“Wet boots are a way of life.” ~ Austin McPherson
March is a great month to get your boots wet. While the Creek is now closed, the Wood is just hitting its late winter, early spring stride. Our area tailwaters, the Lost and the South Fork of the Boise, also fish fantastic in March. And it won’t be long now until the Salmon between Stanley and Challis will see the return of the Steelhead. Be forewarned, you will still need to keep your wet boots inside over night, as the evening temps are still below freezing.
March on the wood means midge madness! In the early afternoon until the sun leaves the water, there can be a very steady midge emergence, and if you are in the right place, a good number of surface feeding trout. Be prepared with a slew of midge patterns such as trailing shuck midge, Griffiths Gnats, and high vis parachute patterns in size 18- 24. Before and after the hatch, fish dry dropper or Euro Style. For nymphs, try Rubber Leg Stones, King Prince Nymphs, Zebra Midge, Bishop’s Dynamite, Egan’s Frenchy, the Red Dart, or the Iron Lotus. Streamers fished deep through the slow buckets can also be productive.
THE BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The Lost, unlike the Wood and the South Fork, is open year round. You will still need to drive to Mackay via Craters of the Moon, but it is worth the trip. March on the Lost can be spectacular. There will be a mix of Baetis and Midge, and like the Wood, it is best to start the day fishing subsurface, and as the day warms up start looking for heads. For flies, bring the same assortment of midge and Baetis dries and nymphs you might use on the Creek or the Wood. Dry dropper rigs with a trailing Zebra Midge, Brassies, or an attractor nymphs like Rainbow Warriors or Bishop’s Dynamite in size 16 to 22 is very effective
THE SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The South Fork closes the end of March, so there is no time like the present to take advantage of this great tailwater. The recent cold snap has made the hatches more sporadic, but the day time highs should be coming up as we head towards the middle of the month. Look for a smattering of Baetis with a plethora of midge. While you will find some surface activity, Euro Style nymping is going to produce good numbers of fish. For dries, standard Baetis and adult midge patterns work well. For nymphs, try small Baetis nymph patterns (18-20), Zebra Midge (18-22), Caddis Larva (12-14), Stone Fly patterns (10-12), or San Juan Worms.
The Creek is closed and will reopen May 23rd.
WATER FLOWS – JANUARY 7TH
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise