Winter fishing is on! Get out on the river and work off those Thanksgiving dinners. Be sure you have an assortment of Midges. Zebra Midges and Tie-Down Midges are a great place to start. A few other nymphs to carry include Hares Ears, Girdle Bugs, Prince Nymphs and Brassies. Have your Zebras and Brassies in multiple colors. Red, Black, Purple, and Olive Zebras, and Red and Copper Brassies. Fish different tandems of these until you find the day’s hot color. Fish these combos under an indicator using 4X or 5X tippets. Be sure that cloud cover versus sunny days will make the fish react more to one color than another.
Streamers are a winter-time staple, especially on Silver Creek. On our freestone and tailwater rivers fish weighted flies and get them to the bottom. If you are fishing Silver Creek don’t bother with weight and fish your Streamers just under the surface. It is a lot of fun watching the fish wake behind the fly and leave a boil as they eat! It’s the closest thing to the visual pleasure of the dry fly eat, only it’s winter and the fish can be huge. If you fish Streamers, beef up your tippets to 1X or 2X in case a toothy Brown Trout shows up! Remember, dark colors on dark days and bright colors on bright days!
You may be able to catch dry fly activity on the Big Wood and Lower Lost in the afternoons, it would be a good idea to have a few Griffith’s Gnats and Tie-Down Midges, along with your favorite powder floatant and some 6X tippet. Be sure you keep the trailing shuck on the Tie-Down Midge wet and in the film. The shuck is what will bring the fish to your fly out of the thousands of real midges that can be on the water at any given time during the winter. The Midge hatches will grow in volume as the snow begins to fly, so try to find some areas where the fish are congregated right now, for great fishing later.
Have a ton of fun out there and be safe! It is a time of the season where little mishaps can be amplified. Have a full tank of gas, full cell phone battery, extra clothes, and food and water. Prepare for the worst and you can enjoy your day that much more. A little peace of mind will up your fishing game!
Happy Fishing Everyone!