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I have had a great fishing season this year. lots of brown trout action on streamers, but what to you do now? The rio grande has partially frozen up. the banks are lined with ice plates and small pieces of ice are floating downstream hindering my drifts and retrieves. The brown trout have left their usual spots and not one fish showed any interest in my streamers.

WIll the trout all concentrate in the deepest holes?
Are streamers ineffective this time of year?
Should I switch to nymphs and midges?
Is it time to put away the flyfishing gear?
 

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Three words:

Tailwaters
Scuds
Midges

I don't usually put up the numbers in winter that I get in better weather but it beats not fishing!

TP
 

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I'll agree with troutpocket. You can't expect fish to feed the same way they do when they are actively feeding in warmer weather. If you insist on throwing streamers, better make it slow and get it right infront of them cuz they aren't going to chase a streamer very far. Other then that, stick to the split and indicator, you'll catch fish.
 

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Yup, tailwaters are the ticket. I enjoy winter fishing quite a bit, and have had some of the biggest fish of the year come out of the water in Jan and Feb on parts of the Platte. This time of year i will usually fish deeper holes on cold days and sight fish sunny areas on warmer days. On some days you can get lucky and find a hatch, but generally its smaller midge type stuff under some split shot. My favorite days to fish are overcast days with a little bit of snow...for some reason these days tend to be a bit warmer and the fish are usually pretty active....but its tough on gear, so dont skimp when it comes time to buy waders, jackets, and good gloves.
 

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speaking of gloves....has anyone found a set of gloves that kep the hands remotely warm yet aren't so bulky that they interfere with line control and casting?
 

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I have been impressed by ones made by Glacier Glove...the full finger models with the finger slits for tying on flies. they work better than any other ive tried, and its been quite a few ive tested out.
 

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I have had my best trouting in the winter. although it is not flyfishing, I have found the fish to be concentrated in an area with a sandy bottom. Slow current is the key.
 
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Filson half fingers, best gloves that have ever adorned my beautiful hands....LOL

Winter is my favorite time to fish, nothing like casting in the snow.
 
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Yeah, what they said re: tailwaters and small flies. I haven't found the magic glove yet, using the Patagonia fingerless, but I could not fish in cold weather without the magic hand warmers inside my gloves.
 
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Winter trout fishing in our rivers is a bonus in Colorado. Fly fishing is very good in the winter if you choose environments that are well suited for winter angling.

I like to fish waters that have deeper runs such as the Colorado, North Platte and the Gunnison. Waters will usually stay open or will open up for fishing unless the temp is severly cold all day for many days straight. When this occurs tail waters are a must.

Streamers are often very productive. I use blacks and purples almost exclusively in the winter and make very short quick strips. Keep it in their zone as long as possible. The ticket to the best success with a streamer in the winter is being able to see the fly. Make every effort trying to keep sight of the fly. Obviously you cannot efectively fish the water thouroughly if you always see your fly so mimic what you see when you get a strike while watching your fly and be more prepared at those times of your casts that you cannot see the fly.

Fishing with dry flies is ceratnly not unheard of on our area rivers and on warmer days you may experience a very productive midge hatch/rise. I have caught fish on dries in every month of the year in Colorado. You must adhere to matching the hacth and rarely will a fish just instinctively rise to a dry when nothing is hatching and if no fish is feeding on the surface. Small dries are the rule.

Nymphing is extremely productive in the winter as well as every other season. Again mathching the bugs that fish are feeding on is more important when there are fewer types of insects available. Size, Shape and Color in order of importance are critical when choosing your fly. Make sure you are getting the fly to the fish, Do Not be afraid to use a lot of weight and fish deeper faster water not just the slow holes. Fish do concentrate in these ares in the winter months.

Tight Lines.
 

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In a couple of weeks Im gonna snowshoe in and hit the tailwater at stagecoach. I'll look for some glacier gloves and remember to bring those hand warmer things. I've fished it a ton in the summer but never in the winter. What can I expect as far as flows? I'll assume the fly selection will be the same as every where else midges and more midges. Let me know if anyone has any suggestions for a point fly that you've done well with.
 

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I love winter tailwater fishing. I also like to fish beadhead nymphs along ice shelves when rivers still have some open water. I've caught many rainbows that seem to hang out just under or around these ice ledges. Get's a little trecherous, though - not smart in deeper waters.
 

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Demeter - Winter can be a great time to fish, but it can also be very tedious at times due to the cold. I like to fish in the winter on warmer days, say above 40 degrees. #1 your not freezing your but off all day and you can feel your hands. #2 your eyelets on your rod don't freeze up every 10 casts. In general fish location and feeding behavior is different in winter than it is in summer. Over time you will notice that fish tend to hold in deeper, slower water during the winter, whereas in the summer they like the faster runs and pocket water. I think a lot of it has to do with water temperature. In summer the fish like faster water, more oxygen, and the faster water is cooler. In winter they like the really, really slow stuff cuz they can hold there without much energy expended. Find the deeper, slower holes and you will find fish, even the tail ends of holes with faster water at the front that slows as the hole widens and gets deeper. Many times you can fish one or two holes all day and catch fish all day. Bugs tend to be smaller in the winter with not many big hatches like you see in the summer, simply due to water temp. Midges, Midges, Midges are the call for winter trout. Egg patterns work well too. If your thowing nymphs, downsize and trail with a midge. Tail water ecosystems stay relatively the same all year round and so does the water temperatureand forage base. The only difference being in Summer you might see different hatches come off. Winter can be a great time to fish, especially when you find those holes where the fish are congregated. Don't put the fly rod away at all this winter, just choose your days wisely. I hope this helps! Good Luck!
 
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