“I dance with a fly rod in my hands for health and happiness.”
– Joan Salvato Wulff
A new year and another chance to dance for health and happiness with a fly rod in hand. But before you dance, don’t forget to fill your flask, patch your waders, put on a few extra layers, and renew your license. And be sure to book your favorite dance partner (guide) for the coming season, as their cards are starting to fill.
Silver Creek below the Kilpatrick Bridge remains open until the end of March. However, with the cold temperatures of late, 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. When it does, try nymphing through the slow deep buckets. Swinging black and olive leech patterns deep and slow can also be productive.
In January, the angling pressure on the Wood is light. With the snow on the valley floor, access points are limited; those willing to use snowshoes to access the river are sure to find solitude. With the cooler temperatures of late, the river fishes best from the Warm Springs confluence down to the East Fork confluence. Even where the river is open, there can be a good amount of ice along the banks; using a wading staff to help navigate both the ice and deep snow is wise. If you go, no need to start early. The best fishing window is from midday until the sun drops. Winter midges have already been active, but it is mostly a nymphing scenario. Focus your efforts on the slow deep water and generally where you find one fish there will be many others.
The Lost Below Mackay
Remember, Trail Creek Pass is closed and it takes over two hours to make the trip through Craters of the Moon, Arco, and up to the town of Mackay. Still, fishing can be productive this time of year and with the low flows (65 CFS) you will find plenty of fish in the slow buckets.
South Fork of the Boise
January can be cold down in the canyon, but February and March on the South Fork can be some of the best fishing of the winter season. Be patient. If you do go, take a four wheel drive vehicle with studded snow tires and chains. While fishing, look for the deep, slow runs and suspend a team of nymphs. A persistent angler may even find some fish feeding on the surface during the prime fishing window.
Silver Creek flies: Adult Midge | Zebra Midge | Quilldigon | Streamers
Big Wood flies: Midge | Bullet French Nymph | Roza Perdigons | Sexy Walts | Quilldigon | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Streamers
Big Lost flies: Baetis | Midge | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pheasant Tail | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pat’s Rubber Legs
South Fork of the Boise flies: Baetis | Midge | Sexy Walts | Bullet French Nymph | Lite Brite Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
|Silver Creek||88.1 cfs|
|Big Wood||110 cfs|
|The Big Lost||67 cfs|
|Salmon River||726 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||287 cfs|