Winter fishermen are a rare breed. They are the ones that know they are going to put up with some abuse for the chance at possibly hooking a fish. The ones that are able to ignore the forecast and strap up their waders anyways. The ones that understand fishing is always better than not fishing, regardless of the circumstances. We respect the winter angler and wanted to share a few things to avoid in hopes that your cold day on the river becomes even more worth it..
- Getting On The Water Too Early. If you don’t consider yourself a morning person then you will be happy to know that there is no need to get on the water early during the wintertime. Fish are cold blooded so as the water temperatures increase, so does their metabolism. Try and be on the water during the warmest part of the day during this time of year.
- Fishing Too Big. We have discussed this before but a key to success in winter fishing is to downsize. We are talking about both your flies and your tippet. Flows in wintertime are often the lowest of the year meaning a stealthier approach with light line is crucial. As is an accurate fly imitation which more often than not is simply a tiny midge larva.
- Not Fishing Enough Weight. With the cold water and lack of major hatches, winter fish are typically glued to the bottom. You need your flies to get down deep and hit them right on the head. With a slower metabolism, fish won’t move far for their meals. If I go 3 or 4 casts without hitting bottom, I am adding more weight.
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