In the winter the holes that I have had success fishing are the barrels, the big sandy, and the little sandy.
The reason I feel that the small amount of fish caught during winter fishing is due to the large of amount of water being released out of Merritt Reservoir. It seems that during the winter their is always at least 250 cubic feet per second of water being released. With more water flowing down the river the fish have more places to hide. With more places to hide, then the lower the likely hood your presentation is close to a fish.
The last time I fished the Snake was December 19. The occasion to go to Cherry county was to pick up my antelope meat and European mount from the antelope that I shot south of Gordon in October. My dad and I were on the ranch from approximately 10 to 3 and only caught one fish. It was caught in the little sandy hole. We fished other spots but had no luck. Due to the high water, productive areas during the summer were inaccessible or difficult to fish. I fished a hare’s ear nymph the majority of the day but could not get a bite. I switched to my spin cast pole and caught the lone fish with a green colored spoon. My dad used spinners and spoons but had no bites.
In summary, I think Snake River winter fishing is a great way to get out of the house. I think big fish can be caught during the winter you just need to be patient and be ready to make numerous casts. In my experience the fishing has been better on sunny winter days.