“The goal of life is to die young — as late as possible!”
– Ashley Montagu
The goal of angling may be the simple pursuit of a prize. But the true catch for those who spend a lifetime in pursuit is perpetual youth.
The Nature Conservancy portion of Silver Creek is closed for the season; however, the Creek from Kilpatrick Bridge down through Point of Rocks remains open until the end of March. During the most pleasant time of day a modest midge hatch will occur and with some looking about you are bound to find some fish feeding on the surface. If nothing is going on try slow swinging leeches or dead drifting small midge patterns.
The first half of January has been relatively warm and wet; great for fishing and the snowpack. The second half appears to be drying out and cold. Still, as we head into February, the Winter Midge hatch should continue to strengthen, especially on cloudy days. You can expect the trout to feed with vigor when the midge are out as they need the calories before the spring spawn. With the warmer than average daytime temperatures, much of the ice along the river’s edge has dissipated; however, it may return as temperatures drop, so wade with caution. As for the fishing, look for classic winter holding water during the afternoon hours and you are sure to find fish feeding on all stages of Winter Midge. If no surface activity can be found, be prepared to fish dry dropper or Euro style.
The Big Lost
If a full day of fishing is what you seek, perhaps the Lower Lost River is a good option. It takes just under two hours to make the trip through Craters of the Moon to Arco and up to the town of Mackay. The flows remain low and the fish are concentrated in the deeper runs. You will find a few midge to be hatching in the afternoon, but nymphing with small flies is most productive.
South Fork of the Boise
Halfway to Boise from Ketchum is a true winter fishing gem. The South Fork flows out of Anderson Dam and is a classic tailwater. Be sure to have a 4-wheel drive and chains to make it down and back out of the canyon as the road can be very slippery. Try small midge imitations matched with a stonefly nymph beneath an indicator through the deep runs. You may even find trout feeding on the surface during the prime time in the afternoons. There are plenty of white fish to keep you entertained even if the trout are hard to find.
Big Wood: Midge | Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Silver Creek: Midge | Bullet French Nymph | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Pine Squirrel Leech
Big Lost Flies: Midge | Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
South Fork of the Boise: Midge | Perdigons | Pat’s Rubber Legs
|Silver Creek||100 cfs|
|Big Wood||133 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||110 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||299 cfs|