The Early Trout Season opened this past Saturday. Yahoo! We can fish again!
A few things to know before heading out:
1. If the air temperature is below 20 degrees, don’t fish - the cold air temperature can freeze the trout’s gills when you pull it out of the water. Not good for the long-term health of the resource.
2. If it’s below freezing, consider using a Tenkara rod - you won’t have to deal with ice in the rod guides. You can short line indicator nymph with this set up by adding 6 feet of 4X or 5X fluorocarbon tippet to the end of the line and attach a small Thingamabobber to the braided line.
3. Pro Tip! If you plan to fish with your regular rod in below freezing conditions, spray your rod guides with PAM to keep the guides from icing up as frequently.
4. Rig your rod up at home before heading out. It’s easier and quicker to rig up with warm fingers than cold ones.
5. Wear proper clothing layers to keep warm and give you more staying power - don't forget about your fingers! Merino wool base layers, fleece pants, ¼ zip fleece top, and a Primaloft jacket or down sweater. A Gore-Tex jacket can cut the wind and save you in an unexpected dunking.
Concentrate on fishing the slow deep pools and the lower stretches of streams because this is where the warmest water will be and the most fish will be holding. The most productive time of the day to winter trout fish is between 9AM and 2PM - the warmest parts of the day. Sunny days also help warm the water up a couple degrees and make it easier to read the water with better visibility. If you choose to fish on an overcast day, position yourself facing the dark tree-lined side of the bank rather than the snow - it cuts the glare and helps you see into the water better.
Nymphs: Pink Squirrel #12-14, Craig’s Spring Creek Scud Orange and Tan #12, Copper John Red #16-18, Zebra Midge Olive/Copper, Pheasant Tail #18-20.
Streamers: Leechinator #4-8, Woolly Bugger #6-10, Craig’s Spring Creek Leech Olive #8-10.
Dries: Warm sunny days-Matt’s Midge #22, Griffith’s Gnat #20-22, Early Black Stone Fly #14-these start showing up later in the month and in February, look for them crawling in the snow along the stream bank.