Hope for Winter's Hope? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Hope for Winter's Hope?

12-12-2003, 06:36 PM
Was reading up on Bill McMillan and his Winter's Hope last night in Trey Combs' Steelhead Fly Fishing. I know it's about as canonical as a fly can get, but I've never fished or tied it. Anyway, it's obviously among the simpler flies, which makes it attractive for my winter steelheading since I tend to lose a lot on the bottom. Anyone use/tie this fly regularly? What's your experience?

12-12-2003, 07:23 PM
As a 'searching pattern' this has been one of my 'go-to's' for well over 25 years for winter fishing. Simple, but Bloody Effective.

12-12-2003, 07:33 PM
I can vouch for its effectiveness for your intended purpose. I left one on the river bottom just yesterday...

12-12-2003, 09:07 PM
Used as Bill intended ,on floating line deeply swung, it's a great pattern and one of the only patterns capable of being fished that way. if it's tied smaller that 2/0 it loses it's intended effectivness because there isn't enough hook weight to sink it.
Used other than as Bill intended it's still a great pattern but if I am fishing a tip there are other patterns i'd rather use.

12-12-2003, 10:11 PM
On the 2/0 hooks; this is what makes this bugger so effective. Deep, bright, and Dirty. Only a 'blind fish' couldn't see this 'floating' by.


12-17-2003, 10:39 AM
I have done well on it over the years! I like to use schlapen for the collar hackles, and a topping of green mallard slips for the topping,instead of the olive calf tail. I used to use it on tips , in 2/0 and did well before I went balk to the floating line. I use it in most water colours except crystal clear, then I prefer something softer. My freind Kory uses it as a late fall grease line pattern,in size #2,and1/0 when the water starts cooling down, but is not ready to fish the sunk fly. I have seen it work for that application,also. I alway tease him about it, saying it is not politically correct to use a winters hope,before Dec. 1st Nice looking ,effective , and simple.

12-17-2003, 11:49 AM
I tie it as intended, as a Spey, as a Dee, as a marabou spider, & as a comet.