“A mark of all the best fisherman I have known has been the power of concentration, and this, perhaps, is the most important single quality a fisherman can have.” – Roderick L. Haig-Brown
All that is required to be an angler is to let the watery world distract you. Do this, and short attention spans disappear. The river’s power of distraction leads to a more focused attention. Soon the angler begins to see trout where others only see reflection. And the really good anglers, the freaks among the freaks, seem to move beyond mere concentration. This December, find your focus.
Remember the Nature Conservancy closes the end of November; however, the creek below the Kilpatrick Bridge through the Willows and Point of Rocks will remain open until the end of March. This is a great time of year to swing a black or olive leech pattern or slow drift nymphs under a suspension device. On warmer days, you might see some fish surface feeding on midge. The browns are mostly done with their spawn, but please avoid wading through the areas where there was obvious spawning activity.
The Big Wood
This is a great time to escape the hustle of the holidays and find solitude on the Wood. The fish are in their classic winter holding water and the best fishing window is from noon until about three in the afternoon. Of course, once the sun leaves the water, the fishing shuts down so you might as well head to the bar. We are still a couple of months away from the Winter Midge hatch, but you may find the occasional surface feeder. Still, nymphing is the most productive. Remember, winter fish hold in really slow water and takes are very subtle so don’t waste time fishing water where there are no fish. Also, learn how to use a Ketchum Release tool; you will keep your hands dry and warm and the fish stay wet and healthy.
South Fork of the Boise
The road is in good condition as of the writing of this report, but in general always come to this river with a 4×4 and chains. The fishing has been good and the crowds relatively light. On mild afternoons you may be able to find some heads up on midge with the cloudy days being best. If you just want to catch fish, try nymphing the slow dancing water right as it transitions into the slower deep water. You will likely pick up a few whiteys and some decent trout.
The Lost Below Mackay
Trail Creek Pass is icy in spots and may completely shut down after the next series of storms slated for the end of this month into early December. It is still worth the trip for a solid day of angling, even if you need to drive around through Arco. The flows are low and conditions are perfect. Small nymphs and fine tippet are going to be the most effective. This is a great time of year to sight nymph the larger fish hanging in the margins. Of course, you can blind nymph the slow buckets or search for an occasional surface feeder. There will be a short window of midge surface activity.
South Fork of the Boise: Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Tungsten Nemec Stone | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: Baetis | Griffiths Gnats | Parachute Midge | Iron Lotus | Leech patterns | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Big Lost, Big Wood and Tributaries: Beatis | Midge | Golden Stone | Buggers | Bishop’s Dynamite | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Jake’s Perdigon | Rainbow Warrior | King Prince Nymph | DB Zebra Midge | Quildigons | Frenchie
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise