Cold daytime temperatures are the new normal as we look towards the future fishing forecast. Anglers will need to adjust their tactics accordingly. No matter where you fish, 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.
With only a few more fishing days left on the Silver Creek Preserve, dry fly activity is limited to the late afternoon, but anglers should expect small Baetis (BWO) and Midges during calm days. Throwing streamers to deep, dark water and undercut banks will take the biggest fish. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your favorite streamers! North of the highway, the Creek remains open for catch and release fishing until the end of March. Note – duck hunters are active on Silver Creek this time of year, so anglers should be aware.
Anglers on the Big Wood River should seek out water that sees the afternoon sun; avoid shady canyons and tree-lined corridors of the river. Baetis and Midge activity remains strong given the right weather conditions. To take fish eating Midges (look to the foam lines!), fish a visible Midge cluster imitation followed by a Trailing Midge Emerger. 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, Prince Nymphs, 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 large rainbows.
Access to the Upper Lost River through Trail Creek Pass officially closed on November 15th. The flows on both the upper and lower Lost are low. Expect to find occasional Baetis, and Midges hatching in the afternoons. For the few surface feeders, you will need long leaders down to 6X and small flies to match. Nymphing will produce the most consistent take.
The cold weather still dictates keeping an extra set of warm clothes in your vehicle and be safe – tell someone where you are going!
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Fishing Everyone!