Winter flyfishing patterns

Thread starter #1
I am trying to become a fly fisherman and I need some help. I got a nine foot 5 wt fly rod for Christmas and have an assortment of flies. I would like to know what type of flies will trout eat in the winter.

Any help is greatly needed and greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
 

Dean

Senior Member
Winter

Of course a lot of weather things can/do impact fly choices, but generally subsurface flies: nymphs, buggers, streamers work well. On warmer days, you may find a hatch for dries as well.

Jump over to North Georgia Trout Online forum as well.
 
depends a lot on where you're fishing but mainly subsurface
If your in wild water try small naturals
#18 Pheasant tails, copper johns, & prince nymphs
#16 hares ear
#20 zebra midge
#8 & #10 Woolly buggers in olive or black with varying amounts of flash
BWO's WD-40 & RS2 in #20 & #22 fished in the surface film
or add a tiny amount of weight and fish it like a soft hackle
warm days try soft hackles #16 especially yellow
If your in DH waters then any junk flies
San Juan worms, eggs, Y2K, Rainbow Warriors, woolly buggers with flash among many others
 
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In despite of the fact that Georgia Hard Hunter is a fan of that Junior College in Northwest Mississippi, his advice on flies for the winter (particularly in the 'Hooch) is dead on. Pay close attention to the flies he recommends and you'll do fine. Just don't pay no nevermind to that skule that he supports. ;)
 
Hoddy Toddy!!! to you Swamppy
How have you been?
Improving. Still kinda woozy after that last trip to Oxford where my Tigers got mugged in the corner of a dark stadium. We took it out on A&M later, but we're still staggering a bit.
 

fishndoc

Senior Member
For catching trout in cold weather, especially stockers, the particular nymph you tie on is not nearly as important as the amount of lead you use.
For most streams in the southeast, a pheasant tail, or a hare's ear nymph will work just fine (tail waters can be more complicated).

Just keep adding lead until you are catching fish or bumping on the river bottom.
 
For catching trout in cold weather, especially stockers, the particular nymph you tie on is not nearly as important as the amount of lead you use.
For most streams in the southeast, a pheasant tail, or a hare's ear nymph will work just fine (tail waters can be more complicated).

Just keep adding lead until you are catching fish or bumping on the river bottom.
fishndoc is making a point that is dead on, its more important to get the wrong fly to the bottom than the right fly further up the water column
 
Winter Flies

I believe that water temperature has a lot to do with how to fish in the winter months. If the water temp is between 50-60 degrees, the fish are very likely to move in order to eat. Inside these temps, fish can be caught on small streamers, nymphs, and even dry flies if you are in specific rivers. As the water gets colder, the fish will move deeper and become more lethargic. It is very important to add enough weight to get your flies down to the bottom during this time.

I would focus mostly on nymphs and streamers, unless you are planning on fishing some Tailwaters, which can produce insect hatches year round. Patterns that I tend to fish during the winter are the following:

* Sz 16 -22 Pheasant Tail Nymphs (mayfly imitator)
* Sz 12-16 Black Stonefly Patterns
* Sz 18-20 BWO Split Case
* Sz 14-18 Olive Soft Hackles
* Sz 14-18 Black Caddis Larva
* SZ 16-22 BWO Dry Flies
* Sz 14-18 Black Elk Hair Caddis
* Sz 18-20 Raibow Warriors
* Sz 18-22 Olive WD-40
* Sz 18 Rootbeer Midge
* Sz 18-20 Black Zebra Midge

Of course, don't be caught without some of the staple patterns such as San Juan Worms, Eggs, Girdle-Bugs, and Wooly Buggers.
 
Thread starter #11
Thanks for the info. I am studing the fly patterns you guys recommended.
Now to get it to the bottom small split shots?
Also do you run a trailing fly off the main fly?
 

fishinbub

Senior Member
The earlier post about lead is spot on. Get your flies down. That is far more important than the actual fly pattern. Stop by a local shop, explain that you are just getting into fly fishing, and ask about fly selection. They will help you stock your box.

Try checking out your local Trout Unlimited group. The Foothills group that meets in Clarkesville usually go on a weekly fishing trip and would be tickled pink I'm sure to help you out on the water.

After you have gone on a trip or two with folks from a local TU group, check out Fern Valley on the Soque. They are offering a big discounted rate right now for weekday trips. Fishing on a section of stream with more fish (and they have plenty of fish) will shorten the initial learning curve.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me. It may take me a few days to get back to you, but I would be happy to help you out. :cheers:

Tight Lines,
Sam
 
I know some may see of as boring in terms of not mixing it up, but I tend to fish the same ol' patterns all winter long. Olive or black mohair leeches with olive tungsten bead (4mm), girdle bugs (occasionally), egg patterns (occasionally), and WD-40's (almost always). I also fish a mouse pattern as of lately when looking for big fish (yep, rainbows like them too). I just cannot over emphasize the effectiveness of mohair leeches and WD-40's. I fish them year round and catch slews of fish on them. I do so well with them, I almost just don't want to fish anything else. Unless I am dry fly fishing, of is usually a WD-40, mohair leech, or combo of both for me. My s standard WD-40 is a size 20. I use of at Dukes year round to catch big fish, and as my trailer fly when dry-dropping for brookies and on all other small wild streams. Also remember, the little black stonefly hatch isn't too far ahead. I start catching trout on the Chattooga with dry flies in February each year. I use a black elk hair caddis (only tied with black deer hair rather than elk). The pattern suffices to immitate the tiny black winter stones (I usually tie in the 16-18 range). That is about a month from now, though.
I could get more creative with my fly fishing, but tend to just stick with what I know works. The flies I mentioned are fast, easy, and economical to tie. You can whip up a whole batch of mohair leeches to last you the winter in just an evening. I don't often fish soft hackles, bit have quite a lot in the past. It has been mentioned here on this thread. I also love soft hackles and think they work wonderfully. I was thinking about fly tying today while at work, and resolved to buy some partridge hackle soon so I could begin fishing them soon again. The soft hackle really is a very FAST, CHEAP, and effective winter fly as well.
 
Also, I should add this: Jake is an expert fly fisherman. Whatever is on his list is probably there for good reason. You should take note!
 
I went out the past two days and caught them on black wolly buggers. size 2 hooks. With bead heads or cone heads.
 
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