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Forgetful 01-30-2020 06:43 PM

Dry flies in the winter
Do you ever use dries in the winter? Especially for small creeks.

I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time, stink at fooling fish, or just have bad luck.

I have way more luck with a nymph under an indicator compared to a dry-dropper rig. I'm assuming because I can set the depth.

DrLogik 01-30-2020 07:44 PM

In a freestone stream in the winter, no. The water is too cold for naturals to come off. Worth a try though and I've been known to do that. However! For tailrace fisheries downstream of a dam the water is usually a pretty constant temperature all year long and bugs do come off in the dead of winter.

A number of years ago I was fishing a tailrace and the air temp was 19 degrees and by noon bugs were coming off!! Yep, they got about 3 feet above the water and fell back in and the trout were gorging themselves. It was quite the spectacle.

As far as droppers or indicators, er, bobbers, I only use a red foam Humpy dry fly as an "indicator". They float like a cork and often times they catch the fish not the nymph or wet fly.

BunsbertMontcroffEsq 01-31-2020 06:43 AM

i have had luck with foam ants in the winter - i am guessing because they're terrestrial rather than aquatic insects.

but i have much more luck nymphing in the winter than i do with dries or hoppers. and like you, i prefer fishing under a small indicator rather than a dry/hopper because i can adjust the depth very easily.

lostdutchman 01-31-2020 08:43 AM

Think smaller.

Midges and bwo hatch through winter, everywhere, bwo often In numbers on overcast days.

But if you’re after catching numbers of fish, nymphing under an indicator will outfish the other techniques more often than not. Simply put trout eat subsurface a large percentage of the time. Even better in most places,. Especially small water and pocket water .. euro style nymphing.

Az rim creeks have a fair amount of bug activity through winter though. Both above and below the surface. Just gotta let the fish and environment tell you how and what to fish

Or fish how YOU want to. Fish are opportunistic. And That’s why we all flyfish in the first place. If it was all about how many fish we catch, there’s far better methods. .

Forgetful 01-31-2020 09:45 PM

Thanks guys. I'll try and mess with BWOs. I guess I get too stuck working the same 3 dries it seems.

Westy 02-05-2020 09:10 AM

Consider the lower elevation places in the winter, better access, warmer temps and more active bugs and fish. Oak Creek is productive and will have BWO hatches as mentioned.

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