“Selectivity is a simple reflex pattern.” – Ernest Schweibert
The trout, driven by instinct, will reflexively feed upon the dominant insect of the given season, the food source in which it has become accustomed to eating due to sheer abundance. And the angler, driven by custom, will select and utilize the same flies and techniques upon which they have had prior success, and expect the same results. When two creatures of habit meet, one usually leaves the river frustrated.
The Big Wood
March on the Wood can be some of the best days of the year! 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, you may find 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. You have until the 31st before the river closes, so get out while you can.
With warmer days in the forecast, you might consider putting a tube in Kilpatrick Pond. Slow drifting small nymphs is most effective. Still, pleasant days may bring some fish to the surface to feed on midge and a smattering of Baetis creating some dry fly opportunities. Remember, the Nature Conservancy is closed until opening day; however, the river downstream of Kilpatrick Bridge through Point of Rocks will remain open until the end of March.
South Fork of the Boise
The South Fork also closes the end of March, so there is no time like the present to take advantage of this great tailwater. The recent warming trend should make for more consistent hatches. Look for a Baetis mixed with midge while the sun is on the water. While you will find some surface activity, dry dropper, indicator, or Euro Style nymphing will produce good numbers of trout and whitefish.
The Lost Below Mackay
The Lost, unlike the Wood, the Creek, and the South Fork, is open year round. You still need to drive to Mackay via Craters of the Moon this time of year, but it is worth the trip. March on the Lost can be spectacular. There will be a prolific mix of Baetis and Midge on most days. Like the Wood, it is best to start the day fishing subsurface, and as the day warms up start looking for surface feeding trout. For flies, bring the same assortment you might use on the Creek or the Wood.
South Fork of the Boise: Midge | Baetis | Iron Lotus | SRS Bullet French Nymph | Duracell Jig 12-18 | Jake’s Perdigon 14-18 | Pat’s Rubber Legs | Stone Daddy 8 | Bishop’s Dynamite | DB Zebra Midge in black, red, or olive | King Prince
Silver Creek: 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