Report submitted by Landon Williams
Here’s a report from Sunday (12/29) that can maybe help some of you find some unpressured water and easier to fool fish on some of our year round streams. I fished a stretch of river lying about a mile below one of our Delayed Harvest streams and had very good results. The fishing was very good with the mild air temperatures and the water temperature hovered in the upper 40’s all day! The water was fairly high from the rain overnight but was gin clear and made seeing where you’re going easy.
There was not a particular fly pattern or technique that worked any better or worse than the others but having a fly with high visibility through brightness or high contrast caught me more fish. I mainly fished a mohair leech with a pink tail for contrast and a Walt’s worm fly with an orange thread collar behind it for the majority of the day. Fish were hugging the banks in faster pockets or the tailouts of larger pools. Subtle jigging movements through the drift produced a few extra fish in the slower pools that I believe may not have eaten otherwise. I think the highlight of the day was finding a pod of rising fish eating a size 20 blue winged olive mayfly and tricking 3 out of the pod before they shut down!
The fishing was fun but there’s one thing I think folks can take away from this report. Many of our DH streams have miles of water downstream that can also be fished through the winter time. Trout can’t read our static boundary lines and many end up finding themselves upstream or downstream of these points through heavy rains or hunting for new habitat. I like two things about these stretches just out of the reaches of our DH streams. First and foremost is the solitude they provide. Sure these stretches have fewer fish but they also have far fewer people fishing them. On Sunday, I fished roughly a mile and a half of water and never saw another angler while I was enjoying all the water to myself. My second favorite aspect of these downstream stretches is the ability to harvest fish when most of our stocked trout streams are closed for the season. It really is a handy thing to have if you are hungry for a trout supper!
Have fun fishing this winter and see y’all on the river!