Winter Fly Fishing

   Winter……. To some, just the thought of the word makes them cringe.  To others, it means grab the skis and snowboards and snowshoes and head to the mountains.  But to us Fly Fisherman, it means a chance to fish in solitude, to fish that aren’t being harassed day in and day out.




   Fly Fishing in winter means you’ll have to adapt to the conditions.  The first and most important of these is dressing for success.  Start with a good base layer of capeline or polypropylene.  These synthetic undergarments not only have moisture wicking capabilities, but they offer some lightweight insulating properties as well.  Next you’ll want to put on a layer of fleece to really keep your body warm.  Since you’ll be wading in cold water, it is especially important to keep your legs warm.  We absolutely love the Simms Coldweather Pant for this exact reason. They are fleece lined, but have an outer shell that moves freely underneath waders, making putting waders on and taking them off a breeze.  They also look good too, so heading directly to the local watering hole after a day of fishing will not be a problem.  Finally, depending on how cold or warm it is, or if there is some sort of precipitation falling from the sky, you will then want to put on your waders, and either a windbreaker fleece top, a down jacket, or a rain jacket.  Hell, you might even need a combination of all three of these.  Oh ya, and don’t forget the hat and gloves too!  




   Now while putting on all these clothes might sound like a pain in the ass, the rewards are absolutely endless!  For instance, fly fishing during the winter gets good during the heat of the day.  Generally speaking, that’s between the hours of 10am and 3pm.  That’s when you can expect to see hatches of Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and maybe even some micro Caddis.  What this all means to you is no 4am wake up calls and fishing til after dark.  Not to say this can’t be productive, but you’ve fished hard all summer long!  Give yourself a break by sleeping in, having a nice hot breakfast, and getting on the water when it matters most.




      The nicest thing about fishing this time of year though is the utmost solitude you will find yourself in.  Most people don’t want to brave the wind and the cold, or they choose to focus their time on other things like skiing and snowboarding, or getting ready for the holidays.  Young people are back in school and are extremely limited as to when and where they can fish.  This all amounts to one thing…. Less people equals less fishing pressure!  That means fish become more comfortable and more willing to eat with reckless abandon.  If you’re willing to put in the work, the rewards are endless!