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  1. #1

    Default Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Winter is quickly approaching with cold temps to the north, migrating tropical species in the south, and anadromous species invading coastal waterways. Other locations see resident brown and rainbow fishing peak in fast moving streams with snow-covered banks. What is your favorite winter fishing location?

    Pictures welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Hello John-

    In my neck of the world our tailwaters of the White and Norfork in Arkansas coupled with mild winters make for an easy winter of catching. Outside that, Flamingo Florida with it's snook, jacks and resident tarpon doesn't suck...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    When you're fishing streamers in Arkansas during the winter, what kind of sink tip & sink rate (ips) do you use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Here in Albuquerque we have a couple of ponds off of the Rio Grande that are stocked with Rainbows in the Winter. The catch and release pond has fish from 10" to 30", I have never fished it before but I plan on being down there pretty regular this winter. I will post some pics soon.

    Jimbo
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fly fish and he'll probably go C&R, so you'll still need to feed him.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Western Washington
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    297

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by chicagojohn View Post
    When you're fishing streamers in Arkansas during the winter, what kind of sink tip & sink rate (ips) do you use?
    Sorry for the late reply- I don't use anything but a floating line on these rivers as I don't fish them during generation. Mainly because I don't have a boat but also because of my close proximity, flexible personal schedule and several rivers to choose from- I don't have to go if the water is on, I just somewhere else.

    A river in particular is the North Fork of the White in south central Missouri. This spring fed river is almost western-like it it's size and speed and while it does not offer the massive trout per mile as it's stretch in Arkansas (Norfork) it is free flowing and not subject to the whims of the Southwest Power Administration. The rainbows in the North Fork are wild fish rich with the genetics of McCloud rainbows, indeed a stunningly colored fish.

    Now, all that said I do carry a couple of Rio sink leaders in a 10 or 12 foot length. The one that is most compatible with my 10ft 5 weight Sage is the 3.6ips. I have one that is over 5ips but casting that one anything under a 7 weight seriously sucks. When I fish down to the deep tailouts and I am feeling either desperate or industrious I'll rig up the sink leader and start probing the depths. But in nearly all cases I am catching loads of quality fish with a bead head wooly ranging from a size 6 to 14 with a smaller soft hackle dropper trailing about 18-20 inches behind.

    Depending on whether I'm on the White or Norfork will usually dictate the size of both of the flies. The waters I fish on the White are more turbulent making the standard rig a 6 or 8 wooly and a 14 soft hackle. Yesterday on the Norfork a 14 wooly and a 20 soft hackle was deadly with a near 50/50 split on soft hackle to wooly takes.

    Back to the sink tip/boat/high water condition. While this is not my preferred method it can be quite productive. Seven weights 5.5ips sink leaders and husky sized streamers, even articulated ones fished to the bank and visible structure produce some big fish. It is very exciting to see a brown the size of your leg shoot out from a log jam after a five inch white or black leech. Over the next week I will be perched atop my dad's 22ft bass boat drift fishing the upper parts of Lake Taneycomo (part of the White River) for trophy browns. I'm sure this will be a blast but like salmon fishing I don't think I will want a steady diet of it.

    ---------- Post added at 06:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:38 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbojo View Post
    Here in Albuquerque we have a couple of ponds off of the Rio Grande that are stocked with Rainbows in the Winter. The catch and release pond has fish from 10" to 30", I have never fished it before but I plan on being down there pretty regular this winter. I will post some pics soon.

    Jimbo
    Hey Jimbo! My cousin lives in Rio Rancho, I couldn't pick him out of a line up but he lives there....

    ---------- Post added at 06:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:39 AM ----------

    PS- a 70mph drift boat is a good time Heck, I might even grow to like the whole high water gig and score me a river boat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    quiet corner, ct
    Posts
    8,602

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Many people here in NewEngland fish the Farmington River in the winter. It's a nice tailwater a bit over an hour away with C&R only stretches and a good population of larger fish.
    I don't ever go near the place.
    Too crowded for me. Cars with plates from Maine to Jersey even during the week.
    Closer to home there's some other less popular trout streams where the holdovers school-up in the same pools to winter over every year.
    Time on the water.

    Locally there's a river that's stocked for the winter with broodstock Atlantic salmon from the Connecticut River restoration project. I used to fish there often when it was a fly only fishery but now it's single hook, C&R until after the first of the year. I guess that's good too.
    I've put in my time there enough to know some things about the fishery. To know when it's a waste of time to fish, flies to use, and where to go to separate from the crowds and find receptive fish.
    The fish are predictable, but they're big.

    There's a spotty sea-run brown fishery about an hour away, but the hold-over stripers will be thickly packed in a mile long school in an other local coastal river.
    The trouble with that fishery is that it's best at night in the very worst of weather.
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.Ē --- Horace Kephart

  7. #7

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Arkansas River Tailwaters
    Blue River Tailwater
    Dream Stream
    Eagle River (when it's not too icy, not really a tailwater but fishable)
    Frying Pan.

    Headed up to fish the Blue next week and then the Ark over Thanksgiving.
    My fishing in Colorado Blog: http://coloradofly.blogspot.com//

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Rigby, ID
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    1,391
    Blog Entries
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    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    This is definitely my kind of thread. Thanks for posting it up! I get a bit confused as I read far too many threads asking what we do when the season ends and cold weather hits. How do we store our gear, etc., etc.. Our best season is from October through April in some of the coldest country known to man - Idaho. Although my favorite spring creek loses its access due to road closures, there are plenty of other options we enjoy in the Greater Yellowstone area and the gear doesn't get stowed or stored, but used in earnest.

    Here are some pics of our favorites. Only one is longer than an hour drive from home, with most being from 15-minutes to 45-minutes away. We usually catch our best fish of the year during the winter when snow abounds and temps keep ice in the guides. No crowds though

    Henry's Fork:










    Lower Henry's Fork:














    South Fork Snake:










    Now, back to your regularly scheduled "grousing" about winter

    Kelly.
    I fish, therefore I am - but I gotta go to work first..."piscari ergo sum"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Favorite Winter Streams / Locations / Photos

    Quote Originally Posted by russellb View Post
    Hey Jimbo! My cousin lives in Rio Rancho, I couldn't pick him out of a line up but he lives there....
    You know Rio Rancho was a pretty big witness relocation spot back in the eighties, so chances are he could have been in one....

    Jimbo
    Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fly fish and he'll probably go C&R, so you'll still need to feed him.....

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