Winter Fishing In Idaho

Winter Fishing in Idaho

Imagine little to no pressure on a stretch river that is known to hold great fishing. Now Imagine the options of catching Cutthroats, Bull Trout and Brook Trout in single session on those stretches all to yourself. Well with the use of Streamers, Stonefly’s, and natural colored sculpin patterns you can be sure to catch a variation of fish in the winter months of Idaho on the SF of the Boise River. This is my favorite time to fish. The brisk cold days, snow falling around me, and quiet stretches of river all to myself are the winter days I look forward too.

Like most fisherman, the bitter cold can really hinder the desire to be in the freezing water but those are the days I love to fish most. Yes, my rod eyelids can freeze along with every part of my body, but that’s part of the experience and I promise you it makes you really appreciate the warmer days. You also won’t be disappointed in the lack of other fisherman around you, along with the variation of fishing styles you can tryout. The fish are there, the techniques to catch them you will for sure get to experience. I was shocked on how much action I received from using streamers and stripping even from just feet away from where I was wading. I swear it can make up for the frozen cheeks and fingertips.

One particular morning in the month of February, it happened to be nine degrees out and ended up being one of the most remembered days on the water. I recall my nose hairs and eye lids freezing but every other cast resulted in landing a fish or at least a good hit. I even had an occasional fish stationed behind my draft while standing in the middle of the river. Majority of the Rainbows and Bull Trout I landed were all over 20 inches.

If you have not experienced winter fishing on the South Fork, it’s something every fisherman should at least experience once.

Here are five personal trips for winter fly-fishing in Idaho:

  1. Good pair of winter gloves you can fish with. Dress for winter in Alaska.
  2. Good beanie and neck gaiters, you will lose most of your heat from your head.
  3. Have a truck near by with a good heater to take “intermissions” or “time outs” with it.
  4. Bring a thermos with some hot soup, coco or other liquids to warm the soul.
  5. Fish with a friend for safety and or company in these conditions.

I am not saying the fishing will always be on fire, but even on slow days you will get action even if it’s the consistent Canadian Geese flying overhead or the migrating deer and elk crossing the snow-covered hillside. Regardless the action, the cold sure makes catching fish in these conditions that much more rewarding



by Will Meyers, Fishing Consultant w/ Got Fishing – World Class Fishing Adventures

email: wmeyers@gotfishing.com phone: 208-720-3586