Seems like winter as struck in Central Idaho this past week, with some pretty cold nights and slush ice in the Salmon River. Temperatures are going to be warmer (38 degrees) today and hopefully no ice in the river this afternoon. Temperatures are expected to drop to mid 20’s after that, and stay that way until next Monday.I’m sure we will see some ice off and on. I will try to keep updating on daily conditions as we get the information.
With the ice and water temperatures in the 30’s it’s going to be tough flyfishing. Sink tip lines or long leaders that are weighted are going to be needed to get down to the fish. Just find a hole and work it from top to bottom and move to another hole if you don’t find a fish. There will be some, but not a lot of movement with the fish until the water warms up some. Big, dark flies like the Tungsten Nemec Stone Nymph, Boss, or a Lead Eye Rabbit Strip Leech dead drifted using a longer rod with a little backbone like the Orvis Recon 10ft 8wt fly rod works great for this type of nymphing.
This is the time when the drift fisherman will shine by bouncing along the bottom. You might also try jigging spoons.
Big Lost River
Flows are around 59 cfs, so you will find the water very low and clear. Look for fish holding in the deeper pockets or shallow waters along the edge. It’s going to be sight fishing to spooky fish. Try Brassies, Zebra Midges, Griffith’s Gnat or a Copper John in sizes 18 and smaller for these wary fish