Date: January 22nd, 2016
Water Conditions: The flows during the beginning of January were higher than average in most areas of the state due to rainfall. Although we have not received much rain as of late, flows remain in great shape over the last couple weeks. The current cold snap in temperatures could create the possibility of ice on streams with less spring influence.
Warmer than average winter weather temperatures, and elevated flows produced some of the best fishing I have seen during the first several weeks of January. Fish were eager to eat, and many large fish were taken by myself and many other anglers I am friends with. As usual, elevated flows combined with colder water temperatures resulted in the success of larger, flashy flies. My three best patterns on the point of my nymph rigs have been a size 14 RTV Nymph, a size 12-14 Frenchie, and a size 8 Girdle Bug Golden Stonefly Nymph. As flows dropped to normal levels, I found success with the same three patterns in smaller sizes. In addition, Lance Eagan’s Tailwater Sow Bug in size 16-18 have been a successful fly fished as a dropper in combination with the point patterns mentioned above. Picking the right water type and fishing it well is very important this time of year as feeding habits of the fish slow down. Although that is usually the case. Low and slow has once again been the mantra. Fish remain in slower, deeper winter water types. The “soft” spots of riffles, slower glides, and deep pools are producing the highest number of fish. Recently true winter weather has settled in bringing cold air temperatures and the possibility of snow and ice along with it. Despite old man winter waving his hand, the fishing should remain pretty good for those willing to commit to the task. If we see a break in the cold air temperatures, that would be a prime opportunity to hit the water. I suspect the fishing will be productive as soon as we see a mild day. After-all the fish must continue to eat, and the only way to catch them is if your flies are in the water. Good luck!