Fly Fishing in the Colder Months

Bart Beasley winter fishing

If your need to continue fishing isn’t halted by frigid temperatures, ice, or snow, fly fishing during the winter season can be as rewarding as the optimal months. So long as your local river or stream isn’t completely frozen over, many cold-water fish, like trout, tend to appear in large schools setting up an ideal fishing environment. In order to make the most of your winter fishing trip, there are a few strategies to take into consideration beforehand.

Effective Bait

It’s important to remember that the colder water physically slows down a lot of fish. Much like us human beings, their laziness may increase once the snow starts to fall and the temperatures begin to drop. With that said, you’ll want to cast a line with bait that effectively attracts whatever type of fish you’re searching for. Larger, slow-moving lures may appear as easy targets to fish that would prefer to remain immobile, thus inspiring them to at least make an attempt.

Another tactic that may help is keeping the bait warm. Fish need to be convinced that what they’re going after is alive, not a cold piece of rubber. While this may be difficult given the cold water, fish have thermoreceptors giving them the ability to sense a change in water temperature. Warming the lure in your hands, pockets, or heating pads before casting is all it takes for a potential catch to sense a slight rise in temperature nearby.

Know Where to Go

Winter months tend to migrate fish to the bottoms of rivers and streams, where they are willing to stay for long periods of time. This stubbornness, though frustrating, can work out in your favor if you can seek out their hiding spots. Bass and crappies typically shelter themselves under debris in the waterways. Though this does pose the risk of snagging your line on a branch or bundle of leaves, going to them will be much for effective than waiting for them to come to you.

Knowing how to read the flows of these bodies of water can also lead you to larger schools of fish. For example, a stream with very little movement, but just enough, indicates a large pool where fish usually gather. These can be hotspots for catching trout if you haven’t mad much luck anywhere else.

Plan Ahead

This is perhaps the most obvious tip I’ll give. Considering the fact that it is going to be very cold where you’ll be fishing, be sure to wear enough clothing and layers to avoid succumbing to the frigid temperatures. Since fishing does not involve much physical movement, preserving your body heat is crucial, especially when standing in freezing waters. Look into purchasing waterproof shoes, socks, and outerwear in general. Also, a thermos full of any hot beverage or soup wouldn’t hurt in helping you battle the cold.
Fly fishing during winter certainly has its perks. Before deciding to take the icy plunge in your nearby fishing hotspots, take the above tips into consideration to make your trip an enjoyable one. Most importantly, have fun! Chances are, you will have most of the area to yourself, as this time of year isn’t exactly the most popular for fishing. Enjoy the solitude of just you, the water, and the fish.

The 2016 Don Hawley Tarpon Tournament

Hi all,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here, but I have an update for you.

Back in June, I had the pleasure of participating in the Don Hawley Invitational Tarpon Fly Tournament down at Islamorda in the Florida Keys. It wan’t my first time participating in the tournament and it certainly won’t be my last. Even though the weather started off pretty rough, overall we had a blast. To give you a bit more info on the tournament, it was all-release for tarpon four feet and over with a 12 pound tippet division of 1,000 points per release and a a 16 pound tippet division with 750 points per release. The Grand Champion title went to the angler + guide team with the most points (regardless of division) at the end of the 5-day period.

I didn’t land the Grand Champion title, but I still ended up doing pretty well. With the help of my truly astounding guide, Captain Perry Coleman, I managed to take the Champion title of the 12 Pound Tippet Division.  As an award, both Perry and me were given some T. Borski original paintings, which you can see below. If you haven’t heard of him, T. Borski sort of the Picaso of the game fishing community. Needless to say, I’m very pleased to have won a work of his.

I can’t wait to get back to the tournament next year.

Bart Beasley and Captain Perry Coleman holding up their awards.

Bart Beasley and Captain Perry Coleman holding up their awards.

 

Thanks for reading,

Bart Beasley

 

Some Of Best Fish To Catch Fly Fishing

Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora) portraitAll anglers have the same goal, to catch the “big one.” That mystical, once in a lifetime fish. Some anglers travel all around the world to find that sought after fish. But what are these fish? What species of fish make anglers like you and I travel the world to catch? This list has some of the most difficult to find fish, and some of the most difficult to reel in as well.

bart beasley charleston tarpon

Me holding Tarpon off of the Florida Keys

Tarpon

One of the greatest fighters in the water. The Tarpon has been hooked by many anglers but only so many of them have actually won the battle. The Tarpon isn’t the hardest fish to catch, but they are considered a prehistoric fish, meaning they they’ve been roaming the waters of earth for longer than humans have been around for. A Giant Tarpon can grow up to 7 ft in length and can weigh over 200 pounds. Anglers from near and far travel from the Caribbean to West Africa to take a chance at reeling in one of these sought after fish.

picture of giant trevally

Giant Trevally hang around tropical waters around the world.

Giant Trevally

Found all over the world, but commonly found in warm tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, the Giant Trevally isn’t the rarest fish. The allure of the Giant Trevally is its fighting shape is built to take anglers to the limit. The power of the Giant Trevally can be attributed to thick shoulders and a midsection of all muscle. Plus, having almost paddle-like pectoral and tail fins only add to the strength of the Giant Trevally.

picture of a tigerfish

One look at these badboys, and you realize that tigerfish really do warrant their name.

Tigerfish

The Tigerfish is an African fish found in the rivers and lakes of the continent.  A priced fish, the Tigerfish is a fierce predator with its trademark razor sharp teeth. The Goliath Tiger is the largest in the Tigerfish family and is found in the Congo system. With those teeth being so big and intimidating, it makes for the Tigerfish to an experience of a lifetime to catch.

picture of a permit fish

You can find Permit along the East Coast and other West Atlantic regions.

Permit

One of the most prized fish to catch, the Permit is just one of the coolest looking fish to catch. With large, human-like eyes and a unique shape, the Permit is also a fish of beauty as well. A good fighter and a pretty smart fish, it can be a challenge to even the most seasoned angler. The Permit is usually found in shallow, tropical waters and in flats and channels. They are a heavier fish as well can and grow up to 20lbs.

picture of a golden mahseer being hooked

The largest in the mahseer family, golden mahseer make for a challenging catch.

Golden Mahseer

A fish that resides right below the Himalayan Range in India, the Golden Mahsser is one of the most coveted fish to find. Found in the northern part of India, the surroundings alone that the Golden Mahseer resides in is enough to attract Western anglers to catch one. But don’t think it’s an easy catch, with golden armor-played scales give it power, and bucket shaped fins can make it be one of the biggest challenges in all of fly fishing to reel in. Fly Fishing for the Golden Mahseer is considered a newer thing, but more and and more anglers are trying their luck at catching one.

For more fly fishing info, check out my Twitter.