2/21/2018: South Fork Fishing Report

February 21st, 2018

South Fork of The Snake

With all of the mild weather we experienced in the first half of February, we were able to sneak in a few days on the river. This past Friday we got out onto the South Fork for quite the adventure. It was cloudy and calm with a temperature of 29 degrees when we put on at 10:30 am and by the time we took out there was 4 inches of snow on the ground. As with all types of fishing, expectations are key and fishing in the winter time is no different. Typically there is a window of a few hours when the fishing gets good, this tends to be when the temperatures rise during the warmest part of the day, lately this has been between 1:30 and 3:30 in the afternoon. We primarily hooked rainbows and cutbows, but there have been a few browns and Cutthroat that also found there way to the net. Between three boats we ended up landing 15 trout and a few whitefish. As far as flies go, Midges have been the name of the game in sizes #18-#20 for winter fishing . Black, red and purple Zebra Midges and Rainbow Warriors both work well. Heavy Flashback Pheasant Tails make a great lead fly to get the nymph rig down deep in front of the fish. There is intermittent dry fly action when the temperature warms up, hungry trout are looking for food and a cluster of midges on the surface is hard to turn down. Griffiths Gnats, Cluster Midges and Parachute midges in #18-#20 work well when you start to see fish on the surface. Streamers have also been producing some solid rainbows on a sinking tip with a slow retrieve. The fish are primarily in slow, deep water and towards the bottoms of the big runs. Keep your eye out for  nside channels that have deep enough water for wintering trout, as it can be easier to target fish in a smaller area/run. Bitterly cold weather has arrived and brought us right back to winter, but look for the next warm spell to provide some good fishing as we get closer to spring and longer days!