Fly Fishing Techniques For Winter Trout!

Winter fly fishing techniques. What? Fly fishing in the winter? Are you crazy? Many fly fishing anglers put their gear away in the winter and resort to reading magazines, tying flies, or watching football. But imagine, a nice quiet river, beautiful scenery, solitude, and often times, great fishing. Getting out to your favorite trout stream or river in the winter can be very productive, if you apply a few simple techniques and are willing to adjust to the climate.

How to stay warm. Layers, layers, and more layers. You will need to layer your clothing underneath your waders. Wear 2 or 3 pairs of socks. Usually, a pair of insulated or thermal underwear with blue jeans or fleece pants, under your waders will be enough to keep you warm under most circumstances. Wear a loose fitting tee shirt under a long sleeved tee, and then a heavy sweatshirt or fleece with a good rain jacket over top will normally do the trick to keep your torso from freezing. A warm hat and gloves are also a must have, if you are going to venture out to the river during the winter. A pair of hand warmers or a warm thermos full of coffee or hot chocolate stuffed in one of your vest pockets can also help take the chill off of cold fingers if your hands happen to get a little wet or cold from handling your fly line or landing a fish.

Make sure your boots and waders are water proof. Leaky boots or waders are a recipe for disaster when wading in cold water. Wear boots that are one or two sizes bigger than you would normally wear to allow room for the extra layer of socks. The key is to make sure that none of your clothing or gear fits tight. I find breathable waders to be more comfortable than neoprene and they do a surprisingly good job of keeping you warm. I only use neoprene waders when the weather conditions are really cold and nasty.

Winter is the time to use subsurface flies. Although, flies will hatch and trout will rise to them under the right conditions during the cold weather months, drifting nymphs under a strike indicator is the most dependable and productive winter fly fishing technique to use this time of the year. Pheasant tails, golden hares ear, stone fly, midge, and prince nymphs are popular patterns to use in the winter. Downsizing your fly patterns is recommended. Sizes 12 to 20 works best since like the fish, the bugs have a slow metabolism in winter also, and they haven’t grown to their full size yet. Downsizing your leader and tippet is also recommended. Many times the water will be more clear in the winter. Dropping down a size or two will help prevent leary fish from being spooked.

As expected, trout are not as active, their metabolism is slower, and they can be somewhat lethargic during the winter. With this in mind, look for the deeper, slower running pools out of the main current. Look for deep, slow running pools close to the bank, or below riffles and rapids. The trout will more than likely be holding tight to secure cover in these areas. You will also need to get your flies down close to the bottom where the trout are holding since they will not be wanting to move too far to get their meal. I would also recommend using a double rig. Rig up two flies about 12 to 18 inches apart and set your strike indicator at a depth where the flies will be close to or touching the bottom. This will allow you to cover more water and give the fish more options.


Source by Gregory Jackson

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