Trout can get bored with the flies moving through their area doing the same thing all the time but create a different retrieve and they suddenly become interested once more. You need gloves that allow you to grip the rod, hold the reel handle, and still be able to cast, which is why gloves meant for skiing or snowmobiling just won’t cut it. They will help keep feet warm while wading in cold water. They also tend to hold closer to the bottom of the lake, river or pond. In the winter months, the fish will often feed throughout the day, but the best fishing is usually to be had first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. A few wader studs screwed into the heel can avoid an embarrassing or painful fall. When one thinks of winter, getting outdoors does not necessarily sound enticing. A weighted Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear teamed with an almost non-existent Anorexic Buzzer suits fisheries not too rich in weed life but with freshwater shrimps. But when I raised my rod, I came tight to a foot-long brown. The trout keep rising. According to Burroughs, “Finding the right water depth where the fish are holding is very important. Nolan Dahlberg is a winter trout guru, cutting his teeth in the deep winters of the Great Lakes region before heading west to the Rockies. The trout tend to be more aggressive when the bait’s under the water, rather than on top. With a large number of fisheries staying open through the winter months there is certainly good sport available! Looking at sink rate it goes from the ‘skinny’ style (maybe with weight) and on to the slim body but with fluffy thorax to slow the sink. Then comes the Diawl Bach family and finally Crunchers, which with their tail and hackle are the slowest sinking ‘buzzers’. On the coldest days, start midmorning and skip lunch to finish mid-afternoon so that you are concentrating your efforts during the peak hours. Winter fly fishing for trout is going to be primarily a nymphing game. As the colder months close in, trout become harder to catch as they become more lethargic and start heading to deeper water. • No minimum length limit. You’ve got just a few good hours to chase finicky fish – learn to appreciate one- or two-fish days for what they are. A streamer, I think to myself. Most stillwaters have a buzzer hatch at some stage of the day but with around 300 species it’s hard to make the right choice. The Winter Trout Lakes Stocking Program extends trout fishing action through the winter months and early spring until spring stocking begins. • Trout may be harvested year-round. Not any glove will do when fishing! Most think fly fishing is closed for the winter, however many fisheries now stock rainbow trout all year, and since rainbow trout prefer cold, oxygen rich waters this is the best time to fish! Initially, we would have the flies around 3 to 4ft apart and any of the aforementioned nymph combos work but it’s now, in winter, that the Blob can be deadly. Get in touch with our sales team on01786 430400, Read the Best Fly Rods For Under £150 – 2021 article, Best Spring Trout Flies & How To Fish Them, Read the Best Spring Trout Flies & How To Fish Them article, Top 5 Baits For Rainbow Trout and How To Fish Them, Read the Top 5 Baits For Rainbow Trout and How To Fish Them article, What are the Best Lures for Trout? There are so many ways to look at the way we fish and it sure beats just standing in the same old place and doing the same retrieve, hour after hour! Often derided as nothing other than ‘float fishing’, there’s seemingly no problem if you use a big deer hair dry as the indicator but somehow the foam/plastic or yarn indicator isn’t met with the same approval in some camps. The two-nymph system is best fished as slow as you can, indeed the buzzer set-up can be fished at a literal crawling speed. The Lower Salt River, just minutes from some of the Valley of the Sun’s population centers, is stocked with trout throughout the winter and offers good shoreline fishing options as well. Here were his Top 5: 1. Anglers should take time to properly i dentify brook trout — which are not stocked by the department, — when fishing … Banks are super slippery in winter from mud and frost so move carefully and have decent cleats on your boots. Winter can mean cold, snow, dismallness, laziness, etc. Conversely, you put the ‘lure’ in the dropper position and then add a small fly to the point and what happens now is that the fish maybe comes to look at the lure and then notices the trailing ‘smaller snack’ and takes that as an afterthought. Soon after light, they’re mostly below six feet and around midday might well come up near the surface only to go down again as the late afternoon temperatures drop away. In the previous section, we spoke of the importance of depth and there’s no doubt that trout in winter do prefer to be at what to them is a comfortable depth. Posted under Game Fishing Guides on 12.10.2018, Need help? In