Winter Is Still Here, But So are the Trout

Sean Visintainer - 02/10/23

Winter Fishing North Fork Coeur d'Alene River

Cold cutts!

Kenyon and I took a quick trip up the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene yesterday to see how winter is shaping up on the region's favorite cutthroat stream.

Like most winters, the further up you go... the colder and icier conditions get. This February trip was no exception and compared to last year at this same time, conditions yesterday were even more iced over, probably remnants from the last big freeze a couple weeks ago.

Just above Prichard the ice shelves start and open water comes extremely limited if not nonexistent. Below Prichard however, there are no issues currently and plenty of free-flowing water to fish. I would suspect if temps stay mild like they are, the ice near Prichard gets cleared out quick, maybe another week or so.

Water temps below Prichard were around 36, above there were 33. Brrr. Cutthroat were active though in the lower regions. We could visually watch cutthroat cruising and cycling slow moving runs / pools looking for a meal. Kenyon also was able to sight fish to some fish which was fun to see them move towards his subsurface offerings. While there was no fish feeding on the surface we did see some midge hatching.

If you need to get out of the house and smell some fresh air, the Idaho streams are an option. Keep in mind it's winter time still so don't expect lights out fishing and keep in mind cold water temps will have fish concentrated in slower/deeper water. Subsurface offerings like streamers or nymphs will be the go-to still for a few more weeks.

Enjoy the weekend, have fun!

Kenyon with a cutthroat trout caught on the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.
Winter fly fishing means sub surface patterns like san juan worms.
Winter Fishing North Fork Coeur d'Alene River
Winter fly fishing and nymphing withe Orvis Helios 3D 9' 5wt and Orvis Mirage Reel.