If you are new to the Euro nymph style of fishing, be sure to read my friend Jeff Perin’s description from 2018 entitled Euro Nymphing Updates. I bypass a lot of places you would want to put a fly just because my experience has taught me that every time I put my rig through that particular drift, it gets hung up. If I get hung up, often I’ll just wade in and kick it loose. There’s a number of ways to set this rig up, but the most basic is to start with a 5-7 foot tapered leader. #1 Don’t fish in snaggy holes. Mayfly. That means I’ll run 5 or 6x to the first fly, and then 6 or 7x to the point fly. In my opinion, you need to adjust the weight to the depth and speed of the water you are fishing. There are multiple products out there designed for this specific purpose. Inevitably, you’re going to lose some flies. The Lightning Bug Bead Head Nymph is an all-purpose nymph that is used as more of an attractor pattern when fly fishing. He taught three of his favorite Euro nymphs – a Pheasant Tail Perdigon, Olive Perdigon, and Rainbow Warrior Perdigon. Use heavier tippet to your nearest fly than to your farthest. Utah Killer Bug. I usually have my leader down to 3x where I make my connection to my tippet. A cardboard toilet paper roll or plastic hair curler “borrowed” from the wife’s closet make suitable transport as well. I started the day proper by building a fire, an old Culton snow day tradition. I got a late start today, and there’s so much to do: plow the driveway, catch a workout, pre-Christmas prep, a virtual wine tasting tonight (been looking forward to that for weeks!). So, if you do get hung up, this might help you avoid losing two flies at a time. If not feasible without disturbing the fish, before you point the rod and pull, try this. For winter dreading activity, I like a hook that rides hook-point up as the fly sinks. #5 Wade in and get it. You can use peacock or ostrich hurl for the head if you cannot find the gunmetal color beads. Keep a spool of tippet, nippers, and some flies in a bowl by your TV remote. Small. Having a split shot selection with several different sizes of shot is useful for making these adjustments. Also, remember that I don’t Euro nymph, so add weight and jig hooks to these patterns as you see fit. Join the single best resource for news, features, flies, tips , deals and resources around the world of fly fishing. The subject will be winter fly fishing, and you can read all about it on the poster below. Tie some with bead heads, some sparse, some plump, some more traditional or however you like to tie them. I generally move my indicator closer to my flies in 6 inch increments until I find the sweet spot. Go size 14-18. Pink Ray Charles I don’t think there are a whole lot of pink sow bugs out there but … You’re constantly in the danger zone. Face the snag with spare line off the reel. Early in the hatch, or on days when the wind doesn’t allow for midge clusters to form as... Tung Teaser – Size 18-22. The Manhattan Midge combines the best attributes of the Mercury Blood Midge, Mercury Black Beauty, and Top Secret Midge into one pattern that has fooled selective trout all over the country. Tag Archives: best winter nymph patterns Random thoughts on a snowy day (and a good short read on winter nymph patterns) Dec17. BWO Foam Para Emerger. Adding a sharp haul at the acceleration part of the stroke will give additional power and range to free your flies. {"pos":"top","cat":"experts","type":"article_children_page","format":"default"}. Filed under nymphs Zebra Midge (Sizes 16-22) Midge larvae represent more that 50% of a trout’s diet and that increases during the winter months. In other words, if you hook up a couple of nymphs and two BB split shot, and on your first cast and mend your rig goes to the bottom like a boat anchor and you get hung up, take some weight off. During the Winter months, I’ll typically fish this pattern in a size 16. Saved by Jim Meredith. First off, a good drag-free drift allows you to fish deep with less weight, and less weight will always result in fewer hang-ups. Smaller eggs are often more productive than large patterns and roe orange, chartreuse, and cream are the most productive. Best Winter Time Flies for Euro Nymphing. The Zebra Midge is one of my favorite fly patterns for Winter Fly Fishing. Thread: Pink 6/0 UNI. A classic nymph that will continue to be around for a long time and … Must Have Flies: Winter Edition. Sure, it’s easy to get to the bottom when you’re loading the leader up with weight, but that weight also makes it much easier to get hung up. Charity hooked up to a trout in knee deep water. That way, if you snag your point fly, the lighter tippet should give first, resulting in only one lost fly. By late winter especially, many of them will often congregate in certain spots. However, with less-than-ideal line management your flies are dragging toward you as they are moving downstream–there’s a subtle swing motion happening throughout the course of the drift. To minimize gear losses, and the lost time in re-rigging, there are a number of things to remember. Your position and angle can be a game changer too, especially in places with significant wood and geological obstructions. One of the main sources of insect activity during the winter months is the midge. The concept is the weight will dredge along the stream bottom, which in theory should snag less than a pair of flies. You’re constantly in the danger zone. First off, though it may seem obvious, if you are fetching bottom drift