fact, spring anglers are in for a real battle when they hook into trout stocked in October and November, which are not caught in the fall and winter. Their eating slows to a trickle and they barely move. Where Do We Draw the Line on New Hunting Technology? by stocking surplus trout in select impoundments across central and western North Carolina in November and December. Swimming and boating may not be at the top of your winter activities, but fishing certainly can be. Having faith to fish buzzers is a big hurdle for many, but this is the most important imitation you can use. The trout are Outdoor Life may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site. We sat down with Nolan and asked for some of his sage advice for hooking into these river monsters. I’m done squinting and guessing. Copyright © 2021 Outdoor Life. Top 3 Flies for Finicky Winter Trout - Fly fishing for trout in winter time can be very challenging. It’s because there’s a sub-surface current opposite to the wind direction and it can be enough of a tow on the sunk flies to actually make the indicator move against the wind, and there’s nothing wrong with this. So it’s also a great time to fish with chironomid larva flies like the red chironomid bomber. Soon after light, they’re mostly below six feet and around midday might well come up near the surface only to go down again as the late afternoon temperatures drop away. Some say trout in winter cannot be caught. Anyone familiar with winter fishing here and whats allowed? However the cold of winter restores the oxygen levels in these waters and prompts brown trout to migrate towards the dam tailraces in … The heat of summer causes decreased oxygen levels in the water flowing from the dams, which results in slow fishing for trout in the fall. We are more than happy to help. 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But brown and rainbow trout just appear to be more active and playful, if you will. The very first winter trout I ever caught came from the Musconetcong River in Hackettstown, New Jersey, almost 20 years ago. A Tonto Pass is required. Find where the fish are, try to match the food source, and give a natural looking presentation of your fly to the fish. Just letting it slowly drift in the breeze is as good as anything. In this article, we will cover 3 Winter fly fishing setups that will help you land more fish during those cold month sessions. Your best bet is not to try and match any type of insect, but go with a more general pattern, such as a Hare’s Ear , Pheasant Tail , Copper John , or Scud . It’s worth learning this retrieve as it can beat a strip style hands down and we have many times watched trout follow a slow, smooth retrieve for yards and then decide to take whereas they often give up the chase when the flies are moving along with a series of jerks. Accepting that fish often aren’t as active in winter and don’t need as much food, there are times when a more static – in their face – approach is a winner and that means ‘the Bung’. Plenty of time to catch loads of fish later in the year. One of them on point and a simple buzzer/nymph on the dropper and trout will look at the Blob – and may well take it – but at least it attracts them in to then spot the smaller pattern and decide to take a snack. Its okay to get those “hero shots” but be mindful to the life of the trout while doing so. Trout, like most fish, tend to slow down in the winter. We try to arrive on the bank first thing, often tackling up while the sun's coming up, so we can catch the trout cruising the margins before other anglers arrive. If temps are too cold, trout can be affected drastically if removed from the water for long periods of time. Best Winter Fishing Gloves. It can be hard to work out the depth the fish might be, so hedge your bets by putting a heavier buzzer on point with a lighter pattern on the dropper such that the point fly sinks faster and therefore fishes at greater depth. • Basic state fishing license required. If you are doing this on the downwind shore you may well come across a back current where your indicator will seem to be going against the wind. The beauty of this technique is that you can adjust your fishing depth and by using two flies you can gauge which is the most effective and move the dropper closer to the point so both flies are in the zone. Winter Fishing Strategies, by Capt. If your favourite fishery has water over 10 feet deep then maybe a slow or even fast sink line can be better to get the flies down quick, and hold them there. We like to use the ‘tadpole’ style of lure because the long marabou tail gives great movement and it’s easy to swap colours while keeping the same action. A Bonnier Corporation Company. 