3/13/10 When I got on the river the water temperature was a chilly 36 degrees. The rain and low water temps ensured that the winter/summer Caddis were a no go. However, the rain and high water made an excellent opportunity to nymph for trout. Two important things to remember when targeting trout with nymphs are to identify their food source, and to get your flies down. Identifying food source is important because it can certainly change drastically form one section of river to the next. You can and should do this each time you fish by just turning over a few rocks and inspecting the life underneath. So after turning some rocks over and sampling the streambed, I found the largest concentrations of macro organisms to include 20-22 green caddis larvae, and 16-18 mayfly nymphs. I like to fish these patterns tied from the bend of a larger, and heavier point fly with a 12” piece of tippet material. The point fly should be larger, and weighted to help get the “team” of flies to the bottom quickly. You can get your flies down with some split shot applied to the leader ahead of the point fly. Next time your on the water and find nothing apparently happening, two things you might try are turning over a few rocks and determining a trout’s diet, or simply drifting some nymphs along the bottom.
I get slammed with this every winter, even though I frequent the river on a regular basis. The scenario is quite familiar to most of us. The fish stop biting and by mid December the cold water has them barely moving about. On some of the winters warmest days you can still look forward to a little caddis action on the top. Nymphs and Streamers provide some good fishing here and there. However most fishermen have decreased their time on the water considerably. If your anything like me you sit at home in your armchair and sulk, reading every fly fishing magazine you can get your hands on. My junior flyfisher, and lovely daughter reminded me through her videos of what I should be doing instead. So start giving your gear the once over now to avoid toils and snares later. Tie some of the flies you know you are going to use this year. The weather will be breaking soon, are you ready?