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.

Fly Fishing Tips for Beginners

bart beasly flyfishing

Fly fishing is considered a sport by some, but for others it’s a lifestyle. Learning to fly fish can provide a lifetime of memories to the weekend fishermen, or the avid fly fisher. To get started in the sport, there’s a few basic things to know, knowing the correct gear, using the right techniques, being prepared, and knowing which species to focus on.

Most fly fisherman to pursue trout, but most anglers try fishing for everything from largemouth bass, to big game saltwater species like marlin, tarpon, and sometimes sharks. In America, fly fishermen generally spend their time on rainbow trout, but other species such as golden trout, steelhead trout, and brown trout are sought after.

The locations you fish can vary from the ocean, to the backcountry of creeks and lakes.To really master your craft, many anglers practice at home, casting in their front yard or in a park. Fly fishing is catching on all over the world, from U.S. National Parks, like Yosemite, or fishing for bass in the Amazon River, or hurting carp in Europe, the the strong outdoor heritage has popularized the sport.

Having the proper gear is another piece in the introduction to fly fishing. Gear is always evolving, the fly, rod, reel, and lime have always been fly fishing staples. Anglers are also known for the dozens of different knots they use, which correlate with the type of fly line, leader, and tippet. While, fly fishing can be on the expensive side, with typical fly rods costing more than $100, but finding bargains for beginners and seasoned anglers alike is common.

The techniques, you incorporate can change from season to season. Variables are dependant on a hourly basis sometimes, or when insects are present, hatching eggs on or in the water. The river trout are the most popular fish for fly fisherman, but can be difficult to find sometimes. This makes nymph fishing, fishing below the surface with bottom dwelling insects and sculpin patterns a popular approach. But keeping in mind when the temperatures rise, it can make a fisherman have to incorporate dry pattern techniques.

Lastly, being prepared for anything that fly fishing can throw at you is an essential quality. Being patient and developing your own techniques over time is the best advice a beginner angler can receive. Doing things as simple as casting in your front yard, or working on tying flies can prepare yourself to have a enjoyable, and successful fishing experience.