Winter advice for a rookie? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Winter advice for a rookie?

12-16-2004, 11:27 AM
I just got into fishing a two-handed rod this year and have become addicted! Now that the cold has officially set in, can any of you offer up some advice for fishing speys, wets and streamers through the winter? Should I be concentrating more on a dead-drift/"dredge" technique now that the fish have become more lethargic or still primarily fishing a swing? Should I slow my swing down with more mends or basically continue using the same broadside swing I've been using all fall? Finally, with the cold water do you find more and more takes coming on the hang down after leaving the fly hang in the current, and maybe adding a few twitches? I know there are no hard set rules, but a little encouragement from the experts here will help my confidence greatly. Thanks in advance guys!

12-16-2004, 01:47 PM
I don't think there's a ready answer. From what you've listed, I'd say, "All of the above". We're getting some discussion on this in the "Winter Flies" thread so you might wnat to follow along there.

12-21-2004, 06:01 AM
One technique that goes largely unused works very well in the cold water. it is essentialy a greased line presentation only about a foot off the bottom. it also works well with tips. make your cast straight across or even a little upstream. keep just enough tension on the line to feel a strike. allow the fly to essentialy dead drift in a broadside manner until it is at the 45 deg down position.this gets the fly deep at current speed and sets up the swing. when the fly gets below you now make an upstream mend, attempting to get all the line parellel to the current. now the fly will swing just like you made a down and across cast but it is much deeper and slower. fish will ocasionally take in the dead drift part, but most of them come when the corner is turned and the fly starts to "get away". the real trick will be detecting the takes in water less than 40 the takes can be very subtle. you will have to go by feel as to when to set, but you will pick it up soon enough. i hope this helps.

Jamey McLeod
12-21-2004, 09:44 AM
I have been fishing with this technique this winter. Another thing I do is, before the line gets to the 45 degree point I will let out slack line to let the whole rig go downstream and sink, when it hits 45 I mend, and let it swing uninterupted. Most of the strikes I have gotten using this come shortly after the fly starts to swing, or at the end of the swing, twice in as little as a foot of water at the end.

12-21-2004, 12:41 PM
great description of a low & slow set up by BLACK FRANCIS. a go to for water less than 41*

concerning the hang down, i was tutored to have an ample amount of line pinched in your drop loop. as the fly hangs a few seconds or however long desired, pop the rod tip subtley letting a few inches out with a fresh hang time alotted for each pop. good way to drop the fly downstream and hopefully back one up/get in his face. SG