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Fly Fishing in the Southeastern US
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 Post subject: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:22 pm 
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Brown Trout

Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:42 am
Posts: 880
Location: Charlotte
I know we have several blue liners on the forum. Are you hitting the small back-country blue lines this time of year? Using midge patterns like the stripper midge, or something else? (Is there a favorite "universal" midge pattern for this time of year, comparable to an EHC in warmer conditions?)

I might be a light weight, metaphorically if not physically, but I generally avoid the solos in icy conditions. Curious how many actually go for the solitude of back-country icy water. If so, are you using small midge patterns or do you find the fish so opportunistic that it doesn't really matter?


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 Post subject: Re: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 11:26 am
Posts: 558
Man, if you weren't into fly fishing that makes for an interesting subject line... I usually do one solo winter trip a year, but typically only about a mile hike in or so. Something about being solo in the woods with snow on the ground. Typically its a little less about fishing and more about making a fire and drinking some coffee and just enjoying it all. For me, they fishing is usually slow, but will pick up a few off a sz 18-20 pheasant tail, usually with a stonefly or something big on point. I don't try anything to gonzo in the winter. I have not had a banner day in the winter on a small stream, so, to me, it doesn't seem like they are all that opportunistic.


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 Post subject: Re: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm 
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Warpaint Shiner

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:39 pm
Posts: 12
I usually stick to the Smith in this kind of weather but there is one small wild stream I like to fish year round. My fly selection is similar to JFey's- small pt's, hare's ears, and black stones. The biggest key seems to be fishing a lot slower than normal and lots of drifts through the same pool.


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 Post subject: Re: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:30 am 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:30 pm
Posts: 1464
I haven't gone in these past 2 years, mostly because of the high cost of gas, but I like to do a small stream in mid winter. Like Jfey, do don't get too adventurous. I try to pick a stream that has good trails along side, and no more than a mile to a mile and a half to where I fish. The key is being able to get back to the car if I should get wet. Of course, layers of high tech moisture resistant clothing, and a good pair of breathable chest waders are more important than the fly selection.

For flies, I have always gone with heavily weighted nymphs in smaller sizes. Hare's Ear, Pheasant's Tail, and Prince will all produce if fished slow and deep. People always rave about winter midge hatches, but I've never done much good with midges. Trout seem to prefer a good meaty stonefly....


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 Post subject: Re: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:21 pm 
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Brown Trout
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:19 am
Posts: 2308
Location: Holston Mountain, Tenn
I fish all winter except when the snow melt water is high. You just have to enjoy the time in the woods and not plan on catching many fish. Yes, on some real warm winter days, bugs such as blue quills will come off and the fishing gets really good but that is certainly the exception

I rarely fish very far from a road just as a safety precaution.

Best Baits for me are Blonde Tellico ,Yellow Wing Prince ,Amber Stone ,etc
And a big split shot

JT

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The last throw I made with a Zug Bug was into the trash can.
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 Post subject: Re: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 9:19 am 
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Warpaint Shiner
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Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:04 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Race City USA, NC
I fish year round, solo most of the time. I went out on 1/2/11 and hit a small blue line. I fished a dry/dropper. I ran the dropper about 20 inches from the dry. I caught 15 wild trout. 1 brown, the rest rainbows. 3 on the dry, rest on the dropper. I caught them on a variety on nymphs and even 2 on a green weenie. I thought it was pretty good day for January. 9-10 inches was the biggest caught.

I do fish less in winter than the rest of the year. Definitely must be careful, icy rocks and solo trips ain't exactly a safe combination.

Here are a few of the better ones I caught.

Image
Image
Image

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Wild troutin', blue linin', fly flingin', camo wearin', redneckin' elitist.


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 Post subject: Re: Winter stripper opportunities with the short rod
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:38 pm 
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Brook Trout
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:08 pm
Posts: 224
Location: Richmond, VA
I get out to the SNP a fair amount in winter. I've never done much good with midges but then again I don't try them very often in the mountains. Like a bunch of other guys have already said, a meaty stonefly nymph seems to be the best producer.


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