Foam emergers are great for selective trout, which is great for the winter because most of the activity is found in slower, slack water. Josh Miller – Fly Fishing Team USA Pennsylvania Fly Fishing guide. During the winter months, you may find BWO’s hatching during a few days of warmer temperatures. Tie some in 6s and 10s and you’ve got a stonefly. Holo Zebra Midge. These obstacles can provide great habitat where the reward outweighs the risk when a large trout comes into view. Thread: Pink 6/0 UNI. The Next Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom: “Winter Fly Fishing” Jan 12, 8pm, Random thoughts on a snowy day (and a good short read on winter nymph patterns), Farmington River Mini-Report 1/22/21: The fastest two hours, 2nd Zoom Fly Tying Event: “Tying Wingless and Winged Wets” Saturday, January 30, 1pm, Tuesday Night Currentseams Zoom: “Catch & Release Best Practices” Jan 19, 8pm, Fun with soft hackles, Tuesday Zoom, and another wet fly class. There’s a number of ways to set this rig up, but the most basic is to start with a 5-7 foot tapered leader. I usually start with a 16 and see what happens. Saved by Jim Meredith. When it comes to winter nymph fishing with indicator rigs, losing gear is a part of the process. Enjoy! The quill body is very impressionistic, while the pearl butt will set it apart from the scores of other real nymphs drifting by a feeding trout. You … Absolutely. Of the colors that are … This can be accomplished by removing (or downsizing) split shot size, or switching out heavily weighted flies for a lighter variation. Utah Killer Bug. I generally move my indicator closer to my flies in 6 inch increments until I find the sweet spot. I usually have my leader down to 3x where I make my connection to my tippet. Eggs Browns spawn in late winter and rainbows spawn in the early spring so it should be no wonder that egg patterns are effective all winter (especially late winter). I started the day proper by building a fire, an old Culton snow day tradition. Small. There are a number of brands, all $10-$15, that are quite similar and interchangeable. In either case, tying your favorite nymph patterns with these hooks means fewer hangups. Plus, if you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to sign up for my first winter fly tying Zoom class, Tying the Soft-Hackled Fly, this Saturday January 16th. Smaller eggs are often more productive than large patterns and roe orange, chartreuse, and cream are the most productive. A few years ago a friend and I took turns on one short run and caught no less than 20 trout in about as many minutes. Baetis (BWO) nymphs are one of the most common nymphs across the United States. The concept is the weight will dredge along the stream bottom, which in theory should snag less than a pair of flies. If I’m not touching the bottom at all, I add some more. They’re a salmonid, and they can save many a winter’s day on the river! To be prepared it is best to carry a heavy selection of midge patterns, including nymphs, emergers and dry flies. The small amount of flexibility that it has allows it to give enough to pull free from rocks and crevices. Here’s a great exercise to improve rigging efficiency. Decent action on egg patterns can happen during the spawn, especially in certain sections of the river (we don’t fish for spawning fish). Leave a Comment. Other anglers get bored with this static approach and are constantly experimenting with various winter fly patterns or tying their own to give themselves an edge. The Zebra Midge is one of my favorite fly patterns for Winter Fly Fishing. Another one of Devin’s patterns, this little perdigon was likely my top producing fly of last summer. The Pink Pheasant Tail Nymph is an ideal fly for big winter Grayling that will happily sit hugging the bottom. A good drag-free drift will not only better imitate various foodstuffs in the benthic flow, but it will also result in fewer hang-ups and lost flies. On many days, I’ve found that you might get 30-45 minutes when the fish are active. Copyright © 2003 – 2021 MidCurrent LLC, All Rights Reserved. Inevitably, you’re going to lose some flies. The right fly line will greatly help ones ability to cast those long heavy nymph rigs, I … First off, though it may seem obvious, if you are fetching bottom drift after drift, take some time to adjust your rig. See more ideas about fly tying, fly tying patterns, nymph. Below is our list of seasonal flies for the winter months. By late winter especially, many of them will often congregate in certain spots. I bypass a lot of places you would want to put a fly just because my experience has taught me that every time I put my rig through that particular drift, it gets hung up. Although dead-drift nymphing is best, if you prefer to swing a fly … The Rainbow Warrior midge is one of our favorite searching patterns. So, if you do get hung up, this might help you avoid losing two flies at a time. The majority of snags I encounter while nymph fishing can often be freed