November 16, 2015 at 8:21 pm #4814
I went to the Poudre Saturday and let me say that it was tough. Nothing rising except the sun. The water is lower, naturally, and the pocket water I’m so fond of wasn’t producing like it did in the recent past. I hit runs, pools, and riffles with no luck and in the midst of it all is a section of flat water with a huge boulder in the middle of it all. Around noon I came back to this section after passing it up earlier on and just sat there staring at my fly box wondering what to try next. I looked up and low and behold, there is a small hatch going on. Very small, and I mean small, flying bugs just out of my reach dancing in the air. I couldn’t tell what they were. All I knew is I didn’t have anything that small.
As I sat there, disappointed, but not ready to give in, I noticed about 10 feet behind the boulder a trout sipping in those small insects as I was wishing I knew more about entomology. I’m just a high school graduate, but I’m fat, dumb, and happy. So without haste, I tried to match the hatch the best that I could to no prevail.
After a heavy sigh, I took out my little fly box and noticed a soft hackled grub looking thing, size 16. It’s a wet fly, and the only thing I have not tried. Forgot I had the thing really. I figured why not. What’s the worst that could happen? So I tied it on thinking all the while, “this isn’t how I wanted to fish.” But that’s not what the fish were thinking. At least one fish, and it wasn’t even the one behind the boulder. I cast this fly across and let it swing right in front of a small boulder about the size of a beach ball and I lifted the rod and there was weight on the other end. Hot dog! I brought in a 18 inch brown trout. Kind of skinny, but she was beautiful.
So in light of it all, can we refer to wet flies as pre-dry flies and get away with it?November 17, 2015 at 9:27 am #4815
It’s winter Scotty. I don’t fish in the winter anymore, but if I did i’d use midges. That’s what your hatch was. They hatch 365 days a year, but are the main trout food in the winter.
The fly you used is not a dry fly, but who cares? You won’t be fined for using a wet fly.
If you’re not content to not catch fish sometimes, but just enjoy the experience and challenge. Don’t try to fish dries 100% of the time.November 17, 2015 at 7:34 pm #4816
Fishing with flies in the winter is new to me. I gave up ice fishing last year and I want to try this. I liked the challenge, always do. I do have midges, but for some reason I wanted to fish dries, so the midges stayed home. Never really liked fishing midges really, probably because I have a hard time locating them when they land on the water, so I have to really pay attention to the end of my line. But I guess this will force me in a good way to broaden my horizons when dries are not an option any more and fish more with a midge. I should tie some size 20-22 Griffiths Gnats. I like them better than brassies or black beauties and whatnots.
As I said, winter fly fishing is new to me, and after a great summer, I want to experience this and learn more.November 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm #4817
By the way, I know it’s not all about catching fish. I did enjoy being out and watching a herd of big horn sheep on the cliffs across the river, that was a rare sight to see. But it’s nice sometimes when you’re trying to learn something by yourself to actually get a positive result to get me going in the right direction.November 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm #4818
Best way to fish small dies is to use them as a dropper off a bigger dry, and just watch the bigger fly. Your reactions need to be extra fast, but it works.
I gave up fishing in winter, because when my hands get cold I lose all the strength in them, and can’t even tie on a fly. It didn’t happen when I was younger, but it sure does now.November 18, 2015 at 10:27 am #4819
I fish dry midges from late fall through early spring Scotty. You can too. Griffith’s are the stand-by. I also like Harrop’s midge, one called a “Gorge Burger,” and a little trico cripple that’s a good midge match. All in size 20’s for the most part, with the rare occasion of a size or two smaller. Rare. Tie your griffith’s with just a thread body for less bulk. I make all my midges with black bodies. You don’t have to get too fancy, just keep the flies small and sparse. If you tie some of your favorite parachute adams’ in a #20, with just a thread body, and cut the wing extra short, it will work very well too! Frog’s Fanny is your friend to keep all these tiny bugs floating in the cold. Here ya go.
Video on tying Harrop’s Transitional Midge (Deadly!) http://www.orvis.com/news/fly-fishing/video-how-to-tie-the-cdc-transitional-midge/November 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm #4820
I’d have to strap some binos to my head to see those flies on moving water.
Small flies are for those with 20/20 vision. That leaves me out.November 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm #4821
Fortunately, the midge water is very slow moving. I also have good, bright, prescription polarized glasses corrected to “better” than 20/20, “cheaters” my ophthalmologist calls ’em! They’re strictly for fishing small dries, not regular use. I also fish dark winged patterns on a light glare, and white winged patterns on a darker glare. I cast to fish 20-30 feet away, or less. I can get usually stalk close in the low light of winter. Shorter leaders with average length tippets help to reduce the possible landing zone and see the fly as it lands, then never take my eyes off it. The right fly, into the right background, at close range, with a short leader, and my killer lenses on.
Its a struggle, for sure, but I gotta trout fish once in a while between now and BWO season, even if its only once a month or so. By the time the BWO’s start in March, they look giant!November 18, 2015 at 9:43 pm #4822
That’s great advice Creek. Many times I fish a duo system and why I didn’t use the dropper style beats me. That’s what I will do next time. Thanks Creek.
My fingers are one reason I gave up ice fishing. Sometimes they feel like ice and they burn, then other times they are not affected at all. But I imagine the older I get, the worse it gets. But it was a small issue compared to the other reasons.
Lightline, I will also take your advice on the Griffiths gnat. And as for the Transitional Midge, it looks very similar to an IOBO. I’ll tie some of those. Thank you.
I know what you mean Lightline about having to fish between now and Spring. I get restless and start to get an attitude. So I’m anxious to learn winter fly fishing as long as my fingers hold up. But that’s why gloves were invented.
I wonder, if I colored my tippet a bright color with a sharpie marker, if it would be easier to see so I have an idea where my fly is, but not color the tip where I tie the fly, if that would work?
Any of you guy’s ever done that?November 18, 2015 at 11:31 pm #4823
I have one advatage over those who just fish. The fall is hunting season for me, so that fills my time. In the middle of winter I just take it easy, and tie flies. Sort of charge my system back up for spring fishing.November 19, 2015 at 8:40 pm #4824
I can appreciate that Creek. I don’t hunt anymore, but I respect those who do for the right reasons and do it legally. I hate poachers at all costs. They rank as low as terrorists in my book. Maybe I should get back into hunting. I like elk and I don’t get enough of it in my diet. Then again, I’m good.
I plan to tie a lot this winter. Especially if it’s going to be like they predict, lot’s of snow. Nothing I like better on a snowy day than to sit at my desk and tie flies with a bottle of scotch in reaching distance, wearing my pj’s. Good times, goooood times.
Hey, I have been wanting to ask, how’s that Greywolf fiberglass rod treating you?November 19, 2015 at 8:44 pm #4825
Good, it’s very smooth. Not saying much. All glass feels smooth to me.November 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm #4826
Good to hear. If all goes like I hope, I’ll have my down payment for my bamboo rod by Christmas. Then by July, I should have it. I can’t wait. I have a feeling when all said and done, I may stop buying graphite rods and go fiberglass and boo. I like how my Scott F2 casts and feels, and I kind of regret not getting a Cabelas CGR when they were on sale, but I don’t much care for rods under 7ft. I’d take a 3wt or under that is shorter than 7ft, but that’s it, but not less than 6′ 5″.
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