How to Fly Fish the Big Wood River in March

ladies gentlemen we were fishing a

beautiful river called the big wood

night hoe we're fishing with good friend

Larry Hardy we're expecting to catch

some rainbows possibly some Browns stick

around I think it would be a great show

it's okay to get help from a local fly

shop when he first came into town we

asked the local fly shop the type of

flies we need where to go and he put us

on to some great flies and a great

fishing area we entered the beautiful

Sun Valley in Idaho with great

anticipation the first access point we

came to there was a clearly visible hole

this is the first hole we came to and it

was pretty obvious again that this is a

good hole we could see it from the

bridge but you can see there's a nice

riffle coming in and a fairly good

current fast current that comes you know

for pretty much all the way down this

hole and and then tails out down in here

the deepest part of the hole is right in

here and then you have a nice seam along

this inside current and you have another

nice seam along this current all of

which looked really good to hit this you

know we had a good idea that this could

hold fish there was also a lot of

structure in here of course you have

this nice rock wall over here providing

structure under the water and then there

was a nice big boulder in here some

boulders all along in here even up in

this area so just a real good classic

hole there was nobody fishing it so we

rigged up her gear jumped out and headed

down soon we were casting into the big

Wood River it was a pretty classic good

looking hole there was a nice rock wall

on the far side there's some big

boulders throughout where fish could

hide right up detecting that Bank don't

you yeah I think so too

there was a nice fast water ripple going

into a deeper section that was probably

about five feet deep at the most good

ice buildup

yeah have you gotten any hits out


we started with nymphs that were

suggested by the local fly shop nope

nothing in the in the edges yeah right

at the seam its I don't think that's

where they're picking anything up they

we were using a black Pat's rubber leg

fly trailed by a red midge pupa yeah

they might Oh there's one that was on

this side nice yeah we started nymph

intends to be the most effective

technique deve had hooked into a fish

and was working to get the fish on the

reel it was early and there was no

evidence of a hatch yet get him on the

reel here Steve hooked into the first

fish right on the inside seam then he

grabbed his net as he moved the fish

closer an inside seam is a perfect place

for fish to rest they could just relax

in the slow current and dart out and

grab food from the faster current it's

decent fish rainbow

it's pretty dark colored rainbow I can't

reel any further there's too much ice

and my guides that's nuts

great it's a really dark colored rainbow

how big Steve probably 10 10 inches

probably pretty good nice nice little

rainbow look beautiful we each managed

to hook a few fish with this nymph set

up fish all a nice jumper hmm

after that Steve put on a streamer

pattern to hook this beautiful brown wow

that's a good trout right there

oh nice one yeah and a jumper cool

there's an olive wooly bugger with some

flash and gold bead head

well the streamer did work Larry that is

a grown Steam cast across the current

into slow water next to the rocks it's a

nice brown trout yes cool

that thing hit and then it just boom out

of the water I know if that was on

camera or not back then did a couple of

nice other jumps and was quickly

rewarded with a beautiful brown trout

gorgeous it's the length of the inside

of this Bitterroot net yeah that was fun

I'm glad I switched to the streamer

Louden's trying the dries and there's

some fish rising up there that fish took

the screamer I'll show you the all the

streamer the place I caught the brown

was right over here on this side there's

a little slower nice kind of a deep slot

right there I actually waded out a

little bit and a little upriver to get

there I was casting from about right in

here cast over this current and again

landed the fly right in there stripped a

couple times as it came down along this

current and somewhere in here is where

that brown trout hit I'm using a nine

foot five weight fly rod with a sink tip

line and then a short leader to this

olive bugger

and that's got a little bead head on

it's kind of a small streamer but in

winter time a lot of times you want to

use a smaller fly that Brown hit that

fly that was awesome

oh boy

yikes yeah it's crazy I know I know what

you snagged up in that tree I was deep

in thought pondering how to catch some

fish that I saw rise that's an oxymoron

right there

we caught quite a few fish in this hole

and in several different places the NIMH


seemed to work the best of course it's

winter time there wasn't much of a hatch

going on so but we did catch him along

the seam here we caught several along

this seam here some of them just right

up in the main current and then the

deeper hole right in here definitely

we saw some fish and some bites in there

that first fish you saw caught along

this inside seam we did have a fish

right down here and the tail out and

then I've caught some fish over here too

right in this area had a couple of bites

with nips and actually had moved over to

this area to fish and cast up into here

and got a couple strikes but didn't

catch any fish there but did have a

couple strikes

that's where we ended up catching the

fish and all of these areas were nips we

did I did catch the one brown over in

here with a streamer did catch some in

the tail out some bites with the

streamer in this area and we also were

trying there was drys hatching up in

this area blue and olives a little later

that we tried but weren't able to catch



the next hole we fish had fast current

going to a semi deep hole but not a lot

of structure

how are you stripping it um you know

mostly I would let it swing without

stripping and then at the end I would

give it a couple strips the bottom the

hole was not your typical tail out it

was medium fast current along the far

side which got progressively deeper okay

this is a pretty good situation here cuz

I'm trying to throw my cast right up

against that far bank and all I have to

do is bounce it off the snowbank makes

it really easy and it was slower and

shallower on our side of the river and

do like Ladin stay in one spot okay and

do me a couple casts and then do a

step-down you know kind of be methodical

like a hill head fishing it seemed like

really good streamer water because there

was no particular spot where a trout

would hold so using a streamer to cover

more water seemed like a good idea there

it is oh it's a good one too woohoo

jumper wooly smokes is jumping right at

me Wow holes

I started casting across the river a

little bit downstream trying to cover as

much water as I possibly could wow these

are great fighters

I was letting the streamer sink and

swing with the current and then I let it

hang straight down and give it a couple

quick pulls yeah these are fun fish fun

fish I mean it can't be more 1012 inches

but just the fight these things give her

crazy skyrocketed after each cast I take

a couple steps downstream and cast again

they spot the gorgeous rainbow wow

that's a nice trip

yeah you know I kept working my way down

and I thought maybe let's just get to

shallow it only seems like there's foot

half of water but sure enough it was

there gorgeous it's using barbless hook

so that pops right out and we're ready

to go

still spunky is fast fight and it was a

skyrocketing fish but man we had a few

bites and caught a couple fish doing

this so this is a view of the tail out

of the hole the the actual deeper part

of the hole is up here and then this

whole area here is a fairly long and I

call it a tail out just because it's you

know after the main area of the hole and

it's several hundred feet I don't know

maybe a hundred feet or so all the way

down through there and where I drew the

line is where we had the fastest current

and then you would get course a little

bit less current along the edges where

it would you know have friction with the

edges and then as you came closer to

this shore to where we're standing it's

shallower and less current and we were

just walking down through the stepping

down through this you know casting

across and towards the other Bank

sometimes straight across sometimes

across and down but you know kind of

targeting to hit it in that area of

course the Flies would swing down below

us and then usually in this area down in

here somewhere below twitch a couple

times and this is where we were getting

all of the strikes just in this zone you

know all the way up in here is where we

caught strikes and caught fish like in

just trailing this little olive streamer

it was a pretty fun way to fish and an

effective way to fish this long tail out

it's always good to have a streamer rod

set up so you could quickly switch and

cover a lot of water fast ladies and

gentlemen we had a fantastic time here

on the big Wood River in Sun Valley hope

you enjoyed the show please join us next

week for more efficient with Ladin