Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016 Winter Fly Fishing: Final Thoughts

    As another season of winter fly fishing in Pennsylvania is nearing an end, I can’t help but look back over the time passed and reflect. The first word that comes to my mind is “mild”. The familiar crunch of boots on the snow, the scraping of ice from guides, and the fear of losing a hand to frostbite was held to a minimum. Compared to last year, this is a sigh of relief. Because of these sporadic warm conditions, it allowed for some great days on the water, memories made, and a few lessons learned. Thankfully, Ty, Clark, and myself, got to spend some of this time together on the river, and occasionally sleeping alongside it.

    One way I like to measure progress is by comparing the success of a previous winter season, with the current one. I was relieved to find my catch rate had gone up drastically since last winter.

    A lesson I learned that became of great value to me, was to thoroughly fish every different type of water I could. I often hear the generic “all the trout move out of the riffles and into the slow water during the winter”. This just frankly wasn’t true. Some of my best days this winter were spent fishing the fast water. I am not saying all the fish stay in the fast water. It is true that a fair amount of the population will move into a lighter, calmer, state of holding water. What I am saying is upon arrival to the river, focus on each different type of moving water. Get good drifts in every varying current you can. You will most likely find that the fish you catch will all be caught in similar water conditions. Once you discover the pattern, hit each run that fits the mold and pick fish out of them.

Fast Water Fish

Slow Water Fish

    In all, it was a great winter season. Full of trout, friends, and camping trips in between. I hope your season went just as well. I’ll leave you with a short excerpt of a song I wrote a few years back. Enjoy the pictures below and let’s get on to Spring time.

”Snow pools in the bends of the river bank
  Snow packs on the mountain
  I don’t know if you’re keeping track
  But the days left I am counting”