Temperatures are finally beginning to warm up as we approach Christmas and New Years. The cold temps the past few weeks have kept anglers off the water, giving the trout a nice long rest.
It is Midge fishing time and these little flies should begin showing in increasing numbers on all the area waters. The fish have really been sitting in the softest of the soft water lately, but as the temperatures begin to warm, there should be some movement from the slack water to the slow moving riffles. The trout have already congregated in their winter time lairs, which are going to be significantly different than the areas that were present last winter. The implications of the runoff this past spring are definitely going to be felt now, perhaps more than ever, as anglers look to find the most productive winter holes. Some of the old standby spots will still fish, but there should be some very new, very interesting winter holding waters for anglers to explore!
Expect the fishing to begin around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. most mornings and the action should last until the sun leaves the water in the late afternoon, sometime around 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. Generally winter fishing peaks about 2:30 p.m. There will be some limited dry fly fishing through the end of the month, but most action is going to take place subsurface.
On the coldest days, fishing streamers like the Philo Beto, Olive Buggers, and Olive or Black Matukas will take plenty of fish and will also entice the biggest fish in the rivers. On the warmer days fish brassies and hares ears. Brassies come in a variety of colors, with Red, Green and Copper being the most common. The color choice will vary from day to day, depending on what color the fish are seeing the real insect in. This could vary from run to run as well. Zebra Midges in Black or Red are also excellent choices should you encounter a place with more finicky trout. If you happen to find fish rising to take Midges off of the surface you can rest assured that a well tied Griffithâ€™s Gnat fished in tandem with a trailing shuck Midge pattern will take plenty of targets. Zdonâ€™t forget your dry shake.
If you are new to winter fishing or just need a little direction, check out the Tips and Tactics section of Silver Creekâ€™s website for a simple primer on how to get geared up for this exciting and fun winter activity.
Please remember the fishing can be excellent this time of the year, but cold air temperatures and water temperatures stress the fish and the utmost care should be taken when catching and releasing our local trout. Use stout tippets to land fish quickly and do not take a fish out of the water for any reason unless it is necessary. Simply get them close and use a â€œKetchum Releaseâ€ tool or your hemostats to remove the hook.
Enjoy the serenity and the beautiful surroundings of the river corridor this Holiday Season!