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Winter fishing

Joined:
2010/7/6 20:36
Posts: 102
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In the past I have always hung up the fly rods after my last steelhead trip to induldge in my other passion,Waterfowl hunting. But with the Explosion of interest in Hunting, waterfowl hunting in particular I am thinking of doing a little more fishing instead. A little rant on the hunting situation also. It is sad that people think antlers and duck bands are more important than filling your freezer with food for the winter. How hunting became "POP" culture is beyond me and things I see people do make me never wanna hunt agian.

Now that I have that off my chest I wanna ask how do you guys like to fish in the winter months? I have to imagine hatches are pretty uncommon? Other than a possible bwo or stonefly hatch? So do most just indy rigg nymphs and swing streamers? Are can you still get a few risers in the cold. I guess an even bigger question is it even worth freezing my rear off? It doesnt really matter anyways. I Am mostly looking for a little peace and quite And have to think winter fishing can offer me that. But catching a few fish is always a plus.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 19:13


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2007/3/29 7:56
From Bethlehem, PA
Posts: 278
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The past few years, I have done most of my trout fishing in winter. I am lucky to have a very good limestone stream less than 1 mile from my house, and it fishes very well in the winter. I have mostly focused on nymph fishing, and more specifically using in-line indicators and tight lining, ala Czech Nymphing. It works. There are times when fish will rise very well to midges, which I hate with a passion. Mostly because I am horrible at fishing that situation. the past two winters, being relatively mild have had quite a few midge hatch days. Add in some BWO, sometimes.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 19:25
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Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2571
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Midge fishing can be great over the winter but that's usually mid/late Jan and on.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 19:46
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Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
Posts: 1228
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1. I stopped hunting because no one but me eats the meat and it seemed like it just was not getting used. I was even having trouble giving it away. No point in shooting something, just to say I shot it. They make clays for that. So, I appreciate your rant!

2. Winter fishing is the best! If the tribs are not frozen, you can fish steelhead all Winter long. Same deal for brookies and brown trout streams. The brookies will hit nymphs all Winter. And some folks continue to get them on dries in the winter as well (I have not been able to do that). I don't fish wild browns with nymphs. I'm a streamer guy. The main transition I see in fishing wild browns during Winter is that they tend to be hanging out more in tailouts. In the Winter I seem to catch them on the swing in tailouts vs in Summer when the are more aggressive to either hit a streamer at the head of a pool in the fast water OR come out of cover clear across a pool to nail it. So, it just boils down to making the adjustments to your favorite creeks. Not many people fish in the Winter. It is a different kind of beautiful and far more peaceful. Just dress for the weather.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 19:51
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Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
Posts: 303
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I love winter fishing. Not only will you have the stream to yourself most of the time, you can also narrow down your fly selection to a few choices that you can have pretty good confidence in. Besides midges and bwos, I like generic nymph patterns (bhpt, hares ear, etc). Plus you get the chance to fish in the snow, which is a cool experience. Nothing like the sound of rising trout and falling snow as the only sounds you hear on a January day. If you can hit any of the limestoners during the cold months, you'll generally find more active fish.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 20:28


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 851
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I still enjoy hunting (particularly bowhunting) but my MO is always to try to put a deer or two in the freezer. November is a great month to bowhunt and I usually like to give the brownies a break during the spawn. However, if you are looking for some solitude on the stream ..... winter fishing can definitely be the answer. Fishing with a fresh snow cover on the ground and some fresh flakes falling is an awesome experience. As said above, to consistently get into some fish focus on the limestoners. They often maintain a more consistent temperature over the winter months. Depending on the current weather systems the freestoners can get downright COLD! If water temperatures get well down into the 40's I have found the fishing to be very slow. If the water temp gets down into the 30's you would probably be more productive staying in and tying some flies. Winter fishing under the right conditions can be very rewarding. Give it a shot. Good luck!

Posted on: 2013/11/6 20:50


Re: Winter fishing

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2006/11/20 10:08
Posts: 1148
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I still hunt during the autumn for wild turkeys, mainly because my son and a good friend expect me to. I have lost much of my passion for it, though I still like hunting spring gobblers. Cold has much to do with it, I guess.

Having said that, I, ironically, like to fish during the winter during relatively mild days mostly. When I go out, I expect to fish with nymphs, much as I do during the rest of the year -- and in the same places, too. Older writers said that the trout stacked up in pools during winter, but I think that's only true when the water is really low. Otherwise, I find them in the same places I normally do.

