During winter fishing, on our lower rivers, there occurs one of those moments where... when it's on it's magic, when it's not- its a lot of work. It's not just the right fly, it's the perfect drift. Here are a couple of tips to give you the best advantage possible.
- Plan your drift- Cast as far up river, away from the prime lie, as you can properly manage line.
- Plan your mending- Do all your mending before you hit the area you know are holding fish- remember it's about a perfect drift.
- Look at the temperature- If it's below 42 degrees you've got to practically snag them by the lip; below 40, it's virtual lockjaw.
- Choose the Water you Fish Wisely – Any angler who is skilled at reading the water will always out fish another who isn’t as discriminating. This becomes even more important when fishing in the winter. Shallow riffles and long stretches of pocket water don’t give up trout as generously in the winter as other seasons. Skip swift water lies in favor of slower flows. Trout move to the swifter water when food is more plentiful, but lie in slower water when insects aren’t very active.
- Try Fishing Without a Strike Indicator – Many fly fishers are surprised to hear us say that no strike indicator might be the best way to go. This isn’t a technique we recommend for inexperienced anglers, but those who are already skilled at high stick nymphing with a strike indicator may be surprised at how effective this can be. Strike indicators place a limit on just how deep your nymphs can go and might place a limit on just how effective you can be.
These are just a few tips to help you hook into more fish during the winter.