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Thread: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

  1. #1
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    Default Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    I figured the "Coldwater Fly Fishing" board would be very appropriate for this thread. Last week we experienced our second round of week-long below zero temps resulting in many local moving waters being frozen right over.

    In the face of that, a week ago this last Saturday the boys and I headed for one of our favorite winter haunts, the South Fork of the Snake River, just below Palisades dam. We were hopeful to find some open water near the dam, which there always is. Problem is, since they built a new bridge across the river just down from the dam they no longer plow out the parking area at the dam and I drove literally 10-feet too far and got stuck to the axles!

    When the guys got out to "push" us out, they realized it was not just cold, but bitter cold. The temp read +8 F. But the wind was blowing at around 20 - 25 mph and the wind chill seemed off the charts. After about an hour of digging, pushing and such they finally got us unstuck. When I landed on solid ground and got out to gear up they all said in unison not to bother as it was too cold. Sigh...

    We jumped in the jeep and headed back down to Swan Valley where I bought them all lunch for their efforts in getting us out of a pickle.

    After lunch we tried to find open water without the wind and located some near Swan Valley. We geared up, strung up and headed for the river. After 2-1/2 hours we called it quits, what with ice clogging the river, and bergs floating down the river and no fish but one small and lowly whitefish, it was time to go home and hope to wipe this one off the books in the near future.

    Here are a few pics from the outing:

    It doesn't look stuck, but it is very high centered:



    The face masks may be a hint to how cold it was:


    Geared up and ready:


    An afternoon on the river:




    You couldn't get a decent drift because line and leader were draped over ice balls in the river

    How cold was it?:










    The only wasted days are the ones we waste...

    Best Fishes,

    Kelly.
    I fish, therefore I am - but I gotta go to work first..."piscari ergo sum"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Kelly: Your crew is definitely HARD CORE! I'm not worthy! Congrats on the effort, sorry the conditions have been so miserable. Hopefully it will warm up soon.
    Larry


  3. #3

    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Not exactly what how I envisioned ice fishing. All in all, still a hoot. Thanks for posting.

    Dave
    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Thought fishing with deep frozen bait was prohibited...Great report Kelly...hope you'll have a little warmer temp next time

  5. #5

    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    I feel like a wuss. I won't go fishing until the high is at least 50 degrees. Looks like a good way to ward off cabin fever though.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Good time for a trip to Grand Targhee or Jackson. Sure is purdy out there though. milt.
    "Thomas Jeff..." Senator Reisman (Sam Shepard) Swordfish

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Pulled that 'high center' 'trick a few winters back in my Jeep Liberty. Only my 'help' was two old dogs. On top of Mt. Ashland and blowing a bloody gale. Studded snows all around so I thought I'd go up and see the ski area (closed due to weather).

    Turned around in the empty parking lot and got too close to the edge. PLOP ....

    Took a hell of a long time to extricate myself .....
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Quote Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
    Pulled that 'high center' 'trick a few winters back in my Jeep Liberty. Only my 'help' was two old dogs. On top of Mt. Ashland and blowing a bloody gale. Studded snows all around so I thought I'd go up and see the ski area (closed due to weather).

    Turned around in the empty parking lot and got too close to the edge. PLOP ....

    Took a hell of a long time to extricate myself .....

    Ah, the joys of winter...

    It was nice to have three strapping young lads along to get the job done while I waited in the warmth of the car, rolling the window down and giving direction from time-to-time

    Thanks all for your responses. Watch for Part II today...or, how to wipe a bad day off the map.

    Kelly
    I fish, therefore I am - but I gotta go to work first..."piscari ergo sum"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Winter Fly Fishing In Idaho

    Enjoyed the photos and appreciate the adventurous nature.

    As much as I like to be out in the Winter, just can't see myself with a fly rod in those conditions. Wind is the problem for me. I'll continue to drill my holes and sit in a shanty until more favorable fly fishing conditions arrive in our area.

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