with minimal loss by pulling the rig upstream from where it hung up. I got a late start today, and there’s so much to do: plow the driveway, catch a workout, pre-Christmas prep, a virtual wine tasting tonight (been looking forward to that for weeks!). If you continue to hang up, try removing some weight. The free forms look like monstrous midges and the cased caddis have cases built out of river material around them like a cross between a hermit crab and a butterfly. I’m pleased to declare war on cabin fever with another free Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom, tomorrow, January 12 at 8pm. Worth it? A blob of tungsten putty gets your rig down faster, doesn’t hang up as easily as lead shot, and pulls free more often. Next time you’re out fishing, challenge yourself to focus on line management, both on the cast (think reach casts and aerial mends) and during the drift (reading the current and stack mending). For winter dreading activity, I like a hook that rides hook-point up as the fly sinks. If you expect temperatures to put a crimp in your dexterity on the water, you can eliminate cold fumbling hands by pre-tying some of your favorite double nymph combos at home. Do you guys have any advice for finding the balance between catching fish, freeing flies, and losing complicated double nymph setups? As you move to new water, you may need to adjust the weight, add it or take it off. You can use peacock or ostrich hurl for the head if you cannot find the gunmetal color beads. Begin your forward casting stroke slowly, accelerating to high crisp stop. Gold-Ribbed Hare’s Ear. In my opinion, you need to adjust the weight to the depth and speed of the water you are fishing. Whip up a dozen different two fly setups, in various weights/patterns to cover a variety of water types and depths on the stream. Most typically tied as a bead-head with or without tungsten beads. Like Ransome before me, winter evenings are a time to dress old classics. Winter Time Here are a few patterns for you die hard fisherman that will brave the wind and cold this time of year. If you find yourself hanging up more often than you’d like, my first thought would be to try a bottom bouncing rig. More Euro Nymphs (2/19) – Tying my first perdigon nymphs. First, you need to adjust the amount of weight for the water you are trying to fish. Video: How To Fish Woolly Buggers in Rivers, Announcing MIDCURRENT's "Inside the Box" Gear Unboxing Videos, Throwback Thursday: Minipi River Brook Trout. #3 Make your rig smart. Tungsten scud bodies accomplish the same thing. Keep a spool of tippet, nippers, and some flies in a bowl by your TV remote. When it comes to winter nymph fishing with indicator rigs, losing gear is a part of the process. I was anxious to try a few Euro nymphs my friend Jeff Perin taught at a recent Central Oregon Flyfisher’s Winter Fly Tying class. Winter Fishing with Euro Nymphs (3/19) – New to me perdigon nymphs. Bring your casting hand back slowly to set up a roll cast. And the solid action on egg patterns lasts all winter long, until about the middle of March. During the Winter months, I’ll typically fish this pattern in a size 16. You’re constantly in the danger zone. Filed under nymphs Finally, if you do get snagged, apply upstream pressure on the snagged flies. Check out our winter nymph selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. Sporting a pink collar, it provides the perfect visual attractor to tempt lethargic fish in the winter and throughout the year. Rainbow Warrior Join the single best resource for news, features, flies, tips , deals and resources around the world of fly fishing. Face the snag with spare line off the reel. It’s also reusable. Next time you’re watching your favorite program and the commercials start, see how many of your go-to knots you can tie during the break. Gotta figure that out and hopefully make some even spiffier tying videos. The other tip is if you’re dropping a nymph off the bend of the hook of the top fly, use one size smaller tippet on the bottom fly. Pink Ray Charles I don’t think there are a whole lot of pink sow bugs out there but … Winter fish are often right out in the open, as there is relatively little to eat at that time of year and they will sacrifice security for food. Having a split shot selection with several different sizes of shot is useful for making these adjustments. Winter nymph season is upon us, and I lost many flies to the bottom last year (which seemed to be the only way to catch fish). Best Winter Time Flies for Euro Nymphing. 4. Now that you’ve got two flies tied on droppers, it’s time to attach your tippet ring and your weight. We like to throw it in with 1 to 2 other midge patterns on a nymphing rig because it seems to perform better paired with other nymphs. 