Creek. There is only a month left; the
BLM stretch of the Creek remains open until the end of February for those
who love the serenity only found on a spring creek in winter. Of course,
the Nature Conservancy to HWY 21 is closed until the end of May. When
fishing, the best approach is walk and search for a sipping trout.
Approach with caution and fish with a long leader and light tippet from
above. If you find no fish feeding try fishing deep and slow with
buggers and nymphs around the obvious buckets.


Big Wood
Silver Creek
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise
158 cfs
68 cfs
91 cfs
306 cfs

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