The weather forecast for the end of this week ushers in colder daytime temperatures and a real changing of the seasons. Anglers will need to adjust their tactics accordingly. No matter where you fish, when the weather changes, concentrate angling efforts during the warmest parts of the day, and look for fish in typical winter holding lies – soft current seams, slow, deep pools, and calm tailouts.
Silver Creek on Kilpatrick Pond and The Nature Conservancy Silver Creek Preserve reamin open until the end of November. North of the highway, the Creek remains open until the end of March. Note – duck hunters are active on Silver Creek this time of year, so anglers should be aware. The Creek’s large brown trout are in various stages of spawning, with pre and post spawn fish actively feeding to “pack on the pounds” before winter. Dry fly activity is limited to the afternoons, but anglers should expect small Baetis (BWO) and midges during calm days. Throwing streamers to deep, dark water and undercut banks will take plenty of fish. The old adage of “bright day, bright fly and dark day, dark fly” seems to hold true. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite streamers!
On the Big Wood River, Baetis and midge activity remains strong given the right weather conditions. A size 18 or 20 Olive Gulper Special or Film Critic accurately imitates Baetis and will fool trout all along the Big Wood. To take fish eating midges (look to the foam lines!), fish a visible midge cluster imitation followed by a trailing midge emerger or adult. A white-winged Griffith’s Gnats in a size 16 or 18, trailed by a size 20 or 22 Tie-Down Midge, is an excellent choice. Nymphing will be extremely productive throughout the winter months. Go-to double nymph rigs include large Rubber Legs, Princes, Hare’s Ears, and Copper Johns followed by more diminutive imitations such as black or red Zebra Midges, Pheasant Tails, Rainbow Warriors, or Brassies. Sculpin imitations such as olive Buggers, Zonkers, and Sparkle Minnows fished on a slow swing effectively imitate the numerous sculpin found in the Big Wood. This technique will yield quality over quantity, and produces some exceptional rainbows.
The Lower Big Lost River below Mackay Reservoir is low but the river remains chalky, with limited dry fly fishing. Nymphing can still be productive during these conditions.
The fishing on the Upper Big Lost River (Copper Basin) will be winding down as it gets colder, but fishing during select times can be productive using the same flies and techniques that we recommend for the Big Wood.
Happy Fishing Everyone!