“Does the fly pattern (color, size, and silhouette) really make much difference? It certainly can, but more often than not I’d argue that confidence in the pattern is the overriding factor.” ~ Lance Egan of Fly Fishing Team USA
Whether you prefer traditional fly patterns (Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Parachute Adams, etc.) or the latest Perdigons, Frenchies, and Mops, having a box full of confidence flies is paramount to success on the water. Either way, we have you covered from the traditional to the latest in Tactical Flies from Fulling Mill and Umpqua Feather Merchants. All anglers agree, having the right fly matters; yet fishing with confidence matters even more.
There are some new regulations on the Creek: Effective January 1, the catch-and-release season will be lengthened to March 31 on two sections (between Highway 93 upstream to bridge near milepost 187.2 on Highway 20) and implement a catch-and-release season from December 1 through March 31 on one section (bridge near milepost 187.2 on Highway 20 upstream to Kilpatrick Bridge). Of course, the Nature Conservancy remains closed until opening day, but these new regulations will keep the lower Creek open and provide a great option as we move into February and March. If you go, know that there will be a brief window of surface activity during the warmest part of the day, but the most effective methods will be a slow drifted zebra midge or leech patterns pulled with a slow retrieve. On warm days, some brave anglers have dropped tubes in at Kilpatrick Bridge; if you do this, be sure to dress with base layers and mid-weight fleece from SIMMS or Patagonia.
February on the Wood is spectacular! With the inclement weather in the forecast, the Winter Midge activity will continue to be a factor, especially as the days get longer. In fact, February is starting with a return to wintry conditions after a very mild January, so be prepared for some ice along the edges of the river. A SIMMS wading staff and SIMMS G3 wading boots with star cleats are a must for proper traction. If you find surface feeders, you will need to have a good assortment of midge patterns spanning every stage of this prolific insect’s life: trailing shuck midge, Griffiths Gnats, and parachute midge patterns in size 18- 24. And if no surface activity can be found, be prepared to fish dry-dropper, deep nymph with a bobber, or Euro style.
The Lost Below Mackay
It is a long haul to the lower Lost, but with the longer days, it can be a worthwhile excursion. The flows are holding at a perfect 150 CFS and the fishing is very good. Remember, these fish tend to spawn earlier than the fish on the Wood and while we are not seeing any redds yet (and won’t until March) the trout are feeding with abandon to gain the needed calories. As for bugs, midge, along with a smattering of BWO, can be thick during the afternoon. It all depends on the weather, of course.
South Fork of the Boise
The river is holding steady at 295 CFS and will remain at this level until May or June. Remember, the South Fork closes the end of March until opening day in May; however, February and March are two of the best months for wade fisherman with low flows and eager trout. Dries can be hit or miss but those willing to dead drift a nymph or swing a streamer will be rewarded. As always, travel with care in the canyon and be prepared for poor road conditions.
Silver Creek Flies: DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Beaded and Non-Beaded Pheasant Tails | Iron Lotus | Bouface Leech | Pine Squirrel Leech | Balanced Leech
Big Wood, Big Lost: Trailing Shuck Midge | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18| Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
South Fork of the Boise Flies: Iron Lotus | Adult Midge | Pat’s Stone | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flash Back Pheasant tails | King Prince | Streamers
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise