Winter is a time many of us put fishing on the back burner. It’s cold, there are flies to be tied, skiing to be done, etc. Maybe we should rethink things a bit. Winter offers opportunities that no other season does. The solitude, quiet, and beauty are unmatched.
On our area freestones, fish tend to gather in slower, deeper water. Look for spring influenced water as well. A couple of degrees warmer makes all the difference when water temps are just above freezing.
An upstream cast, with a drag free drift through these runs, is our preferred technique for winter nymph fishing. This can be accomplished with a traditional strike indicator rig, or a Euro-nymphing setup. Repeat this methodically throughout the run. Make your first casts close to you and then work your way out. This ensures you are presenting those flies to as many fish as possible. With the cold water temps, fish are less likely to move for a meal, but will gladly eat if placed in front of them. Make sure you are getting deep enough!
Now, there are some precautions to take when spending time outdoors in the winter months, especially near, or in, water. The gear available today will ensure that you stay warm and dry while out fishing. Dress in layers, just like you would doing any other winter sport. Avoid cotton at all costs. Modern day synthetics and wool are far superior textiles. A fire starter, hand warmers, and a thermos full of your favorite hot beverage will ensure you have a fun, safe, and comfortable day out on the water.
Some flies to bring: #16 Peterson Special, #14-20 Zebra Midge, #14-18 Lightning Bug, #12-14 San Juan Worm, #14-16 Tungsten Jig Prince, #14-16 Copper John
As always, call the shop for the latest conditions. (406)494-0707