Date: December 10th, 2016
Water Conditions: A recent shot of precipitation has water levels in the area in better shape than they’ve been in several weeks. With water conditions in the area now near average for this time of year, the fishing conditions have been favorable. Monitoring stream flow 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: Eggs Size 12-18, Stonefly Nymphs Size 6-10, Flashback Pheasant Tail Size 18-22, Zebra Midge Size 18-22, Soft Hackles Size 16-18, Frenchies Size 12-16, Wooly Bugger Size 6-10, Slumpbuster Size 6-8
The weather is finally taking a turn towards temperatures that are more typical of December. Although air and water temperatures are dropping off, the fishing has not yet.
A shot of rain this week brought water levels back to normal for this time of year, and created some favorable fishing conditions. It’s been nice to see extra water in the streams after water conditions have been low and clear most of the fall.
Most days on the water the fish have been keyed in on a variety of egg patterns, which is typical for this time of year. Although a majority of fish are done spawning for the year, it’s still important to be cautious and not to step on redds while wading.
In addition to eggs, fish have also been caught on streamers, stonefly nymphs, and other attractors. As winter continues to settle in and water temperatures cool, flies that have a little extra color or flash can help urge a fish to eat.
When water temperatures are colder focusing on the slower, deeper water is usually more productive. Finding the right type of water can be just as important as picking the right fly.
Fishing during the cold winter months is not for everyone, but it’s for me. I enjoy the fact that more anglers shy away from conditions that are not always ideal. I’ve had some of my toughest days on the water during the winter, but I’ve also had some of my best. After being busy all year long, I appreciate the slow approach and pace of winter fishing. Although, I can always justify a reason to spend time on the water.