For me, the cut-off water temperature that really slows the action is 35 degrees, not the 39 degrees espoused by older writers.

I do not expect the action during winter that I hope for during the rest of the year, but I do not expect to be skunked either.

Dress warm: neoprenes for me, warm gloves, and a warm hat with a hoodie.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 21:26


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2011/9/27 20:41
From Central PA
Posts: 213
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something else to do in the winter time is fish for suckers. I guess they are like fat chicks....you know the rest.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 21:30


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2009/2/11 13:14
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 1262
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Mutz,
they need love too...lmao

Posted on: 2013/11/6 22:22


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
From United States
Posts: 241
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Suckers, Fallfish they all need love too. Nothing wrong with that. Winter is an excellent time to fish. The grass isn't growing, the kids aren't playing baseball.
I caught my largest(dry fly) caught wild brown on March the 8th with snow on the ground. I was swinging streamers and dragging bottom with stonefly nymphs when I spotted the riser. Hook jawed 27.5 gator on an Early Black Stone (EBS) hatch. The EBS hatch includes different species and is very common, limestone or freestone. This hatch is overlooked and misunderstood by many in fact it was called a black caddis by everyone when I was a kid first fishing too it. To some it still is a caddis because that is what they call it. Snowflea is my favorite nickname. I"ve fished to rising fish in January on it but more commonly its a Feb to April event. I look forward to it every year and on a good year provides alot of dry fly fishing and it does not have to be warm but it helps if it is warming.
The larger stonefly nymphs are key for winter fishing. I like the Golden.
If it's seventy degrees and beautiful as all get out and the snow is melting. Stay home and tie flies. I'm not convinced it's solely a water temp thing. I've caught many different species in very cold water. But, I can't seem to resist fishing on such days as this and more often than not I can't even get a bump out of them. Could it be a PH thing? I don't know. Maybe one of the sharpies here has an opinion on that one.
Never let winter get past without doing some fishing. I remember twenty years ago fishing Penns and the only tracks were our own from week to week. That fishing was incredible, post spawn and hungry. Colder water cuts back on food options for predator fish. Winter is a lean time for big fish and this can work to our advantage, any Musky fisherman here. You can wake up a big brown with a big streamer on a cold, nose running day. In fact I have a picture somewhere that clearly shows the six inch snotcicle. I gotta stop, I can go on all night about Winter fishing. I love it.
Anyway, I strongly encourage you to fish the winter, it may become your favorite time to fish. I love the blue/green water.

Posted on: 2013/11/6 23:18
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Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2136
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It's been mentioned already but it's important enough to repeat. You must be dressed correctly or you will not fish in winter for long. I don't mean stepping in the stream looking like the Michelin man either, layer accordingly, really good gloves/socks, and an appropriate hat is a must. If you find yourself hooked on winter fishing go out and get some high quality clothing that enables you to wear less and stay warm. Enjoy, there is something so special about catching trout with a snow cover and or snow falling.
Oh, it's a real good idea to have an extra pair of dry clothing in the vehicle just in case.

Posted on: 2013/11/7 7:11
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Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2013/10/19 17:19
From Mechanicsburg
Posts: 30
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I like to fish for fallfish during the winter. I'll find some beat-up woolly buggers and take a 3 minute walk down to the Connie and pull out maybe 8 or so fallfish all over 18". You can find fallfish practically anywhere and they put up a great fight. Definitely one of my favorite times to fish.

Posted on: 2013/11/7 7:49


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1817
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I like to fish for Fallfish in the Winter too. The biggest Fallfish I've caught have all come in colder water temperatures...from late Fall through Winter to early Spring, before they spawn. I just dead drift a fairly big black BH Bugger with some shot a few inches above it through deeper runs and holes.

In those same areas in the Summer, I still catch Fallfish (usually by actively stripping the fly), but they all seem to be dinks.

Posted on: 2013/11/7 8:45


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
Posts: 5975
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You and your giant chubs.

I've already got a short list of local limestoners that I plan on spending significant time on this winter. These are streams I put maybe one or two days on last year, but not enough to really gauge how they truly fish. This winter, full on exploration.

Posted on: 2013/11/7 9:13


Re: Winter fishing

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 851
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Quote:

The_Sasquatch wrote:
You and your giant chubs.


Big Fallfish Rock!

Attach file:



jpg  Fallfish.jpg (35.21 KB)
6132_527ba48539cc8.jpg 448X336 px

Posted on: 2013/11/7 9:33



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