Fishing Forecast Nov. 27th – Dec. 11th

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Santa, if you are listening, the winter fishing season is upon us and I have a few simple needs. To help me keep my feet toasty warm and my legs dry, a pair of SIMMS Bootfoot Waders is top of my list. Next are layers, lots of layers; from long underwear to fleece pants and jackets, I know SIMMS has got me covered. Hat, fingerless gloves, flask, Smith Optics ChromaPop Polarized sunglasses and maybe even a Tenkara rod would make for nice stocking stuffers. And Santa, to make this really easy on you, you can find all of this at Silver Creek Outfitters.

The Big Wood
The fish on the Wood are in their classic winter holding water and the best fishing window is from noon until about three in the afternoon. Once the sun leaves the water, the fishing shuts down. We are still a couple months away from the Winter Midge hatch, but you may find the occasional surface feeder. Still, nymphing is the most productive. Try beaded red, black, or green Zebra Midge, Rainbow Warriors, or  Bishop’s Dynamites in size 16 and 18. Larger nymphs will also work. I like Rubber Leg Stones in size 12, Beaded Pheasant Tails in size 14, or  Prince Nymphs in size 12 or 14. Remember,  winter fish hold in really slow water and takes are very subtle so don’t waste time fishing water where there are no fish.  Also, learn how to use a Ketchum Release tool; you will keep your hands dry and warm and the fish will thank you.

Silver Creek
Remember the Nature Conservancy closes the end of November;
however, the creek below the highway bridge through the Willows and Point of Rocks will remain open until the end of February. This is great water to swing a black or olive leech pattern or slow drift nymphs through the deeper buckets. On warmer days, you might see some fish surface feeding on midge. The browns are mostly done with their spawn, but please avoid wading through the areas where there was obvious spawning activity.

Lower Big Lost River
Trail Creek Pass is icy in spots and may completely shut down after the next series of storms slated for the end of this month into early December. I recommend driving  around through Arco to be on the safe side. The flows are at 67 CFS and conditions are perfect. Small nymphs and fine tippet are going to be the most effective. This is a great time of year to sight nymph the larger fish hanging in the margins. Try a lightly weighted Zebra Midge or a WD40 sans indicator and watch for the fish to make a move for the fly. Of course, you can blind nymph the slow buckets with small Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamites and Zebra Midge and a small indicator and watch for the soft winter takes. Even if the indicators pauses, set the hook. Winter takes are often very subtle. There will be a short window of midge surface activity as well. Try a size 20 or 22 trailing shuck midge on 6.5X Trouthunter Fluorocarbon.

South Fork of the Boise
The opening earlier this month was much sooner than expected and anglers have been pleasantly surprised by what they found despite the massive series of mudslides that entered the river September 13. On
November 9th, volunteers planted cottonwoods along the damaged areas to help stabilize the soil. This was a joint effort supported by the Forest Service, TU, and many local Boise businesses and should help accelerate the recovery process. As for fishing, anglers should find success plying the waters with large stone flys, caddis larva, and small midge patterns. Dry fly anglers might even see some fish working midge adults and emergers during the warmest time of the day. As always, be prepared for ice on the road and have chains or studded tires to be on the safe side.

The Salmon
The steelhead are in and around the Riggins area and Spey casters have been having success swinging flies. Come on in and let us help you get set up. We have a complete selection of steelhead flies and Scandi and Skagit style lines.

Shop our House of Harrop Fly selection!

Silver Creek

Black or Olive Leech

Midges

The Bigwood

Zebra Midge

Rainbow Warriors

Bishop’s Dynamite

Rubber Leg Stone

Pheasant Tails

Prince Nymphs

Lower Big Lost

Zebra Midge

WD40 Sans Indicator

Rainbow Warriors

Bishop’s Dynamites

Zebra Midge

SF of the Boise

Stone Flys

Caddis Larva

Small Midge Patterns

Midges

The Salmon

Steelhead Flies

“If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” – Zane Grey

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