February has arrived and with it comes the potential for spectacular fishing. As the sun rises higher in the sky each day and the temperatures trend toward warmer daytime highs, fly-fishing will continue to improve well into March. For the coming weeks, midges will be the dry flies of choice; however, midge pupae patterns will be effective backups when the fish are not yet feeding on the surface. Silver Creek will continue to be a fun winter challenge as midge and streamer fishing will offer opportunities to catch large Rainbows and Browns.
The Big Wood, The Big Lost, and The South Fork of the Boise Rivers
Our local freestones are on their way to some of the most productive fishing days of the year. Midge fishing in the winter and spring, is absolutely some of the best fishing we will see at any time of year. Generally, midges will congregate in the slower back-eddy water and slow moving flats which are ubiquitous on our local rivers. Due to a lack of fishing pressure, trout will be readily taking flies off the surface without being spooked. Any of your favorite midge patterns will work in sizes 18-24 and are most easily monitored by the use of a larger dry fly such as a Parachute Adams, Purple Haze or Black Stonefly (sizes 16-18), fished 12-18 inches above your midge. Subsurface, Brassies in red or copper, midge pupae in black, grey or red and small mayfly nymphs such as the Flashback Pheasant Tail (sizes 16-20) will work effectively. Also, due to the prominence of the Wood River Sculpin, black, brown and dark olive sculpin patterns as well as streamers and Woolly Buggers will also work well.
The Creek is a pleasure to fish in February. Although the Silver Creek Preserve is closed to fishing this time of year, the waters north of Highway 20 can offer solitude and opportunities to catch large fish lurking underneath the banks. Most of the large fish caught this time of year come to the streamer; however, on warmer days you can also try midge fishing. When streamer fishing, the best technique is to wade down the middle of the river and cast to the bank, splashing your black, brown or olive Woolly Bugger adjacent to the undercuts and stripping them back to the middle of the stream as they drift down current. By casting to the left bank and then the right and slowly walking downstream, you can cover large lengths of river and maximize your fishing day. Seemingly hibernating trout can be snapped out of their winter naps with this method. But don’t forget to take in the scenery as the snowy backdrop will make for some fantastic photographs and lasting memories.