“I don’t think I’m stretching the matter at all to say that given half a chance, a trout stream can make you a better person. This isn’t particularly a reason that I fish, but certainly one of the things I like about it.”
– Ted Leeson
Fish more and be a better person…now that is a resolution worth pursuing.
While the Nature Conservancy portion of Silver Creek is closed for the season, the Creek from Kilpatrick Bridge down through Point of Rocks remains open. The spring fed water hovers between 35 to 42 degrees. Each day a modest midge hatch will occur and with some scouting you are bound to find some fish feeding during the most pleasant time of day. If you find no surface activity, slow swinging leeches or dead drifting nymphs can be productive.
This time of year, midge are the dominant source of food for trout. Already, we are seeing decent numbers of winter midge clustering on the surface in the afternoon and fish keying on them. This hatch will increase as the days slowly get longer and we head into February and March. If you head out, be sure to take plenty of midge dries in addition to the usual subsurface midge patterns. That said, winter trout often will take a much larger pattern when presented with the opportunity. To round out your winter collection of flies, always have a few streamers in olive or brown, some larger nymphs, and some flies with flash. On a side note, watch out for the ice along the river’s edge and wade with caution. Using rubber soled wading boots to prevent ice buildup with studs and a wading staff can help avoid slipping. Nothing ends a nice day of winter angling like a fall in the river.
The Big Lost
Looking for a winter fishing adventure? Try the Lost. It takes about two hours to make the trip through Craters of the Moon to Arco and up to Mackay. The flows are low and the fish will be concentrated in the deeper buckets. Expect a few midge to be hatching in the afternoon, but nymphing with small flies is your best bet.
South Fork of the Boise
This is another great winter fishery for anglers willing to travel a bit. It takes about 90 minutes and a trip across the Camas Prairie to get there. Be sure to have the appropriate vehicle 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||103 cfs|
|Big Wood||131 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||105 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||308 cfs|