CDA River Winter Report

Sean Visintainer - 01/18/19

Idaho Westslope

Frozen fingers and frozen fish

Wayne, Kenyon, and Silver Bow friend Jesse decided to brave the coldest day of the week and hit up the NF Coeur d'Alene River. I believe they told me the high was 26 degrees up there Tuesday when they fished. Exceptionally cold! Sometimes you just gotta go though.

Despite the crazy fishing conditions they did find a number of fish. Each one hooked into multiple fish and landed a few a piece. They even got into a couple of the odd rainbows that still reside in the Coeur d'Alene River system, despite the river not being stocked with any in decades. Wayne said the cutthroat they caught were pretty typical lack-luster fights with the freezing temps, but the rainbows put up a fair fight nonetheless. I've always felt rainbows handle the cold water better than cutties and are more active.

While dodging slush and floating ice, they managed to drop some hot bead nymph patterns down through the deep holes. In the winter the funky hot bead, hot spot, flashy, off-the-wall patterns tend to do better on trout streams. Hot pinks, hot orange, fluorescent chartreuse, etc should all find their way into your fly box or tying bench.

With a little warmer temps this weekend some of that drifting ice should clear up at least on the lower stretches of the Coeur d'Alene. As you approach Prichard and higher areas though plan on ice, if not having the river completely iced over.