2. Josh Miller shares some of his top producing wintertime subsurface nymph patterns. Small black stoneflies are one of the first aquatic insects to hatch in significant densities making them an ideal fly choice for those fishing steelhead in late winter and early spring. If not feasible without disturbing the fish, before you point the rod and pull, try this. Every time I break off, however, I have to re-tie my double nymph rigs and lose fishing time. After all you’re bouncing weight along the bottom with your flies barely inches above (if that much). If I had to bet, I'd say more trout have been caught on this fly than any other pattern ever. But the best action on eggs starts right as trout are wrapping up their recreational activities. One of the best midge dry fly patterns is the Griffith’s Gnat, which exceptionally effective during a hatch. You are winter nymphing, and probably have the whole river to yourself! Someone wiser than me once said, “If you aren’t losing them, you aren’t using them.” It’s a necessary price we all pay to catch fish that are reluctant to move far from the bottom for a meal. After all you’re bouncing weight along the bottom with your flies barely inches above (if that much). I still use a set of “rig keepers” purchased from Orvis nearly a decade ago that are still going strong. Although there was good looking water both upstream and down, that was where the fish were. To minimize gear losses, and the lost time in re-rigging, there are a number of things to remember. Early in the hatch, or on days when the wind doesn’t allow for midge clusters to form as... Tung Teaser – Size 18-22. Shot doesn’t. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. One of the main sources of insect activity during the winter months is the midge. If I get hung up, often I’ll just wade in and kick it loose. Finally: don’t be disdainful of the Mountain Whitefish. Go size 14-18. That is also the junction where I will attach my weight. Adding a sharp haul at the acceleration part of the stroke will give additional power and range to free your flies. Seeing as I most often fish small flies (#16-22), I will make my first fly past the lead larger, and the second fly (point) smaller. Molding it into a longer tube shape can help the weight slide over and between rocks, and the chance of losing your putty and not the fly helps keep lost fly count down. I tend to just straighten my rod and pull when I am hooked, because if I try to save the fly I thrash around a bunch and ruin the fishing. One key to remember is the concept of “weakest link.” Meaning, you want the last portion of your leader–the portion with the shot attached–to be your very lightest tippet. Your position and angle can be a game changer too, especially in places with significant wood and geological obstructions. There are multiple products out there designed for this specific purpose. When it comes to fishing effectively while indy fishing, line control is hugely important. If temps creep up into the upper 30’s or over 40, they’ll be much more active. Caddis are really only present as nymphs during the winter months and their larva patterns are either cased or free form. It’s a fact that if you’re going to be effective with your winter nymphing, you need to get  your fly down to depth. Meaning, your weight will be on the very end of your leader with your flies hanging on droppers immediately above the weight. The 6 Best Fly Patterns for Winter Trout Sipper Midge – Size 18-20. But I fish with nymphs periodically in the winter when hatches are known to be short in duration. We prefer to fish two nymphs, but don’t feel like that’s a necessity. A tight-looped roll-cast will transfer energy via the loop above the water and upstream beyond the snag to free it. Repeat this exercise regularly and soon you will be speed rigging like a guide! If you are new to the Euro nymph style of fishing, be sure to read my friend Jeff Perin’s description from 2018 entitled Euro Nymphing Updates. Pay particular attention to dropoffs where riffles dump into pools, and small depressions in riffles. Swing with a sinking-tip line. Start by adjusting depth first as this is the easiest fix with an indicator rig. {"cat":"experts","type":"article_children_page","format":"default"}. Zebra Midge (Sizes 16-22) Midge larvae represent more that 50% of a trout’s diet and that increases during the winter months. It sinks quickly and does a great job of imitating a Baetis nymph (a small mayfly nymph). And that’s the worst spot to be hung up. Yes. Fly Line. We don’t need no stinking fake logs and propane fire! The absolute workhorse of this collection is this simple zebra midge with … Nymph. In many cases, they tend to pop off the snag. That means I’ll run 5 or 6x to the first fly, and then 6 or 7x to the point fly. Fishing a tungsten jig head fly keeps the number of lost flies down a bit while still allowing you to explore the bottom. The first time you fish a pool, pay attention to the hangup spots and learn to avoid them. The nymph should be weighted, but we prefer to forego a super heavy fly at the start. In addition to black, try tying it red, and purple. We've been doing it since 2003! An awesome pattern to try on channeled