Driftless Trout Anglers

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chenhyperborea  
#1 Posted : Thursday, November 10, 2016 6:42:58 PM(UTC)
chenhyperborea
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/17/2013(UTC)
Posts: 111

If anyone is interested, you can to scroll to page 60 and read the article I wrote on winter fly fishing the Minnesota Driftless Area - I contributed the photos as well. I'm happy with the may the article came out but did voice my concern on a few points to the editor. One, they were suppose to include a Bio the requested as well as mention the shop I guide for and two, they simply used stocked photos for the flies I mention in the article and a spinner bait was used to represent a Woolly Bugger :-(
I was told that they were running short on time and these mistakes were overlooked at the final proofing (which I did not see before publication). I will be writing articles for the Spring and Summer issues as well.

https://hub.midwesthuntf...fishing-nov-dec-2016/59?
Unless one can enjoy himself fishing with the fly, even when his efforts are unrewarded, he loses much real pleasure. More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done."
Charles F. Orvis, 1886
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EddieRivard  
#2 Posted : Friday, November 11, 2016 2:31:00 PM(UTC)
EddieRivard
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Location: New Brighton MN

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You are getting to be the Len Harris of the Fly Fishing World. Congratulations on being published! ThumpUp
skiumah  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, December 7, 2016 12:44:26 PM(UTC)
skiumah
Rank: Midge

Joined: 2/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: Minneapolis

The link is broken, is there anywhere else we can find the article? Would love to read it.
chenhyperborea  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, December 13, 2016 3:43:40 PM(UTC)
chenhyperborea
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/17/2013(UTC)
Posts: 111

Try this or simply go to the Midwest Hunting & Fishing magazine website and view the Nov/Dec issue. I will also have an article in the upcoming Spring and Summer issues.

https://issuu.com/midwes...-201?e=27202228/41324891
Unless one can enjoy himself fishing with the fly, even when his efforts are unrewarded, he loses much real pleasure. More than half the intense enjoyment of fly-fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings, the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one has seen, heard and done."
Charles F. Orvis, 1886
William Schlafer  
#5 Posted : Friday, December 16, 2016 1:01:51 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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One of my favorite online fly fishing suppliers is the Fly Shack. In their last email newsletter they had nice write-up on winter fishing tactics and what flies are most effective.


Fun When It's Freezing: Flies for Winter Fishing

If you tell your non-trout-fishing friends you're going fishing in December, they might look at you funny. Their concept of trout fishing involves a sun-dappled stream in May, not snowbanks and sub-freezing wind chill. But your fellow knowledgeable anglers will probably nod and smile. They know that trout feed in the winter months, and that in some ways, fishing for them is a special pleasure all its own.

It's true, of course, that trout don't eat as much in the winter as they do the rest of the year. Their metabolism slows down and they simply don't need as many calories. That's a good thing, because there's less food in their environment. Almost all of the mayflies, caddis flies, stoneflies and terrestrials that darted and wriggled in the streams from April through November (depending where you live) are dormant.

But trout do eat, as do other fish. Witness the migration onto the frozen lakes once the ice gets thick enough - if fish didn't eat when the water was cold, why would so many people love to go ice fishing.

They key to successful wintertime fly-fishing for trout is to manage expectations. In the northern states, where water temperatures get close to the freezing mark, most people consider it a victory just getting a couple fish to bite. In more temperate regions, conditions can be less severe and the fishing that much better.

Streams where water temperature is affected by human activity can provide great fishing in the winter. Tailwaters downstream of dams are often warmer than free-flowing rivers in the same area (and colder in the summer, too). Spring creeks also tend to be moderate. The tributary rivers of the Great Lakes can be brutally cold and snowy in the winter, yet some of them will be thick with steelhead anglers from now through late spring.

Low and Slow, Like the Trout

Naturally, the most reliable way to catch fish in the winter is by fishing slow and deep. Trout aren't as likely to chase a fly when the water's cold, so you really need to drift a nymph or swim a streamer close by. Since you can't see the fish and therefore don't know when your fly is close by, you patiently and methodically fish everywhere you can reach that might be a nice place for a trout to hang out. As winter progresses and water gets colder, trout tend to congregate deep in slow pools, where they don't need to expend much energy fighting the current.

In some places, trout actually rise during the winter, mostly to hatches of midges (which despite their name are not always tiny. Some are as large as size 14 or even 12.) This is a happy occasion and if there's any possibility of it happening where you're headed, you should have a few dries and light tippet to take advantage of it.

Here are a few flies to consider having on hand if you decide to try for some midwinter trout. Pattern isn't terribly important in winter, since there aren't enough natural insects around to have the trout keyed in a particular species; they feed opportunistically. So your favorite flies from other seasons may work just fine. These are some favorites of the hardy winter fishing tribe.

Eggs
Salmon, brown trout and brook trout spawn in the fall. Ideally these eggs are next year's salmon and trout, but some of them are this year's lunch for fish this fall. Patterns meant to imitate trout and salmon eggs are highly effective. Eggs can't swim, so they're supposed to be fished on a dead drift. The Estaz Egg, Nuke Egg and Glo-Bug will work.

Nymphs
Mayfly nymphs and salmon pupa are just fine in the winter, even though there aren't many real ones around. Bead-heads are highly recommended since they sink quickly to where the trout are holding. They too are fished dead-drift, but if that doesn't work, it's worth trying one more pass with a couple of twitches in the retrieve before moving to the next spot. The Copper J, Bead-Head Flashback Pheasant Tail, and Bead-Head Scud are among many good choices.

Midges
This is both a species and a style - two styles actually. Midges are the one species that can be widely expected to be active in the winter; some species are only active at this time of year. Their hatches sometimes inspire trout to rise, so have some dry or emerger patterns like the Griffith's Gnat or the Serendipity on hand. Otherwise, a Brassie or Zebra Midge can be very effective.

Worms
Any trout in any stream at any time of year is happy to see a worm come drifting down with the current. It's a helpless, (presumably) tasty blob of nutrition that requires almost no effort to consume. A Bead-Head San Juan worm works as well as any.

Streamers
Patterns with lots of soft, wavy parts are preferable, since you'll be drifting the fly slowly; they come alive without much added movement. The Woolly Bugger is good at this time of year, and so are bunny flies like the Bunny Leech and marabou patterns like the Conehead Marabou Muddler.

As in so many cases, how you present your fly is at least as important as which fly you use. But the styles listed here have been helping trout anglers overcome cabin fever for a long time. Try a few the next time you have a few free hours on a nice winter day.




-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
vmthtr in Green Bay  
#6 Posted : Saturday, December 17, 2016 8:16:23 AM(UTC)
vmthtr in Green Bay
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Nice article, congrats
skiumah  
#7 Posted : Monday, December 19, 2016 1:56:35 PM(UTC)
skiumah
Rank: Midge

Joined: 2/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 11
Location: Minneapolis

Great information, thanks to both of you for posting, and congrats on the article chenhyperborea.
stan b  
#8 Posted : Monday, December 19, 2016 4:22:31 PM(UTC)
stan b
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Man
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Very neat stuff, thanks!
"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
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