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Cold weather trout...

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by Teeray, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. I keep hearing and reading about all the good days people have had fishing for trout in our Ohio trout streams in the winter. I went to Clear Fork Sunday morning, walked from the park to the dam, and fished back down. Air temp about 45, water was a bit green but in good shape, all the makings of a good day. Keep in mind that I am not a guy who catches a lot of trout even on a perfect spring day, but you would think that I would have at least raised one fish...even a stocker. Used PT, BH Prince, Hare's Ear, and black wooley...nothing. Saw four other fishermen and they did not seem to be having much luck either. Was planning on spending the whole day, but between the poor fishing and the shotgun blasts all around me, I split after three hours.

    I am just about to the point where if I don't have a decent day of winter trout fishing soon, you'll never see me out there again till April.


  2. TeeRay, The trout, even though they are a Cold water species still have a preferred water temp of between about 45-60 degrees, any warmer or colder and they get lathargic. To increase your odds of catching them, follow the common sense rules.
    Take water temps, know what your up against.
    On the Mad, fish get really tough once water dipps below 42 degrees, ( unless its a really bright sunny day) once water is 42, which on the mad only happens when its been in the low 20's for several nights previous. You will need to drag deep nymphs through known winter trout lairs, the deepest slowest spots on the river, the trout will be right in with the schools of suckers and catching 50% suckers and 50% trout is common in these tough conditions. I often set my strike indicator for depths of 7-9 feet when Im fishing a 3-4 ft deep hole with hardly any current. The fish are bottom based and not going to move very far for a fly.
    Now, if you think like a fish and your freezing to death, lazy and a tiny nymph is a foot away, is it worth the expended enery to go over and get it for the amount of reward that he will get for eating such a tiny nymph, NOPE, so he wont chase it, BUT....if that nymph is a big ole Cranefly Larvea, one of his favorite winter meals, he may move 18" to eat it so some believe that bigger is better durring the winter, I often fish a size 8-10 BH Prince when Im nymphing in the winter for inactive trout.

    The other thought is that there are very few adult sized nymphs in the winter so when they are somewhat active, I do well with size 16-18 caddis pupea and Pheasant tails, but they have to be active for that to work. Fish on sunny day from noon till 4:00 PM and the fish may actually move into the riffles to warm up there backs making them more active then one would expect even when the water is really cold. Does this make sense??
    Send me a PM, Im headed over to the Mad this weekend, just not sure which day yet, please feel free to join me if you can.

  3. For those who have been reading this thread, I took advantage of the opportunity to fish with Salmonid on the Mad on Sunday 12/12. We hit a stretch of the middle Mad, and despite my skeptical thoughts about winter fishing, that guy flat-out put us on fish. I caught trout in the winter, more than I'd thought possible, and my largest Mad brownie so far. I also learned more about spotting water that might hold fish. Water temp was 43, overcast, clear water, high winds but not unberable...and overall just a great day of fishing with someone who knows what they are doing.

  4. he knows iam not that crazy .. lol ..
  5. you ARE crazy :p

    Further south than we were Tim? If so, your turn to show me the area. If I can't shake this illness I don't know if I will hit Clear Creek this weekend or not. The Doc put me some serious antibiotics.
  6. lets face it guys...we are ALL a little crazy when it comes to fishing, Tom may be just a bit crazier than most!

    L2F...not far at all from where we fished a few weeks ago. I don't think it was a matter of where we were fishing, because from what i could tell, this stretch was not
    much different than most of the other parts of the Mad. I do know that I will definitely use two nymphs when fishing in the winter from now on.

  7. Also...L2F...did not realize you were that sick. I sure hope you get better soon.

  8. Bill hopes all is well ! Thanks Tim, lol !
  9. Ok..I give up... what the heck is garden hackle?

  10. I believe it is a "fly" you dig up in your garden.