South Fork of the Snake River
Flows: ~ 900 CFS at Irwin, ~1300 CFS at Heise
Winter has settled in, but with the current Winter flows on the South Fork of the Snake River it has opened up the river to really accessible wading opportunities. Remember to look for your Winter holding spots for trout and not the places you would fish in the summer. Long flats after large bends are some of the best winter fishing spots to key in on. Nymphing has been the most productive application. You will see midges coming off during the temperature variances of the day, especially if its overcast/cloudy. Nymphing small rubber legs, zebra midges, small tactical nymphs, and egg patterns will be the most productive patterns. Remember that getting down to where the fish are holding is paramount so you may need to use a more substantial point fly or split shot in combination with your small nymphs. If you enjoy streamer fishing, make sure to use a slow retrieve in Winter instead of a more active strip that you would use during spring, summer, and fall.
Henry’s Fork of the Snake River
Upper River: Box Canyon ~ 480 CFS
Box has been fishing well, and access will continue to get more difficult with an increase of snow. You may need to bring snowshoes to access certain spots. Fish are usually located in the deeper runs, where the current is slower. Nymphing has been good with small rubber legs, midge patterns, and small tactical nymphs all producing excellent results. Remember to make sure you are getting your drifts deep enough by adding split-shot or using a larger point fly with small flies beneath it.
Some of the best places to wade fish can be around the Warm River boat ramp located on Lower Fisherman’s Drive. There are plenty of accessible spots below the Warm River put-in, down to the Reservoir and below Ashton Dam.
The lower ramp in the Ashton reservoir is accessible as is the upper cutoff (above Highway 20) if you plan to float. No need to worry about ice (as of December 20). Call our Ashton Fly Shop at (208) 652-3008 for the latest info before heading out.
Lower River: below Ashton reservoir ~ 1190 CFS
The winter fishing on the lower river can be an excellent option for productive trout fishing in the Winter months. On warmer cloudy days, there will be small dry fly opportunities with Midges. Nymphing will be the most productive manner in which to catch trout. The best nymphs will be a combination of any of the following: small rubber legs, eggs, worms, all types of midge nymphs, and small tactical nymphs. Remember to properly weight your rigs, so that you are getting deep enough for the flies to be in the proper section of the water column where the trout are holding. If you like to streamer fish, be sure to utilize a slow retrieve versus a quick, sporadic strip. This can be some of the best fishing on the Henry’s Fork, mainly because there are not a ton of anglers out each day.
Teton River: Leigh Creek
190 Cfs (but gauge is indicating ICE)
The Teton can fish very well in the winter months, but make sure to watch your footing. There are large ice shelves on the banks currently, so be careful getting to your runs. Midges will come off on warmer overcast days, but the flows are low and slow, so stealth approaches and longer leaders will be necessary. Search for the long, deep runs in which to nymph. The best patterns would be a multi-fly rig with zebra midges, small tactical nymphs, and worms. If we get several days with well above freezing temperatures, fishing a small worm pattern in your rig can be deadly.