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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 09-30-2013, 01:59 PM
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Default December Trip

Hey Guys, so I am planning a trip for December for my father and Myself to do some trout fishing somewhere once school lets out this fall semester. Basically, I have a refunded plane ticket that can get me anywhere in the US and I was wondering, Whats a great place to go for December fishing, Preferably trout but I'm open to other options. I just would like to know whats a destination winter fly fishing place for my father and myself to enjoy. I've looked at North GA and it seems pretty good, but only sticking to year around waters makes me question how available open water will be. Thanks again guys, I know this is a broad question, but any answers I would love to just have some ideas to start looking at or plan from.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: December Trip

We always go out west for the week of Christmas for a vacation. We both ski and I always fish. This year we are heading to Park City for the second time. I fished the Provo, outside of SLC during Christmas week (2yrs ago) and it was fantastic.
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Old 09-30-2013, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: December Trip

I would throw Navajo Dam, on the San Juan on the table. Shouldn't be overly crowded that time of year. We use to attack it via Phoenix when my brother lived there and usually in the winter. Long drive from Arizona but plenty of pigs to catch in that river. Not sure what the closest airport is but I'm assuming Santa Fe or maybe Durango, CO has a decent sized airport. Even if it doesn't Durango is a cool town and worth checking out.
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: December Trip

The winter is my favorite time to go to popular tailwaters like the bighorn because there are less people and the fishing is incredible.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:11 PM
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Default Re: December Trip

North platte, Wyoming. Bring your long johns
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:29 PM
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Default Re: December Trip

Sandy River in Oregon is a great destination if you like chromers! Check it out here: Sandy River, Oregon
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: December Trip

Thank you all so much for the feedback! After looking a little through all those options the tailwaters of North Platte and Bighorn look very promising.. However, I am also debating on possibly going to San Juan. My question is, in mid December do any or all of these three options run a high risk of bad weather to the point of not being able to fish? Other than cold, whats the typical conditions here? Also, kind of a dumb question, but of these three are there any that fish super technical in the Winter? My father and I both dont trout fish much and My father doesnt really even fly fish much so I would opt for something less technical. Thank you all again!
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: December Trip

Look at the GSMNP. That time of year, Gatlinburg is fairly tame tourist wise.
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Old 10-02-2013, 05:57 AM
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Default Re: December Trip

I would classify the San Juan as moderately technical if there is such a thing. My experience has been using very small nymphs and requiring a perfect dead drift. Once you get it dialed in you'll catch tons of fish but you really have to get a handle on the dead drift. The local shops will key you in on what bugs are working but I've gone in winter and spring and basically only thrown tandem nymph rigs with red hots and zebra midges. We did well on both trips. If you don't like nymphing I would take the San Juan off the list. I can't speak to the winter streamer fishing there as we really didn't bother trying. We were doing so well nymphing we didn't bother to switch. Others might chime in with differing opinions.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: December Trip

Unfortunately, many cold, winter fisheries are technical. Fish are all about motabolism and available food. Which can mean lethargic fish eating tiny morsels (exceptions can and do occure) I would never set out on a plan like this without hiring a guide for the first day. It will be money well spent, believe me! You will learn a lot in a short time. You can communicate with the guide before hand to prepare accordingly.

As far as the Steelhead suggestion, there are many good steelhead rivers in the PNW. All effected by weather and can be a **** shoot as such. Anything from the Eel in Nor Cal. all the way up to the olympic pen. If you want to seriously catch a monster winter PNW stellhead, call Scott Howell.

Home - Scott Howell Fly Fishing

He gets clients into more giant chromers than anyone Ive ever seen.
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