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

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Old 12-06-2013, 10:07 AM
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Default Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

I am planning on going fishing (finally!) on Tuesday. I have been getting a kick out of trying dry flies since I finally got the nerve to try them. They certainly are not my "go to" choice yet but I want to keep working at it since I caught my first trout on one a couple months ago.

It is going to be a cold day, staying in the low 20's all day with a chance of snow. But that is okay! I wanted to try one of these patterns I found. I am assuming any of them would be okay but was wondering of one type is better than the others?

Griffth's Gnat

Jujubee Midge Adult

Eric's Midge


TIA!

ray
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

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It is going to be a cold day, staying in the low 20's all day with a chance of snow. But that is okay!
Under those conditions, I wouldn't count on a hatch if I were you
That's a bit too cold for bugs to be flying around.

"Low and slow" is the mantra when it's that cold.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

Most of my time will be spent using a streamer that seems to work for me.

But I wanted to try something different. Somewhere, I read that hatches happen all the time, even when it is cold, and you don't even notice. Maybe I read that wrong...

Thanks for the advice, though. I will stay with the streamers.

ray
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

Hey hey Ray!

I'd fish those during the winter months and wouldn't hesitate to take them with me, but I agree with Riptide. When I've fished streams in the winter when the snow is flying, I've had the most success subsurface. Think midge larvae, and nymphs generally with a narrow profile that get deep. Since you know Charlie's Fly Box, you should make sure to have some of his Two Bits tied up. That fly is just plain deadly!

When it's cold, fish hunker down on the bottom and don't want to exert a whole lot of energy, that's why small flies are successful. They're perceived to be an easy meal.

Oh and streamers for sure too. While this is somewhat contradictory to what I've just described, if a trout is going to exert energy to feed, they want it to be a worthwhile meal. I recall an epiphany I had several years back and near the beginning of my fly fishing journey.

Fishing the Neshannock when the snow was flying, gobs and gobs of flakes coming down. Snow on the ground. Nobody else out there but me. I used every nymph I had built confidence in, had them rigged tandem, solo, everything I could think of. No such luck. Switched to streamers and it was game on from there on out. Nearly every pocket I had tried to pull a fish out of got me a fish or two once I made that change.

The other thing about winter fishing that helps drive success is knowing where the fish will generally lay. Usually, not in the riffles but in the pools. Slow frog water, near the bottom or near the tails. Mind you this is where I find them in free stone streams. Spring Creeks are an entirely different ballgame.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:15 AM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

I shoulda added that the Griffth's Gnat is a go-to fly for me and one that I'm never without.

Deeper into the winter when the water temp gets colder, streamers become less effective IMO. That is unless you're on a tailwater.
Trout are cold blooded and their slower metabolism makes large meals like bait fish more difficult to digest. It can take weeks and that's not efficient, fuel wise.
Right now that's not as much of an issue, but it's something to remember for later in the season.
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

Jason,

I like that fly. I think. Two-Bit Hooker


I am still learning: how do you fish that fly? Do I use a thing-a-ma-bob on top? Do I fish it without anything and just let it tumble (and get stuck in the rocks!)?

Do you think that fly is too heavy for a 4wt?

I think I sometimes over think things and am scared to try things because I am afraid I will look stupid or do it entirely wrong...
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Old 12-06-2013, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

depending on where in PA, you might still find some BWO's too....in early afternoon. GNat def will work.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by busbus View Post
Jason,

I like that fly. I think. Two-Bit Hooker


I am still learning: how do you fish that fly? Do I use a thing-a-ma-bob on top? Do I fish it without anything and just let it tumble (and get stuck in the rocks!)?

Do you think that fly is too heavy for a 4wt?

I think I sometimes over think things and am scared to try things because I am afraid I will look stupid or do it entirely wrong...
That's the one Ray. Deadly. I've tied them in Olive, Tan and Black. Tan seems to be the most productive color. You can tie that pattern on any hook, but I've had the most success on the TMC 921 that Charlie recommends. The short shank, wide gape just makes that fly extra deadly, it's a dry fly hook and has thin wire. Try some on whatever hook you've got laying around and see what your think of it. If you have success with it, I'd suggest the 921 or a similar hook.

I tie mine in a #14 and fish them mostly on a 3 or 4 wt, so I wouldn't worry about that. To make them a little more durable, I wrap the body with the smallest diameter wire--really a tinsel. If you're using thread, I'd recommend adding a couple of coasts of head cement to coat it. Use UV cure on the case back.

My buddy has hooked into steelhead with them, and probably landed one or two, though I seem to think one particular end result was a straightened hook.

You can fish them with an indicator, I sometimes do. I also will sometimes bottom bounce/high stick or I'll drift them with strike putty instead of the indicator. When nymphing, I'm more often than not fishing tandem flies, but there's nothing wrong with taking that one solo.

These are some old photos and admittedly not my best work but they caught fish.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

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Originally Posted by jaybo41 View Post
That's the one Ray. Deadly. I've tied them in Olive, Tan and Black. Tan seems to be the most productive color. You can tie that pattern on any hook, but I've had the most success on the TMC 921 that Charlie recommends. The short shank, wide gape just makes that fly extra deadly, it's a dry fly hook and has thin wire. Try some on whatever hook you've got laying around and see what your think of it. If you have success with it, I'd suggest the 921 or a similar hook.

I tie mine in a #14 and fish them mostly on a 3 or 4 wt, so I wouldn't worry about that. To make them a little more durable, I wrap the body with the smallest diameter wire--really a tinsel. If you're using thread, I'd recommend adding a couple of coasts of head cement to coat it. Use UV cure on the case back.

My buddy has hooked into steelhead with them, and probably landed one or two, though I seem to think one particular end result was a straightened hook.

You can fish them with an indicator, I sometimes do. I also will sometimes bottom bounce/high stick or I'll drift them with strike putty instead of the indicator. When nymphing, I'm more often than not fishing tandem flies, but there's nothing wrong with taking that one solo.

These are some old photos and admittedly not my best work but they caught fish.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
Dang you Jaybo, those are nice looking flies.........looks like I have a new pattern to tie over the frozen winter months
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Old 12-06-2013, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Would these patterns work on a cold day in PA?

Avs, you really need to tie them given that Charlie is out your way. I'm sure if he's tying them, they work well in your geographic region. They fish well here in PA and in the Midwest. Hands down, one of the most productive flies in my box. Two tungsten beads, small body, slim profile are exceptionally great in the early season and winter.

Those ones are a little messy, it's taken me a while to get tying them down. While it's a #14 hook gap, the body is more like a 16 or 18 so it's a small fly with a lot going on. That batch I used X minute epoxy for the case back and when you are using that, you need to get those flies tied first then add the epoxy. I have since discovered Bug Bond which is just wonderful but expensive stuff. I was looking for a more current photo of the ones I did this year but can't find it. Those are my first or second batch of them.
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