March 11, 2018

March 8, 2018

This has been another unusual winter on the streams that I fish during the winter (yes, I usually fish different streams in the summer/autumn months). Most winters there is plenty of ice along the shore to lower then water levels. Last winter and this, there has been very little ice. Because of this, there has been higher water levels than usual. This makes it challenging to use unweighted subsurface flies.

The water temperatures have been running around 38-40°F. so the trout are holding right on the bottom. I usually use bead head nymphs to reach them, but this winter I decided to try to stick with kebari. I've been able to take trout that are holding right along the shoreline, or are holding in shallower water, but I've not been able to get my fly deep enough to take the larger fish holding on the bottom of the streams. I've been using all the "tenkara" techniques to get the fly lower in the water column (plunge pools, thinner flies, pausing the drift, etc) but still no go. This has lowered my catch rate as well as overall fish size.

Another technique I've used is using larger flies to try to entice them off the bottom, but with the cold water temperatures they don't want to move. When I go back to using bead heads I easily hook the larger trout (14-15 inches) that are on the bottom of the deeper runs and pools.

That's how it went today. I hooked plenty of smaller fish (8-10 inches) holding along the shore, but water levels and current speed made if difficult to get the fly down into the deep water. I only used one fly at a time though. I'm sure if I went with a duo tungsten bead head set up I could have reached the bottom of the deepest runs. Too much hassle to do that though.

Still, it was fun and great (as always) to get onto the stream.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah there's no doubt, sadly, that the comments about the beads getting to the bigger fish are correct.

    For me it becomes a battle between "do I want to fish Tenkara, practice my casts, catch the more aggressively feeding smaller fish," or "do I want to get into the bigger fish all day."

    I think I've gotten to the point now where I sort of don't care, but also once in a while you just want to feel the pull of a more exciting fish on the line.

    You're lucky that the streams fish that way during the winter, out here in Northern CO our Tenkara streams mostly freeze over for the winter. Such a bummer.


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