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Months of Winter Fishing Ahead

Snake River

Inconsistency is the name of the game on the Snake in terms of surface action. Intense feeding on midges can bee from 10am to 1pm some days in riffle pools. On other days, it is after 2pm and occurring in backwater side channels and eddies with slow currents and moderate depths. The best plan of action is to fish hard, keep your eyes open, and when you see consistent surface feeding, stay on those fish.

Nymphing has been decent just about every day and downright good some days, especially on the lower reaches from South Park Bridge down to Sheep Gulch. Chironomid imitations are working slow deep pools downstream of ledge rock shelves, recirculating eddies, and dead current back channels near main channel seams. Roe patterns are producing well in riffle pools downstream of riffle shelves with moderately fast currents as whitefish continue to spawn.

Small and moderately sized streamers are producing along seam and eddy current margins and in slow and deep water in side channels. Fish your baitfish imitations on floating lines or INT sinking tips and go with slow, even retrieves.

Dry flies – Micro Bruces, Morgan’s Para-midge, Don King Trico, Ritt’s ARF Midge, and CDC Midge Emergers.

Nymphs – Peach Fuzz Jigs, Duracells, Sin City, Rojo Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Perdigons, Eyed Eggs, Yarn Eggs, and Nuclear Eggs.

Streamers – Krystal Buggers, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Slump Busters, and Fruit Rollups.

South Fork

Surface action on the South Fork hits its stride in riffles (especially inside turns), seams, slow backwater eddies, and banks with slow currents after 1pm as midge adult activity intensifies. Its nothing off the charts, although there is better action on those days with some cloud cover.

Nymphing has been the way to go on all reaches with the best production coming after 11am and being very good after 1pm. Midge imitations are working best. Target riffles, seams, and eddies. Whitefish are still spawning, so consider using roe patterns when fishing riffle pools and shelves, as well as flats.

Streamers are working well just about everywhere. Moderately sized baitfish imitations are working best, particularly along banks and in riffle pools. Some good action is also coming on smaller imitations when fished along seams and in slow current side channels. Fish all of these on floating or hover lines and god with slow retrieves. Incorporate hesitations in your line strips every now and then.

Dry flies – Parachute Adams, Renegades, Mating Midges, Snowshoe Tricos, and Parachute Midges.

Nymphs – Brush Hogs, Duracells, Rainbow Warriors, RS-2s, Zebra Midges, Brassies, Perdigons, Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs, Veiled Eggs, and Bacon & Eggs.

Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Slump Busters, and Chocklett’s Mini-Game Changer.


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