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What?! Fly Fishing Now?

I know its winter, and the only people who fish now are those strange people who sit out on the ice in little huts all day staring at a little hole in the ice; I know because I’m one of those people. Other than the ice fishing crowd, most folks think there is no fishing

I know its winter, and the only people who fish now are those strange people who sit out on the ice in little huts all day staring at a little hole in the ice; I know because I’m one of those people. Other than the ice fishing crowd, most folks think there is no fishing available now until spring rolls around, and we can start hitting local trout streams again. Well, guess what? Some diehard fishermen have been waving their fly rods over some local trout streams even over the past several weeks — and with some success.

I’m sure the last thing most fishermen would expect is that heading to a local trout stream in November or December, especially with a fly rod in your hands, would produce any kind of positive results, but it certainly can be productive. Naturally, you want to be selective as to when and where you go — sunny days with higher than normal temperatures are a good start. Also, mid-day, when temps are usually at their highest, are more likely to produce. Certainly, you want to work streams that are still known to carry trout over winter months.

Back in November, a fishing buddy called to tell me he had been fishing one of our smaller local trout streams; we had already had some snow on the ground by this time, so it was anything but warm. He said he landed more than a half-dozen trout and missed some others. I asked him what nymph pattern he was using, but to my surprise, he told me he took them on an Adams dry fly; while it’s not unheard of, it certainly is fairly unusual.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been talking with another fly-fishing buddy of mine who has hit a couple of our larger trout streams. While he has not had any outstanding numbers to report, he has had successful outings each time out.

Admittedly, the winter season is definitely the time to concentrate on working nymphs and streamers, and any number of patterns can produce. Some patterns that you most likely should include in your winter arsenal are the Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail, and Copper John. I would also want the Hare’s Ear, and Pheasant Tail tied with bead heads as well.

Although not a nymph pattern, you should also consider an assortment of egg patterns. I like a pale-yellow egg as well as a pink egg pattern, but you may also want to work with some bolder colors like bright orange or chartreuse; even dark brown can produce. By the way — I’ll bet the good old “mop fly” would also take some winter trout.

Make sure you work your nymphs in a slow, natural drift on or near the bottom. I prefer the “high-sticking” method — rod held high, no strike indicator, and a tight line to detect any hits. If you are not comfortable, attach a strike indicator but keep your nymph on the bottom.

Don’t neglect working with some streamer patterns as well; various Wooly Buggers in different colors, as well as some of the other more popular streamer patterns, may produce. You may want to work your streamer a bit slower due to the colder water.

One thing is for sure if you do decide to head out for some winter fly fishing, you won’t have to be concerned about finding a place that’s not too crowded; that situation comes later in April.

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