Happy New Year, don’t forget to buy a new fishing license

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Our January thaw showed up in a timely fashion this year. Weeks of ice and subzero temperatures have been replaced by one Pacific storm after the next. Daytime temperatures are very comfortable for fishing, but with a constant snow fall, our access points have been extremely limited. Anglers willing to park wherever they are safely able, and then willing to hoof it up or down river a mile or more, will absolutely be treated to untouched waters. A car shuttle, or a “drop-off / pick – up” by a friend is the way to go if at all possible. Midge hatches have been decent and catch rates reflect this.

Silver Creek

The Creek has finally thawed and open water means good streamer fishing for those who like this style of fishing. It can be very visual, with Browns and big Rainbows chasing streamers fished just under the surface and then hitting them with a true “boil” on the surface. Keep in mind, only downstream waters are open to fishing right now, below the highway 20 bridge, and all the fishing is catch and release. If you go, fish stout tippets, at least 3X, although 2x through 0X is better. Swing the fly with the tip right on the water and the line coming directly into the direction the rod is pointed. You don’t want the tip to flex when you set the hook, you just want the line to come tight right into your hand. When you see the fish boil, just set the hook, and set it hard. If you don’t hook up, immediately begin to strip the fly again with the tip on the water as most fish will continue to chase a streamer they are after until they get it! Snow shoes are a good idea, as there really is no reason to get into the water short of releasing a fish.

Big Wood River

The Wood is in good winter form, and pressure on the water is still less than previous years, mostly due to good skiing and constant snow fall. Most area drainages are up to 150% snow pack for the winter, which bodes well for next seasons fishing. If this remains the same for a few more months, expect the Wood to come into shape sometime in early to mid July this year. If you are fishing in the next two weeks, have a good assortment of midges, both big and small and both wet and dry. The fish are eager to take well presented flies. Not a hard or fast rule but they prefer red and green colored midges on cloudy days, and copper or black colors on sunny days. When in doubt, fish your flies in tandem, as inevitably one color will be dominant in hook ups on any given day. Once you find the color, stick with it exclusively for the rest of your outing. Just don’t be surprised if the color that they prefer is different from one day to the next. Streamers are always a great alternative when the fishing is slow, or you are fishing early and late in the day.

Basin Precip. Averages
Salmon – 123%
Big Wood – 146%
Little Wood – 161%
Big Lost – 144%
Henry’s Fork – 131%