Winter Fly Fishing Tips & Tricks

Winter Fly Fishing Tips & Tricks

Winter fly fishing in the North Country

Winter fly fishing tips and ideas in the north country.

After spending countless years fly fishing during the winter here are Just a few of my thoughts and ideas.

Winter fishing it’s not for everybody but for myself it is a great way to break up a long winter and keep your mind in the game.

Our average daytime temps have been averaging 10 to 28°.

   With the water temp around 34° studded rubber boot foot waders are highly recommended. These have been a game changer for myself. Try a slightly larger wading boot than you normally would use this will help with circulation. Stay away from felt during the winter as they collect a lot of snow and ice every time you step out of the river. If you don’t have boot foot waders try electric socks they have come along way even have Bluetooth compatibility so you can control the temp from your phone.

Cold hands:
   A never ending battle during the winter, for years I never wore gloves and just got acclimated to it but I have started using rubber nitrile gloves, which seem to help out quite a bit. Thin enough to still be able to handle your line and tie flies on. another option is wearing Wool fingerless gloves over the nitrile gloves. Adding  handwarmers in between the wool and nitrile gloves on really cold days.

Icing on the guides:
   I’ve tried all the most popular brands including Chapstick and Pam cooking spray they are not great but seem to help out a little bit, One way to delay ice buildup is to limit the amount of line that you are stripping in (avoid those hero casts). Tight line nymphing is a great option, with only a thin leader coming thru the guides.  

A good friend and client of mine brings a small, dry towel to dry his hands off after you net a fish can’t believe I never thought about that.

   Slow everything down, during the winter the metabolism slows so you need to present your fly almost dead drifting, putting the fly on there nose. Opposite of fishing during the summer where you can strip and get those fish to move to the fly.

   I personally like them on the higher side anything above 400 CFS to about 750 CFS out of Murphy Dam for the area around Pittsburg NH. We don’t have a deep snow pack yet or really cold weather so the area south of Pittsburg are easier to access. Mild temps has kept the slush and ice to a minimum in these areas.
Handling fish safely:
  Keep those fish in the water only lifting them up when your buddy has his camera ready. freezing air temps can cause severe damage to them and never dragged them up onto the snow.
  And remember to always look upstream look for ice shelves floating down i’ve been hit with these before and it’s not a great situation.

Here are some of my favorite flies for our fishery

* CH soft hackle streamers gray
* BH soft hackle streamers white
* Small white woolly buggers
* Yeti retriever
* Floating smelt
* Egg patterns
* BH Slim Stonefly
* Flash Midge
* Czech Bomb Black
* Czech Bomb Olve

Check out our Winter Fly Assortment

Stay safe and have fun

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