Winter Fishing Special
We're having mild days, our guides are fishing, and catching fish. If this mild trend continues we'll fish straight through the winter. So, with that in mind, we're offering a Winter Special from now until March 1. Come for the afternoon, 1-4:00, 4 hours guided fishing for $175. It's the warmest part of the day and when the fish are most active. Dress warm and get outside in the fresh air. Give us a call to schedule. 570-925-2392.
Jim’s Winter Fishing Tips
And, while we’re on the subject of winter fishing, Jim, our head guide has some tips for us:
Winter Fly Fishing Tips
I have noticed in the last few years that winter fly fishing has become more popular, especially in our local area. It's always been popular in Central PA, on streams like Penn’s Creek, Spring Creek and other limestone streams. And I’m also seeing a lot of articles in fly fishing magazines, photos and stories on social media on winter fly fishing.
As with any outdoor adventure it's always good to be prepared and have some idea of what clothing to wear and other items to have on hand so it a fun and a successful day on the water. Dressing in layers is a very good way to keep warm and if the conditions warm up, you can always take a layer off. Beware though, over dressing will make you look like the Michelin Man and restrict your mobility.
A hooded rain jacket that is wind proof and water proof is a must. A warm hat with ear muffs and a lined buff will keep your head and neck warm. Fingerless fishing gloves help to keep your hands from freezing. I just found a pair of Simms fingerless gloves that have a pouch on the wrist for a disposable hand warmer packet.
If you live close by, putting your waders and boots on at home is a lot easier and warmer than booting up on the stream. If there is snow on the ground be sure to use rubber bottom soles with cleats. Snow will cling to the felt soles making it very difficult to walk.
One problem with winter fishing on colder days is that ice will form in the guides of your fly rod. Solution? I like to use Stanley's Ice off or Pam Cooking spray. It will work for a while. If ice still forms in the guides, try dipping the rod in the water and swoosh it around, the ice will thaw. But, unfortunately, the guides will ice up again. It's just part of winter fishing. A mono rig will shed water quicker than a thicker fly line. So when I'm fishing in air temperatures in the 20's I will Euro nymph with a Mono Rig. (That’s an article for another time…)
A list of other things to bring along:
• Polarized Sunglasses
• Hand warmers
• Water, thermos of coffee and some snacks
• Towel – attached to your waders or vest to wipe off your wets hand after releasing a fish
• Change of clothes – just in case – it's a long ride home when you’re soaking wet and cold
These items are good things to have in your car all year round and you might be surprised how often you will thank yourself.
Now you are set with equipment, let’s talked about what hatches you could see and what flies usually work best.
Insects in the winter? Absolutely! Especially on nice sunny blue bird days it's not uncommon to see BWO's, early black stoneflies, caddis and small midges. If the sun warms up the water even a degree or two, you could see some rising fish and have some dry fly fishing.
Winter nymph fishing is usually the name of the game and having nymphs of the above hatches is always a good idea. A rule of the thumb for winter fishing is to use small flies in hook sizes 16 to 22. But rules are made to be broken and myths abound in the fly fishing world so don’t be afraid to experiment.
A few days ago I caught several trout on a size 10 Sexy Walt’s Worm and dead drifting a Cathy's Super Bugger has been the hot flies this month so far. Be prepared for anything and think outside the box. Oh, and don’t forget the incredible edible egg. Are you old enough to remember that in a TV commercial about eggs? Trout know what we know. Eggs are high in protein and a great winter diet for the trout.
Best to time be on the water is from around 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m . It's usually the warmest part of the day and the most productive part of a winter day. It’s a good idea not to fish alone on cold winter days and having a buddy along can just add to the fun.
The idea of winter fly fishing is really hard for some anglers to grasp. It is a different mind set. But once you grasp it and are comfortable with fighting the elements it can be very rewarding. I'm not just out there to enjoy the beauty of a winter day. If that was the case I would just take a walk in the woods. I fish to catch fish and love the challenge that winter fishing brings and the feeling of accomplishment that I get from bringing a few trout to the net.
If you’ve never fished in the winter I like to encourage you do so. Hope some of the tips I mentioned will help you to enjoy these days on the water. I am happy to answer any question you might have. Click at the top of the blog to view it online and the comments box will appear. We love hearing from our readers.
Patagonia Puff Pants
And still thinking about winter fishing, if you are looking for a layer that will keep you warm under your waders, check out Patagonia's Tough Puff Pants (#82005). Made from the same stretchy, durable fabric as the puff hoody, they are so warm you'll wear them as pants after fishing. For more information check them out at Patagonia.com.