Winter Tips and Flies for the Snake River

IMG_1208 Winter fly fishing can be intimidating for multiple reasons. The weather, gear freezing up, picky fish, and what bugs to use. We have fine tuned a line up of flies and tricks on how to stick fish and stay warm on our local waters this frigid time of year. Fly Selection:

Top 5 Nymphs

  • Christmas Nymph: Size 14 & 16 in black and red (video coming to our YouTube channel )
  • Gristle Bug: size 14-20 in red and olive (video coming to our YouTube channel )
  • Frenchies: Size 14-18
  • Electric Caddis: size 12-16
  • Surveyor: Size 14-18
These bugs have found a home in the SRF fly box because they are easy to tie and flat out deadly. When the temps drop the fish get sluggish and don't want to exert a ton of energy while feeding. Adding these smaller techy type bugs to your arsenal will up your success while targeting trout in super cold temps.

Top 5 Streamers

  • Snake River Bugger: Size 6 -10 in white, tan, and black. (video on YouTube)
  • Bunny Leeches: Size 8-12 in black and olive.
  • Straggle String Leech: Size 10-14 in blacks and browns (video coming to our YouTube channel )
  • Hot Head Burnt Toast Balanced Leech: Size 8-12 ( video on YouTube and available for purchase)
  • Blue Pill: Size 8-10 (video on YouTube and available for purchase)
Softer smaller streamers swung slow through the deeper runs and frog water in the warmer times of day can be super effective. When the temps rise and the fish get a touch more active the bigger flies are more attractive due to the amount of calories they are able to take in with one bite. We generally see some bigger fish hooked up while fishing these flies in the slow moving water. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Keep you hands warm

One of the biggest struggles of fishing in the winter is keeping your paws warm. The wind seems to always blow down here and when your hands get wet your in for some numb fingers. I'm sure you have tried tying knots and playing fish with these circumstances and nobody likes wearing big gloves while fishing. So we have found that a thin pair of cloth gloves with a set of thin latex gloves over top help keep your hands dry and still give you the dexterity you need to preform. They defiantly don't keep you super warm but keeping the wind and water off your hands is huge. The latex also does not remove the slim coating on the fish you catch. If you don't like gloves carrying a hand towel is a solid option. Every time your hands get wet give them a dry off and your good to go.

Water to look For

When your out and about make sure to be looking for the slower moving water. Deep runs and still water type sections. Most fish will seek refuge in the slow section so they don't have to use as much energy. Any of these types of water that have a run above are perfect because the food is being funneled town the tube right into the feed zone. We hope these tips help your next outing on the river and if you want more up to date information give us a ring at (208) 904-3900 or shoot us an email at Best fishes and happy holidays from the SRF crew!

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