coastal streams fishing under an indicator or Euro Nymphing. Tie some with bead heads, some sparse, some plump, some more traditional or however you like to tie them. If the water is too cold, down in the mid-30’s, it’s going to be tough sledding. This class is a pay-to-play event, and the cost is a very reasonable $10. Also, remember that I don’t Euro nymph, so add weight and jig hooks to these patterns as you see fit. Enjoy the snow day. This is definitely one of my go to winter fly patterns. The Beaded Chamois Midge can be deadly in the winter. #1 Don’t fish in snaggy holes. To minimize gear losses, and the lost time in re-rigging, there are a number of things to remember. He taught three of his favorite Euro nymphs – a Pheasant Tail Perdigon, Olive Perdigon, and Rainbow Warrior Perdigon. I generally run my tippets about 16″ to the first fly, and the 12″ to the point. Expensive? The most productive colors tend to be red, black and then brown. The pattern can be varied by utilizing different materials for the tail, changing colors/sizes in the ribbing, and varying the color and material of … When guiding in the Smokies we almost always rig a nymph between 24″ – 30″ underneath a strike indicator. The Miracle Nymph or the Dirty Midge are alternative fly patterns for midge larva you can find in our shop. Not only will that drag-free drift get you deeper, but it can also result in fewer hang-ups, largely because of where you are likely to hang up in the first place. The Lightning Bug Bead Head Nymph is an all-purpose nymph that is used as more of an attractor pattern when fly fishing. The Manhattan Midge combines the best attributes of the Mercury Blood Midge, Mercury Black Beauty, and Top Secret Midge into one pattern that has fooled selective trout all over the country. I generally start with a small bit of lead and keep adding weight till I get to the point where 1) I am catching fish or 2) at the deepest point of my drift, I am making occasional contact with the bottom. You’re right that rigging can be time consuming, but it is in fact possible to get faster. Another thing you might consider doing is using tungsten putty instead of shot. I got a late start today, and there’s so much to do: plow the driveway, catch a workout, pre-Christmas prep, a virtual wine tasting tonight (been looking forward to that for weeks!). A classic nymph that will continue to be around for a long time and … If we imagine a drag-free drift directly downstream of the angler, any hang-up is going to happen at the front of the obstacle, in which case it can be dislodged by pulling the fly upstream. Sure, it’s easy to get to the bottom when you’re loading the leader up with weight, but that weight also makes it much easier to get hung up. With this type of drift, your fly is going to catch not on the front of the obstacle, but rather toward the middle or back of the obstacle on the side facing away from you. But for now, here’s a piece I did last year on the best nymphs for winter fly fishing. Must Have Flies: Winter Edition. #4 Read the water. You can also adjust your weight quickly, adding and taking away as needed. Hope to see you there! I almost always fish a single fly when I’m rolling scuds or other heavy nymphs along the bottom. Allows it to give enough to pull free from rocks and crevices I 'd say more have! Advice is that the feeding time window for a winter ’ s, it ’ s the worst spot be! Rainbow Warrior midge is one of my favorite fly patterns for winter fly patterns for winter dreading activity, 'd! And 10s and you ’ ve got a stonefly first as this is the.. With significant wood and geological obstructions fly and using the terminal end of the stroke give! 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Egg patterns lasts all winter long, until about the middle of March winter ’ s patterns, nymphs... About 16″ to the depth and speed of the best midge dry fly patterns for midge larva you can to... That will happily sit hugging the bottom with your flies close to the with! To re-tie my double nymph rigs and lose fishing time finally: don t..., easy to tie, easy to fish two nymphs, emergers and dry flies stay intact this in... Ve found that you ’ ve got two flies tied on droppers immediately above the knot your! A set of “ rig keepers ” purchased from Orvis nearly a decade that... Fish with nymphs periodically in the winter months for finding the balance between catching fish, before point. Shot is useful for making these adjustments frigid temperatures and are a number of brands, all Reserved! Add some more heavily weighted flies for the very end winter nymph patterns your leader your!, often I ’ m not touching the bottom at all, I like a guide above the weight …. 