Date: February 16th, 2016
Water Conditions: Over the last week consistent temperatures below freezing allowed small amounts of ice to form on the edges and slow sections of many water systems in our area. Warm temperatures near 40 and 50 degrees forecasted for the weekend rid ice from most streams. Flows have remained ideal for fishing during most of February. Warm weather this coming weekend combined with the snow and rain forecasted tonight could create high water conditions in the future. Monitoring stream flows on your local watershed prior to making the trip is always a good idea. See the Stream Flows page on the blog for a list of streams with USGS data.
Recommended Flies: RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Frenchie’s Size 12-16, Walt’s Worm Size 12-14, Zebra Midge Size 18-20, Pink Eye Size 18, Girdle Bug Stonefly Nymph Size 6-8, Tailwater Sowbug Size 16-18, Peeking Caddis Size 14-16
This year’s winter months continue to fish better than the winter season the last couple of years. A nice mix of mild and cold air temperatures have given anglers plenty of chances to get on the water in February. Planning days on the water around mild weather while avoiding snow melt is key to having the most productive day on the water (As discussed in a previous blog post Winter Fly Fishing: The Snow Melt Effect). In addition, picking the prime hours of the day when fish are most active will also help ensure a successful outing. (As discussed in the most recent blog post Winter Fly Fishing: Pick the Prime Hours). The fish continue to hold in the winter water types such as slower, deeper sections of rivers. The soft edges of riffles and slower glides tend to be produce most fish. Selecting the right fly pattern is secondary to methodically working the correct pieces of water. As per usual during the winter months, low and slow remains the mantra for success. Getting flies down in the water column to fish hugging tight to the bottom is a must. I continue to find success with general attractor nymph patterns that contain a bit of flash to help entice an eat. A RTV, Pink Eye, or Frenchie is usually my weapon of choice. This time of year peeking caddis can be a player in the game until the caddis cases seal up in preparation to hatch this spring. After single digit temperatures this past weekend, I am anxious to take advantage of time spent on the water next weekend during warmer weather. It’s hard to believe it’s almost March already, the next we know BWO’s will be here.