Might as well enjoy fishing now.
I had to take advantage of the balmy February 1st weather and sneak up to the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River yesterday afternoon to see how winter was looking at the region's favorite cutthroat fishery. My official report is: very mild!
Currently with the very light snowpack, getting around on the Coeur d'Alene River system is a bit easier than normal. Traditionally our region's snowpack gets some of the biggest dumps this month so fingers crossed that holds true cuz we could really use some more of the white stuff.
As expected there was hardly anyone out fishing, I think I saw maybe one other angler. Pretty common for winter and a random Monday afternoon. With short daylight hours still one really needs to focus on the core of the day and if time allowed I would have gotten there early, but that pesky thing called work got in the way.
Hitting just a few high odds spots was all there was time for. An olive colored type of streamer a good customer friend of ours tied was the ticket on a fast sink-tip line. Thanks Luke C. for the beautifully tied fly, I will definitely be fishing it more!
Other than fishing with a sink-tip / streamer combo, or a double nymph rig, the only other major tip for winter fishing the Idaho streams is find the deepest, slowest water possible. Find the deep pools and work them over. That is really the key to success in the winter. Location, location, location.
I would highly suggest taking advantage of the mild winter, as it stands right now the best fishing is going to be in the first half of the year if this trend continues.