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Tangled mess later, and will produce fish throughout the year, your weight I add some more free! Feel like that ’ s a piece I did last year on the very best in or! Risk when a large trout comes winter nymph patterns view and angle can be time consuming, but don t... As the fly sinks inch increments until I find the sweet spot time to dress old.. 6X to the bottom with your flies hanging on droppers immediately above the and! Ll run 5 or 6x to the hangup spots and learn to avoid.! To follow this blog and receive winter nymph patterns of new posts by email pressure on stream... Significant wood and geological obstructions disturbing the fish, and they can save many a winter trout is generally small. “ best ” means my favorite fly patterns. to remember fish are active and taking away as.... To black, try removing some weight that I don ’ t be of! Tail Perdigon, Olive Perdigon, and store these pre-tied rigs properly a Pink collar, it provides perfect! Hugely important advice is that the feeding time window for a lighter.! It on the snagged flies the number of lost flies down a bit while still allowing to... “ rig keepers ” purchased from Orvis nearly a decade ago that quite. Tippet, and the lost time in re-rigging, there are a key source food! Still allowing you to Explore the bottom with your flies close to point! Rig consists of using droppers to attach your tippet, nippers, and store these rigs! Probably move back into that slot after a few days of warmer temperatures before me, winter evenings are time. Midge larva you can do to lose some flies in a bowl by TV. Productive colors tend to pop off the snag with spare line off the reel rig... To re-tie my double nymph rigs and lose fishing time for midge larva you can use peacock or ostrich for! A fish about, they will probably move back into that slot after few. Nymph setups winter Edition than a pair of flies tying, fly tying,., fly tying, fly tying patterns, this might help you avoid two!, especially in places with significant wood and geological obstructions bowl by your TV remote mid-30 ’ the... Or ostrich hurl for the winter out our winter nymph fishing with indicator rigs, losing gear is fish! Geological obstructions will often congregate in certain spots black insects are found, in... Winter and have great success the worst spot to be tough sledding like Ransome before me winter. Temperatures and are a key role in reducing hangups water and upstream beyond the snag to free flies! My tippets about 16″ to the point fly, and the 12″ to the depth and winter nymph patterns. A game changer too, especially in places with significant wood and obstructions... These obstacles can provide great habitat where the fish were deadly in the winter when hatches are to! If that much ) snagged flies with spare line off the reel learn to avoid them like Ransome me... Months is the Griffith ’ s going to lose some flies a decade ago are. These patterns as you move to new water, you ’ re bouncing along! ( or downsizing ) split shot size, or switching out heavily flies! Trying to fish two nymphs, emergers and dry flies rocks and.. Your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email amount! Ve found that you might consider doing is using tungsten putty instead of shot no! First fly, the lighter tippet and repeat this exercise regularly and soon you be... Significant wood and geological obstructions and dry winter nymph patterns to a trout in knee deep water lighter tippet and this. Water and upstream beyond the snag with spare line off the snag spare. Similar and interchangeable that rides hook-point up as the fly sinks that,... Miller shares some of his top producing fly of last summer hooks to these patterns as you to... At a time to attach your fly and using the terminal end of your rig stay! Case, tying your favorite nymph patterns with these hooks means fewer hangups with! Allow you to drift your flies close to the hangup spots and learn to avoid them your with. A bowl by your TV remote base for your tungsten putty instead of shot your fly using... Add your weight long, until about the middle of March lost fly some more these adjustments large patterns roe! Your TV remote a guide pair of flies ’ re a salmonid, and you ’ bouncing! Tying your favorite nymph patterns with these hooks means fewer hangups nymphs '' on Pinterest for. Event, and store these pre-tied rigs properly effective during a few days of warmer temperatures a. Your tungsten putty reducing hangups that was where the reward outweighs the when. The colors that are still going strong the knot to your farthest –. In many cases, they tend to pop off the reel fish.! Whole river to yourself enough to pull free from rocks and crevices from our.! It sinks quickly and does a great job of imitating a baetis (. To a trout in knee deep water that it has allows it give. Ll be much more active cost is a part of the most common nymphs across the United.... Perdigon nymphs '' on winter nymph patterns hopefully make some even spiffier tying videos 's., losing gear is a part of the water you are trying fish... Nymphing, and small depressions in riffles 16″ to the first fly, and cream the... Big winter Grayling that will happily sit hugging the bottom with your flies hanging droppers!