Mostly cold temperatures and a little more snow is in the forecast for the coming week. With the snow comes a falling barometer, which generally means active fish. Given the lack of anglers on the waters these days, the need for fish to feed before the winter temperatures get very cold and relatively comfortable conditions, the fishing should be outstanding in the coming week or two. Most action will be found subsurface, but with few anglers out and about a simple nymph set up under a strike indicator can be run quickly through one hole after the next, providing great mid-day action!
Only a few weeks left to fish the upstream waters on Silver Creek. Calm days are still providing a minimal amount of insects and rising fish. This is a good time of year to split time between the Sloughs and the river itself. If you arrive at the Creek and nothing is happening on the surface, head over to Sullivan’s Slough or the Lower Slough and try to sight nymph these big rainbows. Well tied Callibaetis imitations pulled slowly through the water can provide great action. Remember to try and target the fish you see moving, as they are true eaters. The stationary fish are significantly less inclined to follow a moving target. If you notice the wind down, and the air temperatures warming slightly you may want to check back in on the river. Baetis and Midges are still the name of the game. Enjoy the quiet of the late fall.
Big Wood River
The Wood is fishing quite well with nymphs and a huge lack of anglers means you can move quickly through one run after the next. Fish general nymph patterns under a strike indicator and stay on the move. Two or three cast in any one lane is plenty. Cover a run quickly, but thoroughly and move on. A persons catch rate is going to be dictated by the amount of water covered. Midge imitations as well as basics like Hare’s Ears, A.P. Nymphs and Zug Bugs will all take fish. Fly fishing is a confidence game, so this time of year, fish the nymph you have the most confidence in and enjoy each and every hook up.
With the snow in the high country the Lost will become abandoned by all but the most dedicated fly anglers. Driving over the pass is not recommended, even if it were to clear of snow, as one quick storm can leave you stuck in the middle of a nowhere and at best driving home the long way through Arco. If you chose to go, take the highway around from the South and be sure to stop at Grandpas BBQ in Arco on the way back. More than one angler has found this part of the trip worth the drive alone! Nymphing the deep spots with double nymph rigs is the most common approach to this river this time of the year. On cloudy days, expect the trout to move into slightly shallower water.
Upper Lost River and Copper Basin
No real reports on this area with the arrival of winter in the high country. Much of the downstream water may still be accessed via the Mackay route, but it is a long drive and should be planned into a multi-day outing should one feel very adventurous. The Wagon Wheel in Mackay is a nice little hotel and a good alternative to cold weather camping.
Little Wood River
The Little Wood is not being fished by anyone we know of. Nymphing the desert, or upstream areas of the river can be productive for smaller trout, but good numbers of fish should be readily available to fisherman that want to take advantage of a little river with very little fishing pressure on it.
South Fork of the Boise
Sparse Baetis hatches and growing Midge activity are the name of the game on the South Fork. Small Brassies, Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges will take fish, but expect a few nice sized specimens through the course of a day rather than large numbers of fish.
Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 153%
Big Wood – 143%
Little Wood – 125%
Big Lost – 125%
Henry’s Fork – 168%