“Stay still long enough at the waterside and things start to happen.” ~Luke Jennings

The days are short, the leaves are down, and the mountains are dusted with snow; the rivers in the valley have transitioned from fall to winter fisheries. So, when you head to the water this November, pause at the river’s edge and take note of the subtle differences. The habits of trout change as the temperatures drop, and so should the habits of anglers.

Silver Creek

Cold winter weather has come to the Valley; however, even with the frigid conditions, the Creek will still produce decent Baetis and Midge late in the day. Check the forecast for cloudy days; these are your best bet for fish on the surface. Otherwise, nymphing dry dropper style will be most productive. Find the right depth with your dropper and you will take plenty of trout. Remember, the Conservancy stretch and Purdy’s down to highway 20 will close at the end of November. From the Highway 20 bridge down through the Willows and the Point of Rocks the fishing will remain open until the end of February.

Big Wood 

The fish are settling into winter holding water so there is no need to waste time fishing runs that are fast and shallow. Focus instead on the slow seams, deep buckets and tail outs. For the most part, the fall Baetis and caddis hatches have disappeared; however, there are still a few midges hatching late in the day. With winter coming, the fish are hungry and if you find the right spot at the right time you will find fish eager to take a fly. Try dangling a small DB Midge off a high floating dry or indicator. Keep in mind that when the water temps drop, the takes can be subtle; strike detection becomes paramount.

The Lost Below Mackay

Trail Creek Pass is still open but could close any day. Check with us and we will let you know if you will need to go around through Carey and over to Arco to get to Mackay. The flows on the Lost are perfect.  Expect to find some Baetis, but mostly midge hatching in the afternoons. For the few surface feeders, you will need long leaders down to 6 or 7X and small flies to match. Nymphing will produce the most consistent action. Try a small beaded midge or Baetis below a dry or small indicator.

South Fork of the Boise

Be sure you are prepared for winter travel if you head the South Fork. While the road conditions are fine now, that can change rapidly.  Be sure your 4X4 is equipped with studded snow tires and chains and bring along extra food, a sleeping bag, and a change of clothes.  As for the fishing, the flows are steady at 304 CFS, which is ideal for walk and wade fishing. There are still Baetis, as well as Midge, hatching in the late afternoon. Dry fly purists will find fish up in the slow, deep stretches selectively sipping up until the sun goes down.  Nymphing remains productive with Squirmy or San Juan Worms, Rubber Leg Stones, Caddis Larva as well as small Zebra Midge and Baetis Nymphs. Focus your attention on the seams and slower riffles for both trout and white fish.

Silver Creek Flies: Harrop’s Beatis | Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive 16,18 | Pheasant Tails 16,18 | Baetis Nymphs

Big Wood, Big Lost: Rubber Legged Stones |Iron Lotus | DB Midge | Pheasant Tails | Bishop’s Dynamite | King Prince | Streamers

South Fork of the Boise Flies: Baetis | Adult Midge | Rubber Legged Stones | Zebra Midge | Caddis Larva | Flash Back Pheasant tails | King Prince | Streamers

Silver Creek
Big Wood
The Big Lost
South Fork of the Boise
91.5 cfs
147 cfs
218 cfs
304 cfs