7 Winter Fly Fishing Tips from Tom Rosenbauer

Andrew Thompson with a nice winter Rainbow. Photo by Mike Mazzoni

Andrew Thompson with a nice winter Rainbow. Photo by Mike Mazzoni

As we get into the heart of winter we wanted to share some insight on winter fishing from a fly fishing master and Falcon’s Ledge patron, Tom Rosenbauer as found in his article “Tips for Winter Trout”, many of which apply to our favorite streams out here at Falcon’s Ledge Lodge.
1. In winter, trout won’t move more than a few inches for your fly and they’ll be close to the bottom. So, fish your flies deep and slowly. Your best bet is a nymph fished dead-drift.

2. Winter streams are typically very low and clear, so keep your tippet as long and light as possible. You often need to go to 6X or 7X with small nymphs. Mirage Fluorocarbon can really give you an advantage because of its transparency.

3. In tailwaters and spring creeks with stable water temperatures, you may find trout rising to midges any time from dawn to dusk. Early mornings are often surprisingly productive. Look for them and give some midge patterns a try. You may be pleasantly surprised by the big fish that will take such a small pattern.

4. Warm afternoons, either sunny or cloudy, may stimulate stonefly or blue-winged-olive mayfly hatches. Keep your eye out for both hatches.

5. You’ll find most fish rising in the middle or tails of bigger pools. Look for water that is almost, but not quite, still and you’ll increase your odds.

6. Trout eat minnows and crayfish during the winter but won’t chase them far. A small streamer, fished upstream like a nymph with an occasional twitch, may interest a trout.

7. Don’t bother fishing high water in winter. Flooded or dirty water combined with cold water temperatures make fly fishing nearly impossible. Stay home and tie some great patterns instead!

Check out the entire article at the link below for the full article, including Tom’s fly recommendations.  Stay warm and tight lines!

http://howtoflyfish.orvis.com/how-to-articles/trout-fishing-articles/tips-for-winter-trout

by Mike Mazzoni

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