“January is the month for dreaming.”
– Jean Hersey
…And fishing. Sure, anglers are dreamers, but we are also doers. Whether you are anticipating adventures yet to come this spring, summer, or fall, or planning time on the water tomorrow, we are here to help make your dreams come true.
The Wood saw a good deal of pressure over the last several weeks; however, from now till spring, seeing another angler should be rare. Snow should continue to fall in the Valley over the next couple weeks, but access remains decent. The cold weather has caused anchor ice to form on the southern and northern extremes of the river, so focus your angling efforts from the Warm Springs confluence down to around East Fork. Even where the river is open, there can be a good amount of ice along the banks; using a wading staff to help navigate the ice is advised. If you go, no need to start early. The best fishing window is during the afternoon until the sun drops. Some winter midge have already been active on the surface, but slow drifting small beaded midge in the slow, deep buckets is most effective. Remember, winter trout need to be played and released quickly; please learn how to use a Ketchum Release tool.
Silver Creek from below Kilpatrick Bridge remains open until the end of March. However, with the cold temperatures, 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 dry dropper style or with an indicator will be most effective through the slow deep buckets. Swinging small leech patterns can also be productive.
The Lost Below Mackay
From Ketchum, it takes a little over 2 hours to drive to Mackay by way of Arco, but the fishing and solitude make it worth the trip. Tactically speaking, fish this much like the Wood with small midge patterns and even some Baetis patterns on snowy days. Sometimes these tail-water fish can be selective and often dropping down in tippet size can make all the difference. Streamer fishing can also be productive.
South Fork of the Boise
January can be slow down in the canyon, but February and March will be some of the best fishing of the winter season. As always, take a four wheel drive vehicle with studded snow tires, chains, and a winter survival kit. And check the road conditions before you go. While fishing, look for the deep, slow runs and have a variety of beaded and non-beaded midge patterns as well as caddis larva and stoneflies. A persistent angler may even find fish feeding on the surface during the prime fishing window.
Silver Creek: Beatis Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails | Streamers
Big Wood: Adult Midge | Miller’s +1 | Blowtorch | Bishop’s Dynamite | Mops and Mini Mopcicles | Red Neck Midge | DD Midge | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost: Adult Midge | Miller’s +1 | Blowtorch | Bishop’s Dynamite | Mops and Mini Mopcicles | Red Neck Midge | DD Midge | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Streamers
South Fork of the Boise: Baetis | Midge | Duracell | French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone
|The Lost Below Mackay
|South Fork of the Boise