February 25, 2021

Beautiful Cold Weather Trout - February 24, 2021

It finally stopped snowing and blowing, and I was able to hit the river again. I decided to go to a river close to home to see what I could entice with a fly. I had full intent to use a kebari and tenkara techniques, but there was a steady breeze that kept me from getting my drifts the way I wanted them, so I gave in and changed to contact nymphing. This is easier to do in a steady breeze.

At first I used a Higa's S.O.S. as a single fly, and although I did have success, I changed over to a double nymph rig with a dropper and point fly. I used a Synthetic Prince as the dropper and the S.O.S. as the point fly. Both were tungsten bead heads, and the extra weight help me get the fly down deeper than I was getting with just a single fly. 

Higa's S.O.S., size #18

After getting dialed in, I caught some really nice fish. The largest was about 18 inches, but since I didn't bring a net I didn't get to reliably measure him. The air temperature was 24°F. and I didn't bring a net on purpose, as I didn't want to handle any fish I caught and run the risk of lifting out of the water. I used the Ketchum Release tool instead. 

Anyway, here's a video a some of the fish. There were others, but they were small (8-9 inches) and there wasn't enough time to show them all.


  1. Hi Tom. On your last video (No Comment section there) I noticed that the water had a strong Green Color Cast to it. Try using a pattern with a FL-Orange Hot Spot (making up no more than 30% of the surface area of the fly) in green water to see if you get more aggressive fish response. On an egg or Mop-Fly pattern, the thread wraps finishing the fly should be all you will need...Tight Lines, Karl.

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  3. Tom,
    my first time posting...hope this is not a duplicate...
    Was wondering how you attach your Ketchum release tool to your vest? how long of a retractor line is needed to reach the fish release point? are you using a coiled or metal retractor lined accessory? thanks Brad

    1. Hi Brad. I don't have my Ketchum Release Tool attached to anything. I have it tucked in a side pocket of my little chest pack (tool end down, handle up). I'll probably drop it in a stream someday, but so far I've not had any problem.