It's Winter!

It's that time of year when the days get shorter, the lakes freeze over and you're stuck fishing in frigid rivers. Don't let that dissuade you. Here are some tips to enjoy tying and fishing during the colder months (where the season allows).

  • Plan to refill your fly boxes: No need to venture out on the coldest and nastiest days. Take advantage of some fishing down time to plan for your tying needs. Even if you live in warmer climates, the days still end far too soon. Take the time to jot down notes on the patterns you need to replenish, ones you need to work into your repertoire or anything else you want to work on. If you plan the time and note the materials you need, you're much more likely to get it done.
  • Focus on Flies: Work first on the flies you'll need soonest: Seems pretty obvious, but backwards plan your tying activities against the first trips you'll do as the weather warms or the days lengthen. Not only will it ensure you have the flies when you need them, you will also be more inclined to tie on a more regular basis throughout the year.
  • Educate Yourself. Nights and colder days are a great time to browse the internet and the local flyshops book and magazine selections to learn new tying or fishing techniques and such. Youtube has a huge amount of information you can learn from. Snuggle up with your favorite table or e-reader and go to town. Between blogs, discussion forums, videos, e-books
  • Adjust your Strategies: If you do get the chance to hit the water during the colder months in the colder climes, remember the fish aren't as aggressive typically and you'll often have to downsize your offerings to more closely match the naturals (i.e. midges). The fish are also less likely to move from their holding lies to nail a tasty morsel. You'll need to focus more on your presentation -- both placement and drift.
  • Be Prepared: Water, cold weather and fisherman do not always make for good bed fellows. Whether it's an accidental fall into a river, getting trapped in a snow drift from your chest down (yes that happened to me on two occasions) or getting your car stuck, cold weather and water can zap the heat right out of you. Bring extra articles of clothing, emergency supplies, food & water and it's never a bad idea to have those chemical heating pads in your fishing gear.