One winter storm after the next keep rolling through the Wood River Valley. These low pressure systems mean excellent winter fishing. The storms also mean more favorable temperatures when fishing, especially after coming off of several weeks of bitter cold here. This also releases a lot of the water and fishing areas that were beginning to lock up from thin layers of ice.
Big Wood River
The Wood is one of the crown jewels of winter fishing anywhere in the United States. The proliferation of the Midge coupled with the presence of the Wood River Sculpin means the fish here eat very well and eat with abandon on most days of the winter.
The toughest part of fishing right now is the need for creative access to most of the river, as most parking areas are under several feet of plowed snow. The good news is, anglers that are walking longer distances are fishing to fish that have rarely seen anyone in weeks and even months in some cases.
We are at the beginning of some of the winter seasons biggest Midge hatches, which means our second dry fly season is upon us. Look for these hatches in deeper, slow moving runs on the river. Be prepared with small dry flies with 5X and 6X tippets. Dry shake floatant is also important in helping to keep your tiny Midge dries visible. It is a good idea to fish these little flies behind a bigger pattern that you can see well. We have a variety of Midge patterns in the store, so come on in and we will get you the best flies for the day, and match you with patterns you will be able to see.
Fishing nymphs when the trout arenâ€™t rising is a great way to catch a lot of fish this time of the year. Small patterns like Brassies, Zebras, and other tiny Midge Pupa patterns. Bigger nymphs include Zug Bugs, Hareâ€™s Ears, Chamois Flies, and others. Again, come by the store for a selection of the best winter nymph patterns. Fish these flies under 4X tippets with strike indicators. With the bigger flies, you can also add a small split shot and swing these patterns in the classic greased line style.
Finally, when things are slow, or if you want to try and target bigger fish, get out your favorite streamers and run them across the bottom from one side of the river to the other. Concentrate on boulders and steep banks. Keep your rod tip down and be ready for heavy yanks when the fish decide to eat this fly. Buggers, Philo Beto, and Bunny patterns are all great choices. Fish these on stout tippets of at least 3X and even up to 0X. Fish looking to demolish a streamer arenâ€™t going to be leader shy, and because they are chasing the fly from behind, will never see it anyway.
The open areas of Silver Creek, downstream from Highway 20 have been pretty much frozen over the past few weeks. Although there is more and more water opening up, it would be wise to give these fish a few weeks to gain some strength and settle into more consistent feeding patterns and lies.