“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
– Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Fly fishing is not only about catching fish; it’s about trying new waters, exploring different techniques, discovering new flies, learning from mistakes, and connecting with nature, friends, and family. It is a constant experiment, trial and error. Where will your next experiment take you?
Remember, this is the last month to fish the Creek above Kilpatrick Bridge. Downstream of Kilpatrick Bridge remains open until the end of March, like the Wood and the South Fork of the Boise. The fishing is best in the afternoon, and depending on the day, you may find a short window of hatch activity. Expect Baetis and Midge. Small nymphs and dries along with fine tippet are a must. Streamers are a good option as well. Please be aware of spawning browns; leave these fish alone and avoid wading through the redds.
The river has transitioned into a winter fishery. In short, the fish have moved out of the fast, shallow runs and are concentrated in the best winter holding water. That said, you may need to search a few buckets to find fish, but when you find one there should be several. As for techniques and flies, simple is best. Take a few midge patterns to cover the different stages of this insect’s life cycle and a few junk flies to induce a take. Indicators or Euro style are best depending on the speed of the water. Typically you will need to get deep as the fish may be right on the bottom. The best fishing window is during the afternoon until the sun leaves the water.
Warm Springs and Trail Creek
Warm Springs and Trail Creek are fishing much like the Wood. You will find a few straggling stocked trout around the bridges; however, if you seek wild fish, just venture away from the easy access points. Look for the deep winter holding water and you are likely to find a few trout.
The Upper Lost
While it may look passable, the Trail Creek Pass gate will be locked. You will need to drive all the way around and up into this area. It is a long way to go, but you can guarantee solitude.
The Lost Below Mackay
The flows are up and down as they seem to be working on the gates. Probably best to leave this fishery alone as the trout may be stressed. Hopefully, they will stabilize the flows soon.
It is frigid in Stanley this time of year, but fishing in the afternoon can still be done. Pick some decent holding water and you will find a few rainbows, cutthroat, whitefish, and possibly a bull trout.
South Fork of the Boise
Flows are holding steady at 300 CFS.The cooler weather has triggered solid Baetis and midge activity. The fishing window is short in the canyon, but while the sun is on the water, the fish are feeding.
Silver Creek: Beatis | Nymphs | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | Small Pheasant Tails | Streamers
Big Wood and Warm Springs: Adult Midge | Small Perdigons | Bishop’s Dynamite | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive
Salmon: Olive, Brown, Black Buggers | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Bishop’s Dynamite | Prince Nymph
South Fork of the Boise: Baetis | Midge | Duracell | Bullet French Nymph | Perdigons | San Juan Worm | Pat’s Rubber Leg Stone
|Silver Creek||185 cfs|
|Big Wood||301 cfs|
|The Lost Below Mackay||197 cfs|
|South Fork of the Boise||307 cfs|