Fly Fishing Tips: How to Catch More Trout in the Winter Months

While most of us are still in the peak of fall, winter is upon us as the temps drop and frost begins to roll in. With winter comes a different mindset and requires specific techniques to catch those persnickety trout. Due to the colder temps, anglers are required to take extra precautions to optimize your time and experience on the water. Keeping that in mind, trout also need to be taken care of in the winter. If temps are too cold, trout can be affected drastically if removed from the water for long periods of time. Its okay to get those “hero shots” but be mindful to the life of the trout while doing so. In this tips and tricks video of the week, Cam with Steem Outdoors walks us through proven tips when fishing for trout in the winter months.

Winter Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks:

  1. Fish at the warmest part of the day. Water and weather are too cold in the early morning and trout tend to be sluggish. Warmer temps will trigger activity in trout making for more success on the water.
  2. Trout tend to have a much lower metabolism in the winter months. They will lay low in the deep pockets moving very little to feed to conserve as much energy as possible. Therefore, fish the deep slow moving pockets of water and avoid the fast riffles.
  3. There are very few hatches in the winter time but if there are, it is usually the midge hatch. Dry fly activity is slim to none unlike the warm summer months. Therefore, resort to nymphing and streamer fishing during the winter months.
  4. Downsize your tippet. Try to resort to lighter tippet in the winter time such as 6x, 5x, or 4x. Fluorocarbon tippet is great for nymphing because it will sink faster. Lighter tippet is more stealthy in the winter months.
  5. Water is typically much clearer in the winter and fish are skittish therefore, be stealthy with your approaches.
  6. Cold water and frigid temps are capable of creating ice in your guides. This can create issues for anglers and can also lead to guides and fly lines breaking or splitting. There are a few tips to prevent this but one quick tip is to dip and shake your rod in the water to remove the ice. Loon Outdoors makes ice off paste that can be applied to your guides before your trip. This will also prevent your guides from icing up.

Fly fishing in the winter months can be very rewarding but can also be difficult at times. Use these tips and you will have more success in frigid conditions. Now bundle up, grab the rods, and hit the water! Tight lines!

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