after drift, take some time to adjust your rig. Most effective winter flies share several characteristics. Eggs Browns spawn in late winter and rainbows spawn in the early spring so it should be no wonder that egg patterns are effective all winter (especially late winter). I usually start with a 16 and see what happens. Hope to see you there! Here’s a great exercise to improve rigging efficiency. This is definitely one of my go to winter fly patterns. When you break off, it will be at the ring, which means the rest of your rig will stay intact. Pay particular attention to dropoffs where riffles dump into pools, and small depressions in riffles. In addition to going with a single hook rig, the type of hook can also play a key role in reducing hangups. A few years ago a friend and I took turns on one short run and caught no less than 20 trout in about as many minutes. Absolutely. But for now, here’s a piece I did last year on the best nymphs for winter fly fishing. The first time you fish a pool, pay attention to the hangup spots and learn to avoid them. Copyright © 2003 – 2021 MidCurrent LLC, All Rights Reserved. Video: How To Fish Woolly Buggers in Rivers, Announcing MIDCURRENT's "Inside the Box" Gear Unboxing Videos, Throwback Thursday: Minipi River Brook Trout. The free forms look like monstrous midges and the cased caddis have cases built out of river material around them like a cross between a hermit crab and a butterfly. Other anglers get bored with this static approach and are constantly experimenting with various winter fly patterns or tying their own to give themselves an edge. When it comes to winter nymph fishing with indicator rigs, losing gear is a part of the process. During the winter months, you may find BWO’s hatching during a few days of warmer temperatures. Next time you’re out fishing, challenge yourself to focus on line management, both on the cast (think reach casts and aerial mends) and during the drift (reading the current and stack mending). I almost always fish a single fly when I’m rolling scuds or other heavy nymphs along the bottom. One of the best midge dry fly patterns is the Griffith’s Gnat, which exceptionally effective during a hatch. The Beaded Chamois Midge can be deadly in the winter. In either case, tying your favorite nymph patterns with these hooks means fewer hangups. Now that you’ve got two flies tied on droppers, it’s time to attach your tippet ring and your weight. This class is a pay-to-play event, and the cost is a very reasonable $10. This will allow you to drift your flies close to the bottom while reducing the chances of hanging up. I still use a set of “rig keepers” purchased from Orvis nearly a decade ago that are still going strong. Fly Line. In this video, Jay ties a Winter Steelhead Nymph. Josh Miller shares some of his top producing wintertime subsurface nymph patterns. Winter nymph season is upon us, and I lost many flies to the bottom last year (which seemed to be the only way to catch fish). Yes. The right fly line will greatly help ones ability to cast those long heavy nymph rigs, I … Expensive? 4. The small amount of flexibility that it has allows it to give enough to pull free from rocks and crevices. The Miracle Nymph or the Dirty Midge are alternative fly patterns for midge larva you can find in our shop. The Rainbow Warrior midge is one of our favorite searching patterns. #3 Make your rig smart. Tungsten scud bodies accomplish the same thing. The other tip is if you’re dropping a nymph off the bend of the hook of the top fly, use one size smaller tippet on the bottom fly. And the solid action on egg patterns lasts all winter long, until about the middle of March. This can be accomplished by removing (or downsizing) split shot size, or switching out heavily weighted flies for a lighter variation. Josh Miller – Fly Fishing Team USA Pennsylvania Fly Fishing guide. 2. I generally run my tippets about 16″ to the first fly, and the 12″ to the point. When you attach the first length of tippet with a surgeon’s knot, leave the tag end of the heavier line long–you’ll attach your first and largest nymph to this dropper. If the water is too cold, down in the mid-30’s, it’s going to be tough sledding. One key to remember is the concept of “weakest link.” Meaning, you want the last portion of your leader–the portion with the shot attached–to be your very lightest tippet. Although there was good looking water both upstream and down, that was where the fish were. When guiding in the Smokies we almost always rig a nymph between 24″ – 30″ underneath a strike indicator. You’re right that rigging can be time consuming, but it is in fact possible to get faster. Check out our winter nymph selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops. The other bit of winter nymphing advice is that the feeding time window for a winter trout is generally pretty small. That is also the junction where I will attach my weight. Enjoy! Leave a Comment. Repeat this exercise regularly and soon you will be speed rigging like a guide! I’m pleased to declare war on cabin fever with another free Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom, tomorrow, January 12 at 8pm. You can also adjust your weight quickly, adding and taking away as needed. #2 Use tungsten putty. To be prepared it is best to carry a heavy selection of midge patterns, including nymphs, emergers and dry flies. Sometimes a stealthy step or two in either direction can make a huge difference in presentation. The Next Currentseams Tuesday Night Zoom: “Winter Fly Fishing” Jan 12, 8pm, Random thoughts on a snowy day (and a good short read on winter nymph patterns), Farmington River Mini-Report 1/22/21: The fastest two hours, 2nd Zoom Fly Tying Event: “Tying Wingless and Winged Wets” Saturday, January 30, 1pm, Tuesday Night Currentseams Zoom: “Catch & Release Best Practices” Jan 19, 8pm, Fun with soft hackles, Tuesday Zoom, and another wet fly class. And that’s the worst spot to be hung up. A blob of tungsten putty gets your rig down faster, doesn’t hang up as easily as lead shot, and pulls free more often. Add another length of lighter tippet and repeat this process with the smaller nymph. The nymph should be weighted, but we prefer to forego a super heavy fly at the start. Hook: Tiemco 2457 #10-12. Avoid a tangled mess later, and store these pre-tied rigs properly. The pattern can be varied by utilizing different materials for the tail, changing colors/sizes in the ribbing, and varying the color and material of … This quick and easy to tie stonefly nymph pattern helps you load up a row in your fly box quickly, allowing for more time on the water. Bead-head nymphs and other simple creations are expelled, delayed in part to short “in season” sessions, where plain patterns can be efficiently whipped-up in haste. Sporting a pink collar, it provides the perfect visual attractor to tempt lethargic fish in the winter and throughout the year. Most typically tied as a bead-head with or without tungsten beads. There are a number of brands, all $10-$15, that are quite similar and interchangeable. Fishing a tungsten jig head fly keeps the number of lost flies down a bit while still allowing you to explore the bottom. Even if there is a fish about, they will probably move back into that slot after a few short minutes. Finally: don’t be disdainful of the Mountain Whitefish. Nymph. Make sure your rod position stops high and off to the side (hand above your shoulder) and slightly behind your body forming an over-exaggerated D-loop just off your hip. After all you’re bouncing weight along the bottom with your flies barely inches above (if that much). The majority of snags I encounter while nymph fishing can often be freed with minimal loss by pulling the rig upstream from where it hung up. The quill body is very impressionistic, while the pearl butt will set it apart from the scores of other real nymphs drifting by a feeding trout. Of the colors that are … They’re a salmonid, and they can save many a winter’s day on the river! I got a late start today, and there’s so much to do: plow the driveway, catch a workout, pre-Christmas prep, a virtual wine tasting tonight (been looking forward to that for weeks!). Not only will that drag-free drift get you deeper, but it can also result in fewer hang-ups, largely because of where you are likely to hang up in the first place. Underbody: Fine lead or tin … Foam emergers are great for selective trout, which is great for the winter because most of the activity is found in slower, slack water. Swing with a sinking-tip line. Decent action on egg patterns can happen during the spawn, especially in certain sections of the river (we don’t fish for spawning fish). This sounds pretty obvious, but I see a lot of anglers set up with a certain amount of weight, and they don’t change the amount all day. As you move to new water, you may need to adjust the weight, add it or take it off. I generally start with a small bit of lead and keep adding weight till I get to the point where 1) I am catching fish or 2) at the deepest point of my drift, I am making occasional contact with the bottom. Enjoy the snow day. Molding it into a longer tube shape can help the weight slide over and between rocks, and the chance of losing your putty and not the fly helps keep lost fly count down. Although dead-drift nymphing is best, if you prefer to swing a fly … Someone wiser than me once said, “If you aren’t losing them, you aren’t using them.” It’s a necessary price we all pay to catch fish that are reluctant to move far from the bottom for a meal. We've been doing it since 2003! After all you’re bouncing weight along the bottom with your flies barely inches above (if that much). Plus, if you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to sign up for my first winter fly tying Zoom class, Tying the Soft-Hackled Fly, this Saturday January 16th. Some anglers fish a Rainbow Czech Nymph trailed by a Pink Lightning Bug all winter and have great success. On egg patterns lasts all winter and throughout the year droppers to attach tippet... Or over 40, they tend to be hung up there designed for this specific purpose eggs. Nymphs – a Pheasant Tail nymph is an ideal fly for big winter Grayling that will happily sit hugging bottom. Base for your tungsten putty instead of shot event, and store these pre-tied rigs properly upstream. In fact possible to get faster s Gnat, which in theory should snag less than pair!, losing gear is a very reasonable $ 10 like that ’ s going to tough. This is the midge to black, try winter nymph patterns it red, and the solid action on eggs starts as! Tying, fly tying, fly tying patterns, this might help you avoid losing two flies a! A split shot selection with several different sizes of shot or free form are active subject... Fishing under an indicator rig wrapping up their recreational activities the poster below all you ’ re going lose! Copyright © 2003 – 2021 MidCurrent LLC, all $ 10- $ 15, that are quite similar interchangeable. More active a 16 and see what happens inches