Winter Fishing

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Winter Fishing

Postby paparex » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:05 pm

For those of you who fish softhackles in the winter months, what patterns do you perfer? I have been fishing a tiny black and a Syl's midge. I picked those due to the number of midges we have in our local waters. Next month the baetis will be starting, but the hatch won't really get going well until late-March or so before the big Spring run off.

Any suggestions?
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Re: Winter Fishing

Postby Smuggler » Fri Jan 23, 2015 1:17 pm

Great question, I hope this brings some discussion.

I'm fortunate to live in close proximity to some decent spring creeks here in central/south central pa. The Letort being the most famous. When it's warm enough and I get time to venture out, I'll use Stewart's Black and Dun spider's, peacock and black hen and in March I'll start using Greenwells a bit more often.

Various sizes to match the midges. Sometimes on warm spells we get really big midges. Border line size 16! That's when I love using Stewart's Black.
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Re: Winter Fishing

Postby William Anderson » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:49 pm

Rex, when I have ventured out in the cold it's been on freestone and tailwater streams and the conventional wisdom is, pester them on the bottom and midge patterns are small. =). I have some black wire bodied spiders with starling hackle that I have faith in all although catching slows regardless. It's not exciting to drag the bottom harassing fish that would rather not be bothered but catching is still fun and finding them when indications are few is a nice challenge. I also fish a #18 dark amber wire body, slight black mole thorax and black hackle that produces almost every outing. I'd love to see some rises and drift spiders up in the film but that hasn't been the case for me often. More productive water might offer more opportunities. When I chat up guys on the stream is almost unanimous...zebra midge (silver bread, black thread, silver rib #22-18.) A small dark spider as a trailer to the midge might be productive but they seem to like a bead head and an indicator. If it's only about catching that would be the way to go.

I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions.
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Re: Winter Fishing

Postby redietz » Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:20 pm

I fish a small (size 18 or 20) snipe and purple during the winter as a midge and light Spanish needle of the same size as a little black stone.
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Re: Winter Fishing

Postby DUBBN » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:00 pm

I have found that the same nymphs that are present in the river in Summer are there in Winter. They may be a different size, but they are there, be it Mayfly, Caddis, Stone,Midge.
If I was lucky enough through the years to inspect the stomach contents, I noticed one common thread. Rarely was there a predominant bug in the fish's stomach. Midges were the dominant food item, but, usually with multiple size and color midges. Among the midges are Caddis, both cased, and caseless. Mayfly nymphs, and Stone nymphs.

Tailwaters have small bugs, Freestones have small and large critters. Nymphing will be your best choice to get into fish for the next few weeks. Once the days get a bit warmer midges will start making an appearance on your Utah waters, and for short times of the day you may get some dry fly fishing in. I do not chase fish on drys often so I will leave it to others on how to pursue them with that method.

I use Soft Hackles that represent the nymphs in my waters, and I dredge bottom with them.

Pics from a year ago. Havent been out a lot this Winter.
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When nymphing in freezing weather, I use cheap fly lines. Ice build up cuts cheap line as fast as pricey lines. Wal-Mart 10.00 dollar lines can be my friend at these times.
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