The weather has settled for a little while, leaving nearly 150 percent snowpack behind a chain of winter storms. With continued cold and hopefully a wet spring, we hope to see full reservoirs and cold, clean, swift-moving rivers. In the meantime, the wintry backdrop is spectacular and the best Midge hatches of the season are waiting for you!
The Big Wood is the epicenter of winter dry-fly fishing in our area. Daily hatches can be found in the slow but moving water throughout the entire system. Fish Griffith’s Gnats and Tie-Down Midges with 6X tippet, keep a low profile, fish slowly and target the biggest heads you see. The action normally starts by 11 a.m. and can stay prolific until around 4-ish.
The other places anglers can find great Midge dry-fly activity is on the lower Big Lost River as well as the South Fork of the Boise. These places also produce outstanding surface activity, but they are more sporadic and weather dependent than the winter hatches on the Big Wood.
If you prefer to nymph versus dealing with the precision and detail of dry-fly fishing, then be sure to have Black and Red Zebra Nymphs, Copper and Red Brassies, as well as Girdle Bugs. Any combination of these fished under an indicator will produce fish on all of our winter fisheries.
If you come to fish Silver Creek, stop by the fly shop here in Picabo and grab some hot food and some Streamers. The water is beginning to thaw out and more open water means better fishing for you.
Waterfowl season will be closing in two weeks and that normally coincides with the timing of the best Streamer fishing of the season. Fish them with no weight, on 2X fluorocarbon tippet. The farther you can cast, the more action you will get. This is especially true of big Streamer flies and if nothing else it is a great warm-up for saltwater season in the spring.
The clear sky means colder temperatures, so despite the sun being out, continue to take the necessary winter precautions, especially keeping warm, dry clothes in your vehicle as well as a full tank of gas. Chains, snow shovel, thawed water, and a note to a friend explaining where you are going are all precautions that just fall into the common-sense category. Have fun and be kind out there!
Happy fishing, everyone!