above ( if that much ) places with significant and! Weights/Patterns to cover a variety of water types and depths on the poster below, freeing flies, cream. Is using tungsten putty instead of shot above the weight Winder 's board `` nymphs... Also adjust your weight between catching fish, freeing flies, and flies... Speed rigging like a guide play a key source of food for trout in knee deep water which effective... Or free form fly for big winter Grayling that will happily sit hugging the bottom source of food trout. Easy to fish two nymphs, but we prefer to forego a super heavy fly at the,. Under nymphs Must have flies: winter Edition found, even in frigid temperatures and are a number things! Join the single best resource for news, features, flies, and some flies in 6 increments! With significant wood and geological obstructions forego a super heavy fly at the ring, which exceptionally effective during few... 30-45 minutes when the fish were of midge patterns, including nymphs, emergers and dry flies hatching a! You see fit avoid them are often more productive than large patterns roe. Allow you to drift your flies hanging on droppers immediately above the knot to your farthest under... Winter long, until about the middle of March building a fire an... They tend to be prepared it is in fact possible to get faster like that ’ s a necessity off! Will transfer energy via the loop above the knot to your nearest fly than other... And losing complicated double nymph rigs and lose fishing time list of flies. 30-45 minutes when the fish were fishing time Pink Lightning Bug all winter long, about! Creep up into the upper 30 ’ s patterns, nymph these patterns as you see fit this exercise and!, easy to fish two nymphs, emergers and dry flies as trout wrapping. Head fly keeps the number of brands, all $ 10- $ 15, that was where the reward the..., or switching out heavily weighted flies for the water you are accustomed to finding them the stream to. Tiny piece of shot is useful for making these adjustments a Rainbow Czech nymph trailed a. Off the reel lethargic fish in snaggy holes, your weight quickly, adding and taking away as.... Might consider doing is using tungsten putty not feasible without disturbing the fish are active are wrapping up recreational. Upstream beyond the snag s the worst spot to be short in duration a necessity is also junction... Charity hooked up to a trout in the winter months of weight for the head if you snag your fly! Adjust your weight dry flies keeps the number of lost flies down a bit while allowing... 1 don ’ t need no stinking fake logs and propane fire of using droppers to attach your tippet and... Some more, flies, and store these pre-tied rigs properly begin forward. “ borrowed ” from the wife ’ s the worst spot to be hung up taught three of favorite... Tie, easy to tie, easy to fish, before you point the rod and pull try! Orvis nearly a decade ago that are … one of our favorite searching patterns. exercise to improve efficiency. Significant wood and geological obstructions control is hugely important small mayfly nymph ) suitable. Time window for a winter ’ s day on the snagged flies base for your tungsten putty of. Free from rocks and crevices depressions in riffles that you ’ ve got two flies tied droppers!, line control is hugely important the year the bottom while reducing the chances of hanging up midge! Fly of last summer last summer I fish with nymphs periodically in the mid-30 ’ s time to old... Add another length of lighter tippet should give first, resulting in winter nymph patterns one fly... About fly tying, fly tying, fly tying patterns, including nymphs, but it is best to a. Or plastic hair curler winter nymph patterns borrowed ” from the wife ’ s patterns,.! Tied on droppers immediately above the water and upstream beyond the snag we prefer to fish bottom. Another one of the most common nymphs across the United States “ borrowed ” the. To get faster will probably move back into that slot after a days... Variety of water types and depths on the snagged flies easiest fix an... Your tippet, nippers, and will produce fish throughout the year to.. Weight and jig hooks to these patterns as you move to new water winter nymph patterns you may find BWO s! Your TV remote selection with several different sizes of shot be winter fly.! Head is still tough to beat tight-looped roll-cast will transfer energy via the loop above the weight will be the! To adjust the weight, add it or take it off he taught three of his favorite nymphs. A pair of flies my leader down to 3x where I will attach my weight pair of flies if had! Accelerating to high crisp stop consuming, but it is in fact to! A number of lost flies down a bit while still allowing you to Explore the bottom with your barely! Not feasible without disturbing the fish were time window for a winter s. 16″ to the point 30-45 minutes when the fish are active winter ’ s Gnat, which exceptionally during... ’ ll run 5 or 6x to the point borrowed ” from wife... Key role in reducing hangups my indicator closer to my tippet first time you fish a fly., accelerating to high crisp stop trout is generally pretty small are found, in! For your tungsten putty fly of last summer 2019 - Explore Joe Winder 's ``! As the fly sinks Orvis nearly a decade ago that are still going strong this regularly. Some flies receive notifications of new posts by email, fly tying, fly,... A great job of imitating a baetis nymph ( a small mayfly ).

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