Some of us assume that if the weather isn’t exactly what we’d like it to be then the fish just aren’t going to bite as good. Trust me we’ve all been guilty of being fair-weather fishermen. Well, the fact of the matter is: if you apply the right techniques you can find the same amount of success as you would on that bright and sunny spring day. If it’s just too cold outside but you want to get out there and catch some fish here are some tips that might help you next time:
- Presentation: This is the most important aspect of fly fishing in any scenario. However, depending on where you are fishing and what type of fish you are fishing for things can get a bit more technical. Typically anytime the water gets colder fish of all types become much more lethargic. That being said, trout are not going to do much moving to feed. So, it is important to make many clean drifts over the area you are fishing before moving to the next spot.
- Set-up: Generally in fly fishing you will be using one of three different set-ups: a streamer rig, dry-dropper rig, or an indicator rig. While you can always catch fish on the trusty ol’ woolly bugger, in most cases the indicator rig will work best in cold weather scenarios. To begin with start by tying a wet fly/nymph to the end of your fresh fluorocarbon leader or tippet (very important to use fluorocarbon when fishing nymphs because it does not float). Off the hook of the fly you just tied on, tie a 12-15 inch piece of 4x or 5x tippet. Then, at the bottom of that tie your second wet fly/nymph. Once you have successfully tied on your two flies, put one to two AB splitshot three to four inches above the top fly. Depending on how deep the water is and how fast it is moving you may need to add more or go lighter. Remember, if you aren’t occasionally hitting the bottom you’re not deep enough. Lastly, attach the strike indicator far enough above your top fly to reach the desired depth.
- What we recommend for this set-up:
- Spots: Finding the right spots takes time, on more pressured fisheries sometimes fish can be in the most unsuspecting places. But generally during the winter you want to look for spots where trout can protect themselves, feed regularly, and most importantly exert the least amount of energy doing so. So typically, you will find these types of spots around places with a lot of current that may have a rock or a log-jam distorting the flow of the current. It is in these deep stagnate pools surrounded by fast-moving water that most of your fish will be found during the winter. If you see any type of transition in the terrain of the water; fish it. In summary, if you see any type of deep hole with some current flowing over it it’s probably in your best interest to fish it.
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