I am a fisherman. I once owned a fly shop. I was a fly fishing guide. Now, I am just a dude who writes articles and fishes whenever possible. I am here to help you live the dream of fishing. I love the warm days of summer, waist high in a rushing stream, with a tight line and a chrome-colored trout dancing on the top of the water. But winter is upon us now. Dark chilly mornings, frozen landscapes and quiet waters. Do fish bite in these temperatures? Yes! Here is how to catch them:
Dress warm! If you are cold, it makes it difficult to concentrate on your fishing. Layer well under your waders. I use Simms long underwear and Polartec 300 sweatpants. The top half is equally important as well; an undershirt with long sleeves, a sweater and a good Gore-Tex coat. Fingerless gloves (polartec with windstopper outer layer!) are a must. Don’t forget a warm hat!
Look for insect activity! Believe itor not bugs hatch all year! Some of the smallest insects I ever seen, hatch in the winter! I’ve witnessed size 20 and 24 blue winged olives hatch in the middle of a snowstorm! Here is the caveat: if nothing is on the surface hatching, put on a streamer or a nymph.
Low and slow! My guide buddies and I have a saying in the winter, “you can’t fish too low or too slow!” Get that fly down deep in the water and let it move slowly! Remember to always keep tension on the line, so you don’t miss a strike. If that proves to be too difficult, you can always use a strike indicator. There is no shame in fishing with indicators!
Dry your gear! It is sCredit: Photo by Darrin Groveo easy to lazy in the winter months! But your gear will last longer and wear better if properly dried out after a day of fishing. Even if you are taking a multi-day trip, dry that gear out each evening!
Wintertime fishing offers some awesome fishing, often without the crowds. I love the cold, snowy days alone in a stream hunting out large fish! I am typically all buttoned up, warm and toasty, patiently waiting that first take! Then, BAM it hits and game on! The adrenalin rush warms my bones and I excitedly wait to release my catch.