5. I give you my top 3 flies to help you catch more fish. Any hesitation should be met with a firm lift of the rod. However, contrary to popular belief, Florida does experience seasonal changes. During January, fishermen generally find speckled trout and redfish in the deeper holes in the marsh, especially on colder days. Winters are mild in Florida when compared to the rest of the country. Most of trout country is in the grips of winter, but that doesn’t mean trout fishing has to stop. • No bait restrictions. If there are trout around a chironomid fly is a good choice. Choice of sink rate for this point fly depends on water depth. Happily, there are some great ‘buzzer’ patterns which work. Wear a pair of throwaway surgical gloves to keep your hands dry and also retain ’feel’. Keep the rod tip low and try to concentrate on the tip of the fly line. Alternatively, if you have ledges or deep holes in the water then you might find that a sinking poly leader on a floating line might be the better presentation. Adding another fly to the leader is a way you can swap colours around to find the ‘hot’ shade for the day or you can put a simple, old-fashioned wet fly or nymph in the dropper position and it can then look to the fish as though the little fly is maybe being chased by the bigger one and, being territorial or possessive, the trout will take the smaller fly in preference to the bigger one. A selection of trout flies that fish best in the Winter months of December, January and February. A lure set-up in this cold time of year is usually best with a slow, steady retrieve and it’s really hard to beat the figure eight technique. (While statewide the season starts in spring, ends in fall). It does the same thing though, so let’s look at how to fish it. What makes them so effective can be their construction in terms of the materials creating movement and therefore suggesting life, or the way they are retrieved along with the depth of the presentation. This clear intermediate is a great choice for the often very clear winter water and its only downside is that it’s a bit coily in the colder weather. Thoughts of fishing begin to return to our winter-numb brains. If you require any more information on winter trout fly fishing, please contact the Angling Active team. Additionally, new regulations for brook trout are now in effect requiring catch and release only in all put-and-take trout areas and all waters east of Interstate 81. Working on the old-fashioned theory that when you can’t quite work out what to use when things are slow, then the best pattern will be something small and black and that’s our choice for the smaller fly in this set-up. Bu There’s no point dragging through mud or weed in the shallows so you may need to change flies if the water is shallow. The winter is a time when chironomid larva are active and eaten by trout. Fly fishing for winter trout can be just as productive as spring, summer or fall fishing if anglers take care to adjust to the changes in trout behavior, habitat and, of course, cold temperatures that might make fish a bit more tight-lipped than they might otherwise be. Any downward dip of the indicator or indeed any obvious check in its drift should be met with an immediate strike. In winter they are feeding on insects a half inch (13 mm) or smaller. Chironomid flies will work in streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. So clearly, good winter fishing areas for speckled trout need to be in places with shallow flats and deep channels close by Any shells, reefs, oysters, or rocks will hold more fish Right now we see 70+ degrees one day and near freezing the next. Host Tom P. tries his luck on the Musconetcong River in Warren County a few days before the new year. If you have a surface drift which puts a loop in the line then it will pay to learn how to mend the line to negate the effect of the loop pulling the indicator along too fast. Whilst fishing stillwater is is arguably most pleasant on a summer’s day, trout dislike high water temperatures resulting in the fishing dropping off through warmer months. Now that we’ve touched upon the fact that, like most fish, trout become increasingly sluggish during the winter, this brings me to my next tip: slow down and think small. Don’t worry about casting any distance or about just leaving it to ‘fish’ without constantly retrieving. It’s best to be comfortable because then you fish well. Pheasant Tail nymphs also lend themselves perfectly to this two-fly nymph approach and we like using a large (8 or 10) standard pheasant tail on point with a little (size 12) Sawyers-style on the dropper, especially the flash back variant. For starters, you’re giving the fish a choice, but it’s more interesting than that. So most of the time in December, speck anglers can motor past the bayous and shallower waters which held lots of trout back in warm months. Time for something big and meaty. Please note these flies are recommended for (but not limited to!) Using the lure combo opens up the choice of line density and our all-time favourite for our smaller fisheries is the ‘slime line’. That’s the buzzer family sorted but we can adapt for other nymphs. Fishing in Florida in the winter can be challenging due to the constantly changing conditions. We don’t recommend that you fly fish in the winter because it only adds further stress to fish that have not recovered from … Though it might not seem apparent at first glance, winter conditions are prime for the streamer angler. There are lots of variables and if it’s a catch and release fishery we would drop the hook sizes and fish with as fine a leader as possible. It’s not about catching a lot of trout. – 2021. The only possible creature that a black lure might suggest is a water beetle but lures are mostly taken out of curiosity or aggression. We recommend using a floating line with at least a 12ft leader and size 10 Red Buzzer/Bloodworm on point while 4ft away will be the dropper – a size 12 Black Buzzer. The winter fishing season started on 1 April 2018 and runs until the end of September. The holidays are a blessed time of year—especially if you like to throw streamers at brown trout. For example, lake schroon is permitted. 2. When it comes to trout, wintertime is the best season, while crappie and bass go dormant. If those basic rules are followed, trout will be caught in the winter just like any other season of the year. This time of year can be a wonderful time to target those trophy class gators that anglers hear about. A Black Spider or a well-tied Butcher if there’s a bit of colour in the water and we are more than happy. Then there’s the correct depth. but … It does the same thing though, so let’s look at how to fish it. All rights reserved. Most people do not venture outside their homes so winter fly fishing keeps the crowds away, and often times you’ll have the water all to yourself. From what i see on the DEC site, trout fishing is permitted year round at certain lakes and streams. In the previous section, we spoke of the importance of depth and there’s no doubt that trout in winter do prefer to be at what to them is a comfortable depth. The winter season means different things to each person. Winter fishing invariably means using lures at some point and, if we go back 20 or 30 years, the advice was always to fish big, black and deep in the cold months. Try nightcrawlers, small spinners, Kastmasters and flies. Like you, I didn’t really believe it would happen and was completely shocked when my indicator went under. Jim Klopfer. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. You might be able to catch some bass or sunfish in the deeper holes. But, if your point fly has a bulky dressing it’ll sink more slowly than one which is almost a bare hook. Don’t expect really strong takes at this time of year – fish often don’t move much in the colder water. Well, there’s no doubt that it works, but we like to adapt things to a more varied system. The indicator, or in their face style, is essentially a no-retrieve technique although letting the rig drift with the breeze can work. The following regulations apply: • Seven (7) trout per day creel limit. Make up a few spare leaders on the circular foam rig holders and it’s easy to then get back into action after a foul-up and avoids having to tie knots when your hands are cold and stiff. I’m done with trying to find my size 20 Griffith’s Gnat among the hordes of real midge clusters floating helplessly on the water. Trout stocked for winter fishing by Arkansas Game and Fish | December 1, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. Rainbow trout have been stocked in the region's community lakes for winter fishing. A similar combo is a multi-legged Bloodworm on point or even an Egg Fly but be wary of this latter pattern in catch and release waters as trout can swallow it right down. There are several ways that this is preferable to fishing with one fly. Keeping that in mind, trout also need to be taken care of in the winter. Fishing two nymphs enables you to try different colours and sizes of the same fly. Have the right apparel Wool socks are a must have when trout fishing in the winter. Wear layers as needed on the … Of course, you shouldn’t blindly stick to what we suggest or indeed to what worked last time if there are no takes happening. In low clear water, focus on deeper slow pockets. Generally speaking, trout are a smidge sluggish in the winter as they become less active in, literally, wader freezing temperatures. Fish & Game Policy and Planning Manager Robert Sowman says that at a cost of $76, an adult winter licence gives you months to target trout which are in top condition before spawning. Much like ice fishing, you’ll want to downsize your baits and lures and slow down your presentation, in order to give the fish time to strike. You can add weight with some lead or a bead and that’ll speed up the sink rate. Winter trout fishing is about being outside, enjoying the solitude and challenging your fishing skills. Speckled trout are typically more dormant in colder